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G-RAD: “Xmas In The Trap” – satire with verve and swagger!

G-RAD is Gerad Stemke, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performer who has been actively releasing original music and entertaining crowds since 1997. Primarily releasing work as a singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar player, G-RAD currently has 3 albums available for consumption and 2 EP’s, which are all available to stream in their entirety for free in the G-RAD Store.

G-RAD is not one to be put in any box, and one look at his influences which range from Radiohead to Wilco, Pearl Jam to Neil Young, and Rihanna to Wu-Tang Clan, totally confirm his musical versatility.  But “Xmas In The Trap” is way more leftfield than I think he has ever gone. I can understand doing a Hiphop song. I can even understand doing a Christmas song. But dang, doing a Christmas hip-hop song, which in turn is a satire of a drug dealing Santa…is one heck of a step out of the box!

The amazing thing is that G-RAD pulls it off with verve, swagger and spirit…and plenty of spirit too, considering that he had the adventurous nerve to turn “Jingle Bells” upside down and into a dark and edgy urban beat. Spread over the top, his intelligent, crafty wordsmithing of satirical lyrics for Rap music is nothing less than spectacular:

 ‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the trap
Pretty bitches were twerkin’
Grindin’ Santa’s lap
The elves were in the workshop
Measuring snow
Rudolph in the stable
Playing with his nose…

G-RAD has clearly gone off his rocker and produced one of his finest works of (hip-hop) satire with “Xmas In The Trap”.  He does a great job of being sharply intuitive without being mean, which is a rarity in today’s satirical climate. G-RAD has more lyrical talent in his pinky toe than most modern street poets from the hood.

Now, for those who don’t regularly listen to rap, G-RAD is someone who can change that. Get prepared to have a lesson this Christmas in how it’s done in San Francisco, by a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist!


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