No excuses, you gotta be at Chop Suey on Sunday, January 27, for the CD-release party for My Second Wind, the sophomore album from my man and yours Grynch. Showgoers in the town know what to expect from dude—an energetic, authoritative showcase of locally grown skills and wit.

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"My secret is lots of akvavit and lutefisk before shows," says Grynch. "I get on my Ballard shit. All jokes aside, though, I just like to go out there and have fun. It's as simple as that. If you're not having fun doing it then why do it at all?" Like Lupe says, "Tabernacle!"

"I think there's something for everyone on this record, but at the same time there's definitely a consistent vibe throughout," Grynch continues. "I would just say it's music that you can feel." And my bet is, a lot of y'all will feel it.

My Second Wind is a vibrant, thoughtful, and diverse record from one of our scene's most promising talents—a document that more than does justice to Grynch's now formidable rep as a lyricist and songwriter, flowing easily from determined, triumph-of-will rapper songs ("I Will Not Lose") to hazy, reminiscing rapper songs ("Memory Lane") to you-don't-want-no-parts-of-me rapper songs ("When the Beast Comes Out"). "There's themes on there that people would naturally expect," sayeth he, "but at the same time it's a pretty personal album compared to what people are used to from me."

Grynch's solid debut, This Is What I Do, while not free from the occasional juvenile moment, clearly showed a promising young MC ready to bust a move, and his mixtapes (downloadable for free at www.myspace.com/grynchmusic) displayed a hunger that has only deepened with time. "I think I've grown a lot as an artist since [What I Do]. Not that it was a bad record at all. I just feel like [Wind] has a lot more substance to it. I've opened up a lot more in my music. It's just a more mature album."

A diverse palette of producers keep Grynch sounding fresh from track to track, as relative newcomers like C-Nik and Sound Intellect sit beside 206 favorites like BeanOne and Budo. The propulsive, operatic beat of "Beast Comes Out" (possibly my favorite track, courtesy of Street Level Records impresario D-Sane) brings out Grynch's savved-out edge, as does Apoulo's game-laced G-Funk exercise, "All Night."

A careful selection of guests adds a layer of luster—standouts including Blue Scholar Geologic's turn on the breezy "Summertime," Sonny Bonoho's unexpectedly tender hook on "Memory Lane," and D.Black and Fatal Lucciauno's bruising offensive lines on "Youngest in Charge." Through it all, Grynch's ethic mirrors all the potential and momentum of the bubbling scene around him.

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"I've still got a lot of growing to do," says the ever-humble Grynch. "I'm far from reaching my peak artistically. I'm already looking forward to the next project." recommended

hiphop@thestranger.com

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