With their 2005 Rhymesayers debut, Deadlivers, this Seattle group kept the uncommon visuals coming in the form of imaginative storytelling. Going by the alter egos Fiddleback Recluse (JFK), Reason (Onry Ozzborn), and Phantom Ghost El Topo (Rob Castro), Grayskul conquered corrupt MCs and societal ills utilizing razor-sharp raps and electrifying boom-bap beats (from Onry, Fakts One, Oldomion's Mr. Hill and others).
Despite the comic book-like theme of the album, Onry clarifies how real the record actually is: “Deadlivers was taken by most as this dark, superhero journey through this crazy made up world of MCing, when in actuality, it was what MCs go through today in real life situations.”
Not wanting to repeat themselves in the slightest, Onry and JFK are taking a more conceptual approach with their new album, Bloody Radio, which features Slug, Cage, Pigeon John, Aesop Rock, and vocalist Andrea Zollo. Produced by their Oldominion brethren (Mr. Hill, Smoke, Coley Cole, The Gigantics) and other Pacific Northwest reps (Sapient, Bean One), this release is an experiment in reconstructing the many sub-genres of hip-hop today and throwing them back in the face of those who insist on dividing the culture.
“Haunted” is an eerie synth-driven track that brings some Lil Jon-esque crunk down to a subterraneous level while "How To Load A Tech" with Cage is a curious dissection of hardcore, gun-happy hip-hop. And if you ever wondered what Onry and JFK would sound like flowing in the ever popular double-time style, look no further than the bubbly lead single “Scarecrow.”
Reflecting on the concept of Bloody Radio, Onry says, “Back in the day, it used to just be categorized as ‘hip-hop’—nowadays there’s crunk, screwed, emo, gangsta, underground, club, horrorcore, etc. We basically look at our new album as reversal brainwash—hip-hop music somewhat sounding like all these genres, but interwoven with message, substance, concepts, wittiness, opinion, and most of all, honesty while still maintaining a sense of humor, imagination, and originality. Bloody Radio has something for everybody.”