Grizzy Wynter is a Jamaican-Canadian Hip-hop/Rap artist, actor, and podcaster with two fully released projects to his name. Now exploring his artistry with his third full-length studio album, 'Illuminate,' we hear just how this body of work speaks into finding the shine through the darkness, and Grizzy Wynter's personal journey to sparkle as bright as he was intended to.
Kicking off his twelve-track album with the introductory single, “Benjamin Freestyle,” we immediately hear the familiar, and well-established P. Diddy sample from ‘It’s All About The Benjamins,’ which has us eagerly anticipating the lyrical bars that follow. The energy that surges from this freestyle instills a deep understanding of who Grizzy Wynter is as an artist and individual. Swaying through heavy-hitting rhyme schemes, a melodic approach to the layered hook, and the distorted message at the end speaking from a place of negative thoughts, Grizzy Wynter's addresses the beat with a hunger in his tone and makes it known that he’s the best to ever do it.
Known for being the lead single off of 'Illuminate,' we have the effervescent and boisterous sounds of “Paperchase.” Enlisting the lyrical talents of RCN Koco, we see why this is the lead single from this body of work. “Paperchase,” embodies all trademarks of a signature hit. The animated energy that stems from the amplified percussion patterns sends us into a frenzy of lyrical finesse displayed by Grizzy Wynter, and the mesmerizing croons that RCN Koco portrays. With lyrics such as ‘Never sleeping on da moolah,’ resonating with us; it’s apparent that these artists are all about getting their bag right and living for the rush of the hustle.
Coming to the third track on the album, Grizzy Wynter’s provides listeners with a more intimate ambiance as the tempo gets slowed down and we truly tap into the words vulnerable rapped on “Fantastic Lies.” Opening the song up with background harmonies courtesy of songstress V!ce, we fixate on how this harmonious touch transports us to reverberated vessels of atmospheric conveyance before Grizzy Wynter gets his hands on the microphone. The textured distortion that seeps from his vocal performance allows us to hone in on words such as, ‘She knew her body gave her power and she didn't wanna be weak,‘ further painting an exposed soundscape that is riddled with emotion.
Offering up a brilliant feel of contrast, we pick up the tempo on “Loco.” Taking the high octane essence of a Grizzy Wynter performance to a whole new dimension, we instantaneously begin to bop our heads and get lost in the vigorous rush of the instrumentation. Truly fitting into the “Loco,” theme, Grizzy Wynter goes all out with a unique vocal approach that immerses us in the full impact of his robust ways. The way that the chorus is transmitted has us wanting to chant every word right back at him and has us wondering what the vibes would be like at a live performance, where we envision the crowd going absolutely insane for this song.
As the piano forward instrumentation kicks into the speakers, and the enticing hi-hats set the tempo for “Same No More,” this is the versatile moment that we’ve been waiting for. Grizzy Wynter exudes an authentically charged conveyance of his melodic timbres, as he delves into a medley of thought-provoking lyrics. Consistently igniting the sentimental flame within all of us, we reach into our hearts and grasp onto the warm invitation that is extended to us in “Same No More.” We admire this side of Grizzy Wynter, as the refreshing instance proves that he is well-rounded in his craft.
Taking us to the quick-paced, yet well-thought-out interlude that features Negative Thoughts, we hear the familiar voice that made itself known in “Benjamin Freestyle.” With this voice acting as the voice in Grizzy Wynter’s head spewing up words of how he should be grateful, and depending on the negative thoughts, we are amazed at just how far Grizzy Wynter will go in order to portray his vision to his fan base.
Hitting us with a beautifully crafted piece that enlists the talents of Buni Kor, “Reset,” gracefully eases us into a presentation of striking croons that sit in the realm of pacifying tenors. Lyrical motifs such as ‘don’t give up, keep your head up,’ firmly resonate with us in a world that continues to try and get you down. Fixating upon a narrative that is eagerly addressed by Grizzy Wynter, we hear him recite carefully crafted words that instill a sense of hope, and salutary hues as he assures listeners that it’s okay to Reset.
“PTSD,” comes in eighth on the tracklist and we feel like this is an opportunity for Grizzy Wynter to dip into cognizant lyrics, all while maintaining the juxtaposed aggression that comes through the words he raps. As he fuses together his skill set on a track that emphasizes the gritty essence of his nature, we hear just how raw Grizzy Wynter is with his craft. He ensures that he always remains genuine in the moves he makes, and just because he is versatile in the ways he creates, it doesn’t mean his integrity will ever waver.
