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interview // grits

The underground icons Coffee and Bonafide who make up the group Grits have been glimmering in hip-hop since 1993, making a niche from fresh beats and provocative lyrics. The pair’s sophomore album Grammatical Revolution established them; Art of Translation made them an instant success. The 2002 album went beyond expectance reaching a whole new level. The album inspired a remix with Talib Kweli and the singles from the album were given slots in the movie “Something’s Gotta Give”, and in shows America's Next Top Model, Pop Stars, Boston Public, Resurrection Boulevard, BET's Rap City, The Real World, Tough Enough, and MTV Cribs. Songs are also heard on video games Disney’s Extreme Skate and NBA Jams. The album was heard from MTV2’s Top 10 Most Requested and Top 5 Handpicked and several radio charts and playlists. Grits have also shared stages with artists OutKast, Jay-Z, Nappy Roots, Ice Cube, DJ Shadow, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Goodie Mob, and Monica and have been featured in XXL, Spin, Vibe, Billboard, The Source, URB, Rap Pages, and Rap Sheet magazines. The duo recently released the first half of their back to back albums Dichotomy A (June 29) and will be releasing the second part Dichotomy B on November 2.

 

How did Coffee and Bonafide come together to create the group known as Grits?

 

We used to dance for group called Dc Talk back in the early 90's. That's how we met and after being on the road together for extensive amounts of time, approximately 5-6 years, with the same musical passion we decided to link up and do it together.

 

Your newest releases are entitled Dichotomy A and Dichotomy B, the word dichotomy means one thing having two parts, why did you choose that name for your albums?

 

Actually Greg in our creative department came with the name and concept. Since it was going to be a double release.

 

What made you decide to produce this album yourselves and how do you feel it makes the album different from the other Grits’ releases?

 

We have always been co-producing our albums without credit necessarily. This time we felt confident to do it all. We still enlisted the same people to work with us for the most part we just had 100% control vs 60-70. The only difference in this record is it’s more aggressive and its a completely urban album with pop overtones if you will, like we've always done.

 

How did you first hook up with Gotee Records?

 

Working with Gotee stems from dancing with DcTalk. Toby who was the leader of the group is also the CEO of the label. He started a production company first and spun it into a label, once that was done he asked us to be apart and ten years later here we are.

 

Tell me a little bit about your remix CD, the Art of Transformation, what will people hear on this album?

 

The Art of Transformation is really a Gotee baby, we had a little involvement but really that's their doing. The album is banging period, there's only one song I wish could've been much better but I aint naming names. People can expect to get a whole new love for the original and look forward to the Dichotomy series.

 

 

How did you team up with Talib Kweli for the remix of Here We Go?

 

We met him while doing press in NY and there were some character traits he displayed that we were impressed by, which led to us asking him to be on the remix. He had a respect for us and what we do that we rarely find in our own industry and the feeling was mutual.

 

At the 35th Annual GMA Music Awards you won Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year for Believe which featured Jennifer Knapp, how did you feel about winning that award?

 

Awards come and go, people love you today and hate you tomorrow, so to continue getting them its always a pleasure and a privilege.

 

 

Where do you find your inspiration for your songs?

 

Inspiration for GRITS simply comes from living life. Having families and real friendships should inspire anyone to excel in whatever it is they do.

 

 

What can we expect of Grits and Gotee Records in the near future?

 

We like the future to remain what it is, unknowing. Of course there are things we would love to see happen but life is designed to live the most of each day. We'll see when we get there.

 

For more information on Grits check out http://www.grits7.com 

 

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