Griffen is a Chicago based rapper and MC whose story is cemented on the mentality that "nothing's impossible if you do whatever it takes to get it." Born on Chicago's south side, Griffen took his earliest cues in determination from his grandmother, one of the first female lawyers in Chicago. "It took her eleven years to get through law school. I got her tenacity…..There was no quit in her. If they shut the door, you go through a window!" Introduced to Hip-Hop's golden era greats (N.W.A., Geto Boys, Ice T, etc.) by a D.J. who happened to be his older brother, helped lay a solid foundation for the artist at an early age.
After inking a deal with Scarface’s Facemob Music in 2010, Griffen readied “Apotheosis” with a national campaign to finally bring his talent to the masses. Now, he's receiving multiple posts on every Chicago blogsite that matters, has a hood buzz to compliment his Internet presence, a solid team who shares his vision, and the backing of a legendary icon [Scarface] to propel him to that next level. He also recently became involved with the new Chicago group Antierthang. After about a years worth of false starts we finally caught up with the young man and discussed all this and more.
Tell us about Antierthang?
ANTiERTHANG is a group consisting of myself, Fat Boi aka Big Wiz and Vic Spencer. I studied those guys for a couple of years and peeped that, attitude-wise we was on a lot of the same shit, plus I thought they could rap circles around 90% of niggaz out....so I hit them up, asked if the was wit this group idea where we basically say "Fuck erybody....we ANTI whatever you on right now". So, we decided to drop ONE project jus for the sake of art and the nature of the craft, y'know. Its like a movie we starring in with no planned sequel...I mean, unless the shit gets 500,000 downloads or some shit...hahahaha
How'd you link up with Facemob?
Basically, thru the blessing of technology and social media, I got a few of my joints directly to Scarface. He heard them and contacted me and it went from there. Shoutout to Twitter! haha
Is it Chicago's time right now?
Absolutely. With almost EVERY major label with a stake in hip-hop has signed or is in the process of inking some artist or another from The Crib. Same thing you saw with Snoop and Long Beach in the 90s, Queens when Mobb Deep first dropped, New Orleans rappers when P came out...and all of those were region-defining moments....so, yeah - I think this is the precipice of one of Chicago's defining moments.
What does Apeothis mean & why'd you choose it for your album title?
hahaha.. it's Apotheosis and it has a couple of meanings. Your apotheosis is the moment you go from student to master....that transition from what you COULD be to being what you were meant to be. You remember The Matrix film where Neo finally gets it...finally accepts and realizes he is The One or whatever? Yeah, its that...kinda. Another definition is deification, becoming God-like, but I wasnt really takin it that far...hahaha...it's a record.
How does being an artist affect being a Father?
The same way any significant real-life shit does, I guess. It kinda changes my attitude a little bit about profitting from this art...you know, since its not just me. I have to kinda think more in the long-term than Ive ever been used to...which is good. It doesnt change the art itself much, it actually provides more material and inspiration if anything. The best part is Hip-Hop is not a 9 to 5, its a 24/7, and because of that I get to spend hours wit my daughter that most guys miss because they work that shiftlife, so Im thankful for that part. I dont sleep much, but I hang with her most days and live in the studio at night.
What's one pair of Jeff's you wished you bought when they came out?
The Air Jordan II. I never had those. The retros are aweful and they have never really released them the same way they did in that initial run.... I still dont have 'em! I didnt get the Concord Jeffs until later, either...I was shitty about that. But the 2's....they duckin me still...hhahahaha
What Chicago artists did you listen to growing up?
Psychodrama, Common, Rubberoom, Spalaneys, D2ThaS, Cyanide, Akbar, Schemdrick, Grav, anything Juice did on the freestyle circuit cuz he didnt really have songs til later.....um, Stoney Isle, Twista, Crucial Conflict...anything that was on WNUR or WHPK back in the day...
What's one thing artists complain about unnecessarily?
Right now? Bloggers!!! hahahaha A lot of artists dont understand that the majority of this blogs were started because that person WANTED to make a blog wit shit they liked on it and it happened to take off. They make their own rules when its all said and done. U gettin mad at a blogger for not postin your shit is like a blogger gettin mad at you for not mentioning them in your bars...and you dont even know them to do so. Some blogs dont care whats dope, its about hits -- others dont give a shit about hits, its about quality. Point bein, its enough to go around. Im sure SOME blogs fuck wit you so ROCK with them and GROW YOUR BRAND. Or not. Whatever. If u dont like a blog, start a blog and show them how it's done....you might be right, but crying dont win rings.......Im just saying
Derek Rose or Scottie Pippen?
Ewwwwwwwww. Thats a fucked up question. Pippen has Six Rings. Should have one NBA MVP. Top 5 Def all-time. Derrick Rose is the youngest MVP ever. Probably most explosive, yet graceful player to hit the hardwood since Kobe got drafted. I would have to say........ Derrick Rose. ONLY because he is from Englewood and I'm from Englewood and thats how we do...and I think DRose can get 6. Jordan-style. So, yeah...Im rockin wit Young Englewood all day.
Where's the best place for fans to find your music & interact with you online?