Grand Central Grhyme – THE SUBWAY VIDEO – Why????

Posted on April 13, 2017



My name is Mic-Key Boston, some in my hometown of Montreal have alluded to me as a pioneer in my city, I get humbled because the truth behind it all is that I’ve just been doing me all these years. My man Melo Malo is legend in my view, shoutout to Paulino.

The inspiration that hit me was the metro and subway. Montreal’s metro was so exciting for me, NYC’s 7 train from Jackson Heights was the excitement of my day. My father took me everywhere on trains. The my father brought home a VHS cassette of an old Amitabh Bachchan film about trains. In Montreal, I used to take the elevator up the Eaton’s department store up to the fifth-floor toy section and run to the model train in order to watch it every Saturday moving through its glass display.

In high school, I was HOOKED on Company Flow. El-P inspired me. My inspirations were Nas, Rawkus’s Soundbombing and El-P, yeah El-P of Company Flow just killed me.

I have been known to mention “End to End Burners” in “Grand Central Grhyme”. Look, the truth is, I rode the subway a lot living in NYC, I used the metro a lot in Montreal. The rest was history. I would sit for hours underground backpacking, penning raps and tagging. Now I live in the Gulf and I love the Dubai trains. Anywhere you got public underground transit, I’m in my zone.

Dilated Peoples’ album “The Platform” was a breath of fresh air for me. El-P in “End to End Burners” was just motivating for a young emcee in the 90s.

So then came, “Grand Central Grhyme” released in 2017. I did the joint with Queens mutant wordsmith Melo Malo and the Bronx’s Presto.

We recorded the track in Astoria, Queens at Melo Malo’s crib, John Wholetrain was there, Zeke Castro was there…Presto was on the couch penning while tacos and juice was being served and haze was in the air.

“Headed up to the Rooftop / ridin’ the D train,” rapped Biz Markie, “when the man sittin’ next to me was so profane. / He’d stick his finger up his nose / then do a drain.” How many legends and emcees have mentioned the subway? The reality is that NYC’s MTA is what gets everyone from one side of the city to the other.

XEptional produced “Grand Central Grhyme” and CASE did the 16-bar verse with his cuts at the end of the track. I really wanted something amazing and I just didnt know that CASE was going to KILL it like that at the end. For me, CASE cuts on the track are iconic, CASE speaks through his golden touch on those turntables and what he did was majestic.

When I heard the beat produced by XEp, it was just gritty, grimey, dirty, rugged. It was the sound of the underground, it was boombap, it was the 90s, it was the grimey mildew of the subway speaking to me, I heard it all in that production. I felt that it just captured the subway and I immediately penned the verse, Melo Malo jumped on the track second and penned his verse. Presto went in on the penning at the same time as Melo Malo Paulino and the vocals were recorded.

I hate tracks that dont jump into it, what I’m saying here is, I hate tracks that have like 20 seconds of bullshit talking, let’s jump into the verse, lets get into the bars, into the raps. I wanted to start the track straight in, no delays, “let’s rhyme man” as the late Sean Price would say.

The crazy part of the track for was CASE’s cuts, the set up, the way it was done and the way it came about on the final product and every time I hear the track, I feel that we did justice to the beat both lyrically and artistically.

I used to backpack, I used to eat shawarmas in Montreal, with so many classic Lebanese falaffel, shish taouk, shawarma joints in the city’s core, I was in my element on the go from high school to college to university.

Not only did I practice “public signaturing” across both the Montreal and New York City underground, I was sticking stickers and penning endlessly. As I wielded Molotow spray cans out my black backpack, I would also expressed acute social consciousness in my book of rhymes.

Older heads are nostalgic. I consider myself 5 years away from calling myself “OG Mic-Key Boston”. The 80s were the most amazing years, the 90s were amazing, after that, I don’t know what happened because things just lost their flavour, even the thrill of the shawarma sandwiches wasn’t there when all the prices started shooting up in 2008 onward.

The creative period of the most amazing movement in my esteem lasted for over twenty years, and obviously everything that was tagged and sprayed has vanished. Yeah, it’s undeniable that municipal cleanups of public sites erased great art of the heyday.

The memories of the 80s and 90s that I grew up in only exist now in photographs, in the artists’ sketchbooks and old school footage. I guess there’s an ineffaceable mark left in all of us over a time passed.

“Grand Central Grhyme” was just a tribute to a time past? Not fully, it was a video and record that was about the subway after 2015, where are those kids and people that did this stuff in the 80s and 90s kinda thing. They are still around, older, in a post-9/11 era, paying high bills and still commuting but the commutes are not the same anymore, the “End to End Burners” are just so different after 2015.

Mickey Boston - Grand Central Grhyme - hiphop

The cover art was intent on having that dim lighting of the subway. I wanted the art to reflect the video. We were all happy with the way it came out and that was that.