The flow of Shotgun Grizzly (formally known as Joe Grizzly) throws me back to that time where rappers came out with an air of certainty and strength about them dying for someone to step up to take the crown. When I started listening to the previous works of Grizzly….The Age of Joe Grizzly, that German Chocolate was beyond creative…and the southern drawl he adds to the process leaps and bounds above what we hear today. So many artists out today are into the crunk and flow music, but with Grizzly, his lyrics run rampant on tracks that are reminiscent of ATL Dungeon Family works…..a mixed blend of old and new to create an identity unique to them.
To do him the dishonor of labeling him a “rapper” is well… is an accusation at best. Shotgun Grizzly is an element all his own, who is nothing short of a lyrical aficionado that knows what he wants and holds no punches to have his voice heard. A humble intellectual fueled by past pains, with a powerful passion for words and a lyrical delivery that encompass everything in its path- the name Shotgun Grizzly is the only packaging that can envelope such a product.
So we jumped at the opportunity to speak with Grizzly, and pick his brain about his place in music, the state of music, and more.
You have a substantial fan base already Grizzly; but for those just meeting you we must ask the obligatory question…how did you get your start rapping?
SG: “I started back in college at North Carolina Central University, where I met some guys who rapped there and was basically in the background at first. Then I began freestyling with them… that turned into me writing on my own and eventually began recording.”
Your bio talks about an evolution to where and who you are now, can you elaborate on the “evolution?”
SG: “Yeah, in the beginning, it was all about drinking, smoking, girls (paraphrased) and rapping” There was no business aspect to any of it, and things fell through. We were content with what was happening, with the fan base, where we were and became content and complacent. We didn’t build on the seed we sowed. The evolution began once the business aspect was put in effect. I started taking the proper steps to build on the brand I had created and continue to do so, thanks in part to the people I work with.” The Shotgun Grizzly brand has definitely benefited and reflects the effort.
We talk about identity in cities where music is big, does the QC have that?
SG: “No. QC doesn’t have an identity of its own. Too many artists try to aspire to sounding like the ATL, or whatever city they’d like to be compared to, and that’s why Charlotte doesn’t have a sound of its own. I love my city and I rep it hard, but I sound like myself, that’s it. People who came out of NC did so, by being themselves, with their own style…that’s how they were successful. Artists don’t need to recite cookie cutter lyrics, versions of other people or each other. Individuality is key, being an original version of yourself.”
How important is the lyrical content for you? Yours is strong, so what’s your process? What fuels you to drop bars like you do?
SG: “Lyrical content is extremely important, hip hop is about the lines (being delivered) and it should be substantial. That’s my approach, to be substantial, not ostentatious. What fuels me is my life…the pain, the losses, everything.”
What’s in store for Shotgun Grizzly now?
SG: “I’m looking to dominate. Doing things the right way, and so far, that has been working in my favor.”
Shotgun Grizzly, has put in the work lyrically and physically and has represented Queen City Hip Hop and beyond immaculately. His stage presence is as dominate as his rhymes and every bit as grizzly as his alias. His new hit single “Star” breaks boundaries between the underground and radio and supersedes every expectation your mind ever formulated of the talent Mr. Grizzly. It was a pleasure and honor getting the chance to speak with him and I look forward to hearing so much more from Shotgun Grizzly sooner than later.