The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

90° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Former UA student Grime recalls hip-hop influences

    Former UA student Grime performs at Club Congress in April. The Phoenix rapper, originally from Pakistan, starts off all of his shows by hanging the American flag upside down.
    Former UA student Grime performs at Club Congress in April. The Phoenix rapper, originally from Pakistan, starts off all of his shows by hanging the American flag upside down.

    Once a politically active UA student, Tariq Rahman, better known within the hip-hop scene as a revolutionary emcee named Grime, has come full circle in his career as he gears up to perform tonight at the Rialto as the opening act for hip hop legends X -Clan and Public Enemy.

    Grime, whose name is an acronym for “”got revolution in my eyes,”” said performing with Public Enemy is an honor because they were among the list of hip-hop role models he had while growing up.

    “”Public Enemy was the first hip-hop I ever heard,”” Grime said. “”I remember driving in a Subaru, with a boom box in the back seat because the tape deck had broken, listening to their album, Fear of a Black Planet. That’s what got me hooked, at only 8 or9.””

    Involved heavily in political activism when he attended the UA, Grime emerged in the hip-hop scene about two years ago with an eye for making a difference.

    “”I decided I would try to do my part and to make a difference in the community,”” he said. “”The more I got into hip-hop, the more I had an urge to do it myself.””

    Since then, with DJ Komradio behind him, Grime has performed as the opening act for big-name hip-hop acts including Aesop Rock and Immortal Technique.

    “”At the Immortal Technique shows, I really realized how far I’d come,”” Grime said. “”There were a lot of different people there, regular heads, regular soldiers, and it is still the best live show I’ve done to date.””

    Listening to Grime’s music, which is deeply rooted in ethics and world politics, is the equivalent of enrolling in an upper division political science class, minus the dorky professor.

    That being said, it is only natural that he be the opening act for a tour that boasts some of hip-hop’s most historically political performers: X-Clanand Public Enemy, who made a name for themselves rapping about social issues from all ends of the spectrum.

    Although the tour that was originally expected to hit both Phoenix and Tucson has since cancelled their Phoenix show, the show at the Rialto Theatre downtown is likely to sell out as Tucson has a niche in hip-hop that sets them apart from other big cities, Grime said.

    “”Tucson is different from Phoenix in that it has more appreciation for roots hip-hop, you know, the old school shit that came out in the mid ’80-’90s when hip-hop was at its peak,”” Grime said.

    In an effort to receive more musical exposure, Grime moved to Phoenix and transferred to ASU as a political science sophomore about a year and a half ago.

    Balancing both his music and academic careers has not been an easy journey, he said.

    “”I am still in school,”” Grime said. “”But it has been difficult to balance everything, and I haven’t been able to go to school full time for a few semesters.””

    The Public Enemy, X-Clan and Grime show is tonight at the Rialto Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26 advance and $30 the day of the show.

    “”Things have really come full circle,”” Grime said. “”Listening to Public Enemy was the beginning of hip-hop for me, and there is nothing that can represent my work more than opening for that same band.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search