Rapper and producer the Grouch has been a valued underground hip-hop figure since he co-founded Living Legends, a loose collective of MCs and DJs from the Bay Area, Japan, and Europe.
The crew set themselves apart from the vast majority of their fellow West Coast rap artists by favoring clear-eyed raps about everyday issues. They coupled this with a grassroots approach to the music business, choosing to self-release and market their prodigious output. The Grouch's extensive work as a solo artist and co-headliner, from Don't Talk to Me (1995), his debut, through Thees Handz (2019), a collaboration with Murs, has only reinforced the reputation he started building in the first half of the '90s.
Shortly after he formed Living Legends with fellow Oakland natives Mystik Journeymen, the Grouch (born Corey Scoffern) established his solo discography with three LPs in as many years: Don't Talk to Me (1995), Nothing Changes (1996), and Success Is Destiny (1997). These albums, all released on Living Legends' Outhouse label, marked the beginning of an incredibly prolific recording schedule that would also find the Grouch doing his own production work. Fuck the Dumb (1998) and Making Perfect Sense (1999), along with various singles and EP releases, rounded out by the decade. It was around this time that Living Legends moved their base of operations from Oakland to Los Angeles, where a portion of its membership had originally resided before moving to the Bay Area.
The Grouch wasn't in the studio quite as frequently during the next two decades -- during which he settled with his family in Maui -- yet the wait between each one of his releases was never long, and was filled with production assignments and featured appearances. Among his true solo albums was Crusader for Justice (2003), which featured keyboards and guitar from his father, veteran Bay Area musician Stu Blank