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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

July 9, 2009 at 1:34 PM

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Matson on Music webisode #1: Rapper Grynch, King of Ballard

Posted by Andrew Matson

The idea for this video popped into my head the instant I heard "My Volvo" on Grynch's new freely downloadable "Chemistry" EP: "I should get Grynch to drive me around in his car."

Deeper into "Chemistry," I found "Time," a song that opens with a heartfelt verse in which Grynch eulogizes deceased Ballard landmarks, famous and not. Denny's and Sunset Bowl are treated with equal weight as Ken's Corner Market, the place Grynch bought comic books and candy cigarettes when he was a kid. My video idea got better: "During the ride-around, Grynch and I should be in Ballard," I thought, "and he should be holding forth on his Kingdom's ongoing metamorphosis."

What, you didn't know? Grynch is the King of Ballard.

"My Volvo" and "Time" have their technical merits — good beats, careful rhymes — but they're deeper than that. They're simultaneously Grynch's stories and Seattle's stories, both super-specific and completely relatable. That's a trick Seattle Times writers try to pull off every day. It's hard.

Plus, I think it's safe to say no one has ever rapped an ode to their '80s DL wagon, or noted on a hiphop track how depressing it is that the Interbay Funplex is now a Staples.

Shout out to Genevieve Alvarez, videographer extraordinaire.

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