Vic Grimes is a man of few words and many sounds. The Canadian beatsmith did not have any published interviews I could find, so I thought it would be cool to reach out and see what’s good with him. He recently produced all of Edweird’s Gonzo album, and has recently landed big placements with Vinnie Paz and Ill Bill. He reps Crate Divizion along with Giallo Point and PhybaOptikz, the three form to create a unique signature sound that invokes thoughts of sneaky maneuvers and heists.
RD: Along with Giallo Point and PhybaOptikz you formed a unique signature sound for many Crate Divizion releases. How did you come into the fold?
VG: I’m inspired a lot by imagery. Movies or just stills from old gangster flicks, film noir, black and white cartoons, spy flicks from the 60’s. I like the spy stuff a lot. I enjoy digging and making beats that, to me, match that imagery, so I’m constantly exploring it and coming back to it. I’m also really big on library records. The music, as well as the designs of the cover art. Giallo and Phyba share a very similar taste in these things as well.
RD: Stickup on the 22nd Floor is a collaborative effort with yourself and Phyba. There was a real chemistry there, did that form during the making of this or the work on Parisian Connections?
Editors Note: both Parisian Connection albums are highly underrated among the Crate Divizion catalog, in our opinion.
VG: The chemistry between Phyba and I was pretty much instantaneous when we first linked back in 2013. He has the same taste in sounds, beats and artwork that Giallo and I do, and he’s mad creative, mad talented, so him and I doing our own project was a no-brainer. We had a blast making ’22nd Floor.’ I guess we just share a similar vision. I respect his art and his work impresses me every time, and vice versa, so it’s just organic and easy. He’s a funny dude too, we spend more time cracking jokes than actually working.
RD: Most of your work can be described as grimy boom bap with a dramatic/sinister twist. One production that stands out differently is ‘Flavors’ for SmooVth. Do you make any beats with a specific rapper in mind, or create and find a fit as time goes on?
VG: Shout out to SmooVth! Nah I don’t really make beats with rappers in mind much. I just kinda go off on my own and make beats. Making beats is more of a personal thing to me. I’m fortunate to have worked with the emcees that I have so far, because I am definitely the laziest person when it comes to networking and reaching out.
RD: Some producers leave a beat be after the initial draft is done, some go back and have numerous edits with many changes. What can you tell us about that part of your process?
VG: Yeah I usually catch the vibe and do the bulk of the work in one sitting, but I’ll chill and listen to it over and over the next day and sometimes hear something I might want to change. I don’t usually come back to beats over and over though, the more I listen to a beat the more I’ll end up hating it in the end.
RD: There seems to be a renaissance going on in Toronto, with a number of guys making a name for themselves. Whats your take on your local underground scene?
VG: To be honest I sort of live under a rock. I don’t go to the city much, or shows, so I can’t really say much about the topic, but I’ve heard people say this a lot and I think that’s dope.
RD: Last year you landed 2 placements on Vinnie Paz and Ill Bill’s Heavy Metal Kings album. That had to be pretty rewarding.
VG: Yeah that was definitely crazy. Shouts to Bill and Vinnie. I used to listen to ‘What’s Wrong with Bill’ religiously when I was a young kid. I know every rhyme on that album. What can I say, it’s crazy working with emcees I listened to growing up. Plus Bill dropped a Star Wars reference over my beat, super dope. Vinnie is just a monster. He’s become one of my favorite artists. I hope to work with them again.
RD: Edweird is a friend of the show, you recently worked with him on his full length Gonzo. Its a very unique experience, how was working with Ed on that project?
VG: Ed’s cool. He’s got his own sound. I respect that. People have told me I have my own sound, so maybe that’s what drew us together. I appreciate artists that have a sense of humor and use it in their music, and he does that. His shit is well thought out. Meticulous and creative. So I think we were a good fit, he picked some of my most unique beats for sure. ‘Thumb War’ is my shit.
RD: Your quite the retro-gamer, what are some of the most challenging titles you’ve played? I never understood Jaws for the NES.
VG: Some of the most challenging games I’ve finished were Star Wars, Die Hard, and Ghost’s N’ Goblins for NES. The three Ninja Gaiden games were tough too. Altered Beast and Alien Storm were crazy for Genesis. If I had to pick one though, without a doubt Zombies Ate My Neighbors for Super Nintendo. I played that game for 3 days straight. Once you hit level 40 that game turns into a war zone. Ridiculous difficulty. Ahhh……Jaws. Not a very straight-forward game. Without instructions you’d never figure out what to do.
RD: Does gaming play a part at all in your beat making?
VG: Gaming is the reason why I have such little amount of music out these past couple years. Probably why our follow up to ’22nd Floor’ has taken so long. It’s an addiction for real. Phyba has literally hit me before saying “yo put the controller down and get to work”
RD: Plans for 2019?
VG: More beats, more music. Phyba and I are dropping “Diamond District,” our follow up to ’22nd Floor.’ I’m putting an instrumental tape together, ‘Crime-Meister,’ so watch for that. A few little surprises too.
RD: How would you like to collab with that you haven’t had the chance to thus far?
VG: I would love to work with Roc Marciano, Marcberg is one of my favorite albums. MF Doom would be legendary. Kool Keith, but now I’m just dreaming.
Follow Vic on twitter @Vicgrimes and on IG @vicgrimes1
Crate Divizion’s bandcamp is https://cratedivizion.bandcamp.com
Daniel Son’s Moonshine Mix featuring tons of Vic production just got the wax treatment at http://www.tuffkongrecords.com