[Underground rap legend MF Grimm, joined by his producer Drasar Monumental, recently sat down with hip-hop personality and SOHH Correspondent Shawn Setaro on his popular “The Cipher” podcast. Listen to the full interview and check out five gems he dropped during the Q&A.]

On dealing with the legacy and lingering effects of slavery:

“It’s something that I have to deal with every day. Not even just me, my blood. We’ve been dealing with that since before we were here.”

On his producer, Drasar Monumental:

“It’s like he’s a cinematographer. He figured out the formula to turn beats into different colors, ratios, and millimeters. He comes with different styles every time.”

On why he started rapping:

“I had to do something. I was around some of the best graffiti artists. The breakers, I wasn’t as good as them. I grew up with the best ball players, guys who were great in fashion. I had to figure out my little spot, and it was being an emcee.”

On the early 90s shooting that left him paralyzed:

“Getting shot was part of the job description at that particular time.  I was a time bomb, so anything could have happened. I was ready to die. Being paralyzed was the one thing I never thought would happen.”

On how book smarts and street smarts have combined throughout his life:

“I guess we gotta start when I was five. I used to be on Sesame Street. To walk to the studio, I had to walk past the hustlers and the pimps. Although they were doing what they were doing, right or wrong, they still made sure that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. They would encourage me to do good things.”

To hear the whole interview, click here or listen below.