Slept on is a term often thrown around in Hip Hop when referring to beloved rhymers whom fans believe don’t get the shine they deserve. For those in the know, Queens MC Grafh could very well be one of the most slept-on rhymers of the past two decades.
His success seemed inevitable during the onset of the post-millennium (pre-YouTube) era. On the inaugural The Oracle hosted by Green Lantern, he infamously noted that he was the subject of yet another bidding war and that labels would need to come with a million dollars or better because he had already allegedly signed a million-dollar deal.
That was back in 2004.
Grafh by no means was sitting on the bench waiting to get put in the game, with a hefty catalog of mixtapes and a much delayed LP Autografh (that finally saw the light of day about a decade ago). However, when the smoke cleared, politics and bullshit ultimately kept possibly one of the better respected New York street rappers of the era from breaking through to the next level.
In his day, he found himself signed to labels like Sony, EMI, and Virgin. However, the most significant missed opportunity, according to Grafh, was his short stint with the infamous Roc-A-Fella Records (just before the dynasty toppled).
“It was definitely when Dame and JAY-Z were breaking up,” he tells hitmusic. “I never got to explore being on the ROC with the fucking legends of the day … I was looking forward to that shit, man. I ain’t gonna front.”
He momentarily reminisces on the 90s, fondly remembering seeing the Bad Boy and Roc-A-Fella rosters as a fan in the crowd, recognizing the significance they played in Hip Hop — and the aura they created. “I remember thinking this is so amazing for the city.”