A promising career in hip-hop evaded the Manhattan-born rapper MF Grimm after his tragic shooting in the early '90s. Confined to a wheelchair, the man who gave MF Doom his "MF" prefix eventually became a mover and shaker in New York's independent rap scene as founder and CEO of his own label and international distribution company, Day by Day Entertainment. Before he joined the fast-paced vigor of street life, Grimm (born Percival Carey) was an avid skateboarder and actually graced the television screen as a child actor on Sesame Street. He started to take the rap game seriously when he turned 14. Calling himself the Grimm Reaper, he formed one-half of the Gravediggaz (different from the RZA/Prince Paul group of the same name) with Roc Raida from the X-Ecutioners. Grimm recorded with or performed on-stage next to some of the industry's finest: Kool G Rap, KRS-One, and 2Pac, just to name a few. He was originally supposed to have a guest verse on Main Source's landmark posse cut "Live at the BBQ" but missed out on the opportunity because he was temporarily in jail; the verse later appeared on his first 12" single, "So Whatcha Want N**ga?," in 1993. Atlantic, Interscope, and other major labels started to present Grimm with lucrative deals, but the following year, he was shot at several times in an attempt to take his life. He lost his sight and hearing and was paralyzed from the neck down. Although he did recuperate his senses, he still remains in a wheelchair. Coping with his dire predicament, he wrote many songs during his hospitalization that would appear on the album Scars & Memories, though it was not released until 2005.
As the independent hip-hop movement emerged in the late '90s, Grimm cropped back up with a few 12" records, alongside acts like Company Flow, the Juggaknots, and of course, MF Doom, on Bobbito Garcia's Fondle 'Em Records. Inspired by the cohesive concept behind the Wu-Tang Clan's kung-fu motifs, Grimm devised Monster Island Czars (M.I.C.) basing the clique on the monsters from the Godzilla movies. Members of the group took on aliases like Megalon and Gigan while Grimm and MF Doom adopted the names Superstar Jet Jaguar and King Geedorah, respectively. Once Fondle 'Em folded, Grimm was able to find his own avenue to create music and put out other artists on his Day by Day Entertainment label. In 2000, he recorded his debut album, The Downfall of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera, with only 24 hours to spare, since he was out on $100,000 bail facing criminal drug charges. He received a four-years-to-life sentence under New York's stringent Rockefeller drug laws, but after some legal wrangling, he only served three years. After he was released from prison, he delivered Digital Tears: Email from Purgatory under his M.I.C. alias in 2004. By that time, Grimm and Doom had a falling-out, and he altered his name to GM Grimm (although he still goes by the MF Grimm moniker also). He vented his frustration with Doom on the track "The Book of Daniel," which he added to his 2006 triple-disc album (the first in hip-hop's history) American Hunger. That same summer, DC Comics' adult-oriented imprint Vertigo announced it was going to release in 2007 a graphic novel based on MF Grimm's life story, entitled Sentences: The Life of MF Grimm. ~ Cyril Cordor