Seattle-based rapper, Grieves turns hard times into good records


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Seattle-based rapper, Grieves on stage at House of Blues in Orlando opening for Pepper.

Ben Laub, or better known by his stage name Grieves, has experienced a lot in the past couple of years, he’s experienced enough “shit” to go on a record a record about it.

Grieves says that everything he went through leading up to his fourth studio album, “Together/Apart,” contributed to the creation of the album.

“Life happened that way at that time,” said Grieves about the way life unfolded before the album. and I was influenced to make that record.”

“Together/Apart” took him a year to make, giving life ample time to throw the Seattle-based rapper plenty of curveballs.

“It’s just one of those years where you either shit or get off the pot,” Grieves added. “I can let all this break me or I can take it and make something good out of it.”

The song “Falling From You” is one of his favorites off the album, saying that it “emotionally pinpointed something” for him.

Grieves is now on tour with reggae-rock band Pepper during the final leg of their Fall tour. Pepper and Grieves have been familiar with each other since they were on Warped Tour together in 2011, a time where Grieves says they became “besties”

The two kept in touch and when Fall came around Grieves received a call from the band seeing if we wanted to go on tour, he agreed and was added onto the shortlist for the final leg of Pepper’s U.S. tour.

Grieves played at the House of Blues in Orlando earlier in September, opening up for Pepper in a place he considers a “hometown court.”

“Orlando’s like the only place that I actually get booked in Florida,” said Grieves while mentioning playing many shows at “The Social.” “I never get booked in any of the other places in Florida, so Orlando feels kinda like a hometown court.”

While at his Orlando show Grieves revealed to us that he is currently working on a project with San Jose musician B. Lewis. The new project will have a “much bigger sound than the last record,” according to Grieves.

He says that the record is recorded and he is mixing it on the road, with B. Lewis and himself even going as far as buying the same kind of headphones so they can hear the music the same way.

Grieves is also friends with fellow Seattle-based rapper, Macklemore and the two have known each other for close to 10 years.

“I’ve known Ben for probably about a decade,” said Grieves about his friendship with Macklemore. “He’s one of the first people I met when I moved to Washington.”

He went on to say that Macklemore eventually dropped language into his world and that is when he realised that his fellow Seattle MC was a “really good rapper.”