To bring your best game to the world of Hip-Hop and Trap, you need a story to tell, and EM.H.DA GRA8, is here to stake his claim in a career that spans over two decades. Emerging from Kentucky he keeps returning to the industry just like Haley’s Comet’s long orbit around the sun. With a story that burns bright in the night, EM is delivering quality grooves and rhymes for a whole new audience.
His history is punctuated with loss, grief and tragedy, but from those early days as a 16-year-old freestyling at the bus stops and community centers in the projects, he has always been determined to move forwards and upwards. His lyrical flow is underpinned by his life in Kentucky but it has that hint of raw undercurrent from Minnesota washing through his sound.
Describing himself as the perfect storm of influences growing up with artists such as Heltah Skeltah, C-Bo, South Circle, 2Pac and E-40, his admiration now extends to Nipsey Hussle, Rick Rock and Battlecat. Blending the raw emotion of living under the roof of a single parent and having his father pass at an early age have not held him back. Mixing all those diverse influences with those difficult memories has led to a body of critically acclaimed work over the years under the now retired alias, Manhunt Crucial.
Life has a curious way of throwing obstacles in your path and in 2006, EM was diagnosed with kidney failure and was forced to take a sabbatical from the industry he loved. Dialysis can be draining, debilitating and painful. During that time, it was music that kept him going and which provided him with the inspiration to once again produce music that resonates with audiences everywhere.
This time of reflection made him realize that music has been missing the fun and intelligence from the scene for a considerable time. Old school, honest, authentic and organic. Words used to describe many artists today but which do not deliver on any of those descriptions. As EM himself says, “My unique sound comes across as gritty at times but always intuitive and thoughtful, and I wanted to bring out my creative side since the break.”
That break gave him the chance to rediscover his energy through artists such as Freeway, Moe3, Jacka and Nipsey. Long hours hooked up to a machine with only your thoughts and your rhymes for company has allowed EM to jump back into the industry with all the force of that comet re-emerging from behind the sun. He is determined to be that leading light for Kentucky similar to the work released by artists like Nappy Roots and Rob Jackson.
As fellow Kentuckian Darryl J would say, this is ‘Small City Big Trap Music’; delivered in a style and swagger that only EM can showcase. Tight lyrics and rhymes, dripping with his own personal story, he has brilliantly cast his career in a new image, or as he puts it, “The Greatest You’ve Never Heard”. Breaking out onto the main stage with rappers such as Mistah Fab and Berner, there is no doubt that EM.H.DA GRA8 is making all the right moves to deliver on that promise.
Releasing a whole host of solo projects in the near future, his star is destined to be one of the most dominant in the sky, and as he leads us to a new dawn of musical flavors, be sure to catch his meteoric rise. EM.H.DA GRA8 is the sound the world has been searching for and the breath of fresh air we all need.