Mad Dog McGraw - Grumpy Old Man 2
Mad Dog McGraw brings aggression, a sense of humor and a dose of reality.
Mad Dog McGraw - Grumpy Old Man 2
Mad Dog McGraw is a self professed ‘Old Head rapper’ who absolutely owns his identity. The Lansing Michigan emcee brings me back to a time when Hip Hop was full of characters, not caricatures. His latest album Grumpy Old Man 2 is a mix of sharp lyricism, bully rap, and humor. (Think Sean Price). The concept of Grumpy Old Man may have stemmed from the younger generation‘s perception of old heads, if this is the case he absolutely flips it to his advantage.
The album kicks off with the title track Grumpy Old Man 2 which truly sets the tone. The haunting strings and boom bap drums by Sam Da Grouch, create a sense of tension right off the bat. Mad Dog McGraw gets right into his aggressive flow and lyrics, talking his sh*t about the current state of Hip Hop, while embodying the Grumpy Old Man persona. Nothing is off limits here as he attacks algorithms, payola, culture vultures and even POP-ular ‘emcees’.
I rather dive headfirst in a shallow lake than listen to Drake. Biting and ghostwriting that’s what y’all celebrate?
I should note that Sam Da Grouch handles all of the production duties on Grumpy Old Man 2. On Meanest Mother F’er Alive he samples Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, creating an infectious bounce. Mad Dog McGraw is right at home here staying in the pocket and building on that persona from the opening track. Imagine a Hip Hop version of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch”
This ain’t southern hospitality, it’s northern hostility. I’m not concerned about fame or any or you Mother F****** feelin’ me (NOPE). If I smash your baby momma believe me when I’m done, I’ll be nekkid in the kitchen drinking your kid’s Capri Suns.
This joint has some of the funniest bars you will hear on this album (there are many) but Mad Dog McGraw also sprinkles some substance in there as well. On Black Man’s Castle he describes some of the situation he deals with daily as a Black Man and how he looks forward to getting home and unwinding.
Soon as I leave the house I gotta battle with everything being a black man throws at you.
So when I get home I don’t wanna be hassled. Truth is, home is a black man’s castle.
Mad Dog McGraw expands more on how he relaxes and unwinds on Pre Rolls & Mason Jars
Take a long drink an hour ago I was on the brink, of smacking a racist 'til his face turns pink.
I rather walk home than sleep in a cell, so I gave him the middle finger and told him to go to hell.
Contrary to the stories people tell I manage my anger well, cause a cold mason jar and a pre rolled never fails
This song also displays more of Mad Dog McGraw’s strength’s as an emcee, his ability to be descriptive and paint a picture, as well as his gift of storytelling.
The storytelling and creativity is also on display on The Day You Die and Krampus. On the former Mad Dog McGraw hilariously describes the lengths he will go to hold a grudge against his enemy.
I don’t know if I ever disliked a n**** so much, if you broke your leg I’d walk by and kick the crutch.
Meanwhile on Krampus, Mad Dog McGraw is on his Anti-Santa tip, describing how he’d fill the shoes of ‘St. Nick’.
F*** that red suit he looks like a bum. I rock a hoodie, Dickies and black Air Force 1’s
Getting back to the ‘bully rap’ which really is a big part of Mad Dog McGraw’s persona, the emcee embodies that role on Intimidation 3. This joint has a cinematic quality to it with Mad Dog McGraw playing the villain and Sam The Grouch providing the theme music.
On Where’s My Belt 2 Mad Dog McGraw addresses all of the ‘youngins‘ who hate on ‘old heads’, showing he can dish out the vitriol as well as he can take it (and make you laugh the entire time). Similar to the title track, he pulls absolutely no punches here. The theme of the song is really ‘f*** them kids’
They say that Hip Hop is a young man’s gig, I’d like to let it be known f*** them kids.
I’m a grown ass man, I don’t do subliminals. I’ll tell you plain and simple, yeah I hate millennials.
Reminding the ‘kids’ that you’re close to their momma‘s age & making Baby Boy references is especially savage.
On Gods Mistake the album’s final track, Mad Dog McGraw switches it up. The emcee peels back the persona and gets truly personal. This is a heart wrenching story of the loss of his little brother as well as the heavy weight that guilt had on him. There are a so many layers to peel back here including the impossible situation he was put it, and not having the counseling to properly deal with it. While I won’t give away all of the story, Gods Mistake displays the power of storytelling and of music in general.
Grumpy Old Man 2 is a refreshing album, and one that stands out in a climate where everyone’s trying to sound the same. Sam Da Grouch gives Mad Dog McGraw a great sound scape to rap over: 90’s boom-bap at the core while creating moods to match Mad Dog McGraw’s descriptive storytelling. The persona of Mad Dog McGraw really completes theme of Grumpy Old Man 2. He’s an emcee who takes his craft very seriously even if he doesn’t always take himself too seriously.
Check out Grumpy Old Man 2 on your favorite streaming platforms!