Tee Grizzley and Chance the Rapper are rappers built to motivate, even if they get there in vastly different ways. Grizzley’s often biographical stories root themselves in the overwhelming adversity of his upbringing, reveling in its brute force songcraft, while Chance has a tendency to lean on the stylistic grooves of gospel to pitch his everyman stories.
“Wake Up” sees the two rappers ceding ground in search of an equilibrium — organs are meshed with trap drums, saccharine hooks transition into advice-filled verses. Whether it works or not depends on your level of jadedness, but not many people can argue with simple steps to success like “wake up, pray up, stay up.”
Grizzley is prepping for the release of Still My Moment on November 9th, which features appearances from Quavo, Offset, Lil Pump and YNW Melly. The date is significant for the Detroit rapper as it’s the first day off of his parole. From 2015 to 2016, the Grizzley was serving an 18-month sentence for home invasion, stemming from an incident during his time at Michigan State University.
That’s what makes lines like, “Your body locked up, don’t let your mind be / Daydream, make a plan, write it out / Don’t forget that your mind free,” feel special. For the first time since his arrest and viral success as a rapper, Grizzley will be allowed to leave the country. “Pray up,” indeed.