Next up we have the mind-altering instrumentation of “Invested,” submerging our speakers in an overflow of vibrancy. There’s an eclectic spirit that comes to the foreground as Grizzy Wynter peaks with his vivacious rhyme schemes and intensified performance skills. Creating a seamless blend of energy as the emphasis on certain words is backed by vocal doubling, this song is perfectly placed in succession with what it offers his audience in terms of the passion we feel, and the message brought forth with words like, ‘Invested in me. Shook the branches, I collect all the leaves.’
As we reach the tenth song heard, the beat of “Weird Flex” is a stand-out moment for us on the album of “Illuminate.” There’s a sense of mystery that’s weaved into the confidence that rocks between a world so custom to Grizzy Wynter, yet inimitable in the way it showcases itself on this project. Collaborating with CXCX Chu Chu in order to boost the artistic vision that much further, her dynamic with Grizzy Wynter should be made note of. The two artists present a panache that complements one another while they drive in the fast lane of their respected avenue. We always love a female emcee, and we’re happy to hear CXCX Chu Chu and Grizzy Wynter come together in an all-out banger.
“P.F.M.E (Prayer for my Enemies)” is the second last song featured on 'Illuminate.' With the atmospheric liveliness playing upon dark instrumentation that strengthens the foundation Grizzy Wynter raps upon, we admire the twist in the storyline of this album as we feast upon lyrical motifs such as, ‘Hands out like they come in peace. Plotting on how to take my life from me.‘ As Grizzy Wynter remains blatant with his truth, we value the spectrum of emotions that he weaves throughout “Illuminate,” as the chronicle of this particular tale touches on the relevancy that comes when haters want to infiltrate your energy.
The final song titled, “Pink Clouds,” leaves us on an optimistic note of gratitude as the first words sung by collaborator Baedu are ‘I don’t need a lot to make me happy.’ Through the sonic journey that we just embarked on, it becomes obvious that Grizzy Wynter only wants to share his honest truth with the world. Vulnerably stepping out of his comfort zone to show his audience all sides of himself, it’s only fitting that “Pink Clouds,” completes this album with a buoyant tenacity that leaves us on a high note. Fetching our heads from the pink clouds, we appreciate each moment on 'Illuminate,' which makes this piece the definition of an expedition. Proving to us that not even the sky can hold Grizzy Wynter's rise to the top, he exceeds expectations with this body of work.
Hello Grizzy Wynter and welcome to BuzzMusic. The whole album of 'Illuminate,' offers something unique to everyone listening. What was the inspiration behind the concept that you instilled into this project?
The whole idea about the album came about from major life changes I was making for myself, leaving a self-destructive lifestyle to willing myself to love myself again, being obsessed with money and material to bring gratitude and humble with how I approach Life.
With an extensive amount of songs and collaborators featured on this album, how long did it take you to write and release 'Illuminate?'
I started back in 2017 coming up with tracks before I even had an album planned out but I'd say in 2019 I really started to focus up and really try to build the project the way I wanted.
Out of the twelve songs heard, do you happen to have a favorite track that resonates with you the most?
My favorite tracks are "PTSD," "pink clouds," and "same no more." "PTSD" I got back in my metaphor bag and really pushed my writing skills again, "pink clouds" to me is the perfect way to end an album with hope and high positive energy, and "same no more" cause I really worked on my vocals, I usually hate singing on a whole track but really challenged myself and I'm happy I did.
We think the concept of having Negative Thoughts as a listed feature on specific songs was absolutely genius! What brought you the inspiration to approach these songs with that mentality?
negative thoughts was a skit me and my homie Shoyan Wright used to do every morning for our morning motivation on Instagram, where I would say something positive on camera and he's off-camera yelling in the background how my advice was stupid and I always thought that was a hilarious and honest concept, we all have negative thoughts and we as humans are always trying to ignore them, but I thought if we admit them and deal with them, then they aren't as overwhelming anymore.
How have you found yourself growing as an artist from your debut album, to 'Illuminate?'
100% when I dropped my first project I was still in a life where I was constantly feeding into those negative thoughts and it showed in the music, more aggressive, darker, there was really no joy. Now with 'Illuminate,' I wanted to show a condescending version of that journey from darkness to light, and I think I've accomplished that.