Official Web Site
Grits Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Grits lyrics)
GRITS have been hip-hop's best-kept secret long enough. Rolling into 2004, this Tennessee rap combo tackles a primetime platform with the one-two punch of back-to-back albums, Dichotomy A (June 29) and Dichotomy B (November 2).
GRITS, who sold a career-best 125,000 copies of 2002's Art Of Translation, further elevate their rap game as Dichotomy A and B slam out their most assertive, club-banging tracks yet. Though setting out to make just one album, the duo's creative spree produced so many innovative new songs that the label insisted they press on, even if the final output required two full-length releases. In the end, the Dichotomy albums retained GRITS' radio-ready touches, but the energy level got cranked up to turn clubs upside down.
Says Bonafide of the new discs, "Past albums had a good balance of urban with a mass appeal, but this time we did songs that are predominately more aggressive. We just went for it with the beats, rhythms, and feel. We did a record that gave our music a fresh breath of life." "People slave at their jobs all week long. When they get out to kick it, they want to kick it hard, and they need the music to match how they're feeling."
Though highlighted by such anthems as "I Be" and "Bobbin Bouncing," Dichotomy A and B ultimately cover the whole spectrum of urban music, from the soulful vibe of "Pardon Me Yo" to the dancehall flavor of "Gutter Boy." The albums, produced by GRITS and Otto Price, also feature thematic diversity such as "Hittin' Curves" to celebrating life with the '70s soul-flavored "Get Down." Overall, the foundation clearly reflects their southern roots, though lyrically the group's east coast influences come through in the intensity of the rhymes themselves.
"Our lives are reflected in our music, and that's the bottom line," explains Bonafide, whose everyman affinity helps empower the lyric's spiritual themes. "That's the essence of GRITS. We just do us and keep it as real as possible, and that's why our songs are so personal." "We never put on airs once we get on stage or do interviews," adds Coffee. "We aren't up there mean mugging and trying to be the rawest thing out. Young people often think you're no rapper if you don't got the bling bling, but we want to show that you can be successful without perpetuating stereotypes."
Rolling back the calendars, Coffee originally made his mark coming up in the local Atlanta scene, while Bonafide cut his emcee teeth with a group down in Jacksonville, Florida. As fate found both rappers relocating to Nashville, Bonafide and Coffee (their parking tickets read Teron Carter and Stacy Jones, respectively) came together to form GRITS in 1993. Eventually signing with Gotee Records, the duo dropped their rookie bow Mental Releases in 1995 and followed with Factors Of Seven two years later. GRITS scored a major national breakthrough with the remarkable 1999 disc Grammatical Revolution. Among other accolades, the album earned the group a Billboard Video Award and an appearance on the nationally syndicated radio show Sway & Tech.
While Grammatical Revolution established GRITS as underground icons, Art Of Translation solidified the group's assent as one of hip-hop's hottest new rising stars. The 2002 disc set new sales records, inspired a remix with Talib Kweli, and landed its hit "Here We Go" in the Jack Nicholson film "Something's Gotta Give." The disc also added spins to GRITS' radio-video track record, which includes cracking MTV2's Top 10 Most Requested and Top 5 Handpicked and climbing countless hip-hop charts including Gavin, CMJ, Hits, and PAJ (where they set a ten-week record at number one). Moreover, the immediacy of GRITS' music worked well on the small screen landing placements in such shows as America's Next Top Model, Pop Stars, Boston Public, Resurrection Boulevard, BET's Rap City, The Real World, Tough Enough, and MTV Cribs. Uses in other entertainment mediums include Disney's Extreme Skate Video and the video game NBA Jams.
With each new album growing in momentum, GRITS also found themselves sharing stages with such top artists as OutKast, Jay-Z, Nappy Roots, Ice Cube, DJ Shadow, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Goodie Mob, and Monica. Of course, the press didn't miss a beat either praising GRITS in the pages of XXL, Spin, Vibe, Billboard, The Source, URB, Rap Pages, and Rap Sheet.
As support continues swelling from all mediums and outlets, GRITS prove that the streets can't keep a secret when the talent looms so large. Surpassing all expectations, the DICHOTOMY albums bring more mainstream exposure to hip-hop's life-affirming alternatives, that is, renaissance rappers with genuine style and spiritually uplifting joints. For those ready for some bobbin' and bouncing, GRITS delivers a double dose of positive party music that honors real people and real hip-hop through powerful emcee anthems.
"When we get a bunch of people together in a room, it's time to let loose, be yourselves, and have a good time," says Coffee. "GRITS is all about getting involved and having a celebration."