Worldwide: Greis (Switzerland)

Could you first of all give us a little introduction on who you are?

My name is Greis. I’ve been writing and bombing since ‘93 and rapping since ’95. I’ve released two ep’s with my crew PVP (ashes to dust, hell to heaven) and several vinyl-singles with Chlyklass. Plus I’m featured aproximately on half of the rap-albums released in the last couple of years (Sendak, Big Zis, LDeeP, Taz, Tempo al Tempo, G-Punkt, .ET…) and on a shitload of mixtapes.

Could you describe your kind of Hip Hop music briefly?

I was influenced by P.E., KRS and stuff like that but at the same time I was also aware of other tendencies in rap. But what interests me most in rapping is communicating relevant information, it doesn’t necessarly have to be political, it just has to have a purpose other than self-profiling. I’m not good at saying that I’m good. I think I’m over average though. There’s one thing a lot of rappers forget about, especially in europe, it’s that rap, no matter what you’re going to say, rap is fucking MUSIC and music has its rules. If at the end, your stuff is not enjoyable to the ear, nobody will listen.

A lot of MC’s over here in the Netherlands are influenced by Hip Hop from the US, is that the same in your case?

Well, as I said, now in regards to flow and technique I don’t differ much from anybody, I admire Method Man, Redman, B.I.G., stuff like that. IAM from Marseille influenced me a whole lot in regards to contents and depth. They used to tell stories of ancient egypt and crazy shit like that, to me it was like a history lesson. Right now I play a lot of Jay-Z, especially The Blueprint 1, or the first Beanie Sigel album, I really like what Just Blaze does. I like beats that use sort of traditional samples. I have nothing against electronic sounds but a lot of people just have very shitty, cheap sounds.

Do you think that you will also be able to do your thing successfully across your own borders?

No fucking way. Honestly, I would not want to listen to Polish or Greek rap, except if it’s really groundbreaking, and I think I’m not quite there yet. My native language is French, I might try to do something in French or Spanish later on, well I have a couple of songs in French and people in Lausanne or Geneva dig it, but that means nothing.

Did you already do international collaborations? If yes, with whom?

On my solo-album I have a dope track with Non Phixion. I really like what they do and the track is a killer I highly recommend it. For our new PVP album we recorded a track with Buckshot from Black Moon and Sean Price of Heltah Skeltah. Boot Camp still rocks, people better duck down.

Which is ‘the place to be’ for Hip Hop heads going on holiday in Switzerland?

It all depends if and what you want to write on. If you just want to hang around I’d come to Berne or Zurich, many hiphop-events and nice girls.

What is the state of Hip Hop in Switzerland? And which other acts do we certainly have to look out for?

Hip hop is dying if you ask me, at least to me it is. The kids don’t take the same way we did, and we don’t have time or energy to beat them all up. It’s becoming something soft, so I guess our music will become harder again.

Where and when can we see you perform shortly?

At some festivals in Switzerland, for example The Gurten, or at Splash! in Chemnitz, it’s the biggest hiphop festival in Europe. Afterwards I’ll probably concentrate on writing again, those kids tire me, I don’t want to be anybody’s role-model, it makes me feel like a hoe. But as Curse from Germany said, I didn’t start because of them, I won’t stop because of them. The hip hop boom we are living right now, it’s probably the fifth from what I counted, will also be over someday, and we’ll be amongst each other again, nobody of the industry or the mainstream consumers will care anymore.

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Geplaatst door bowie op 26 juli 2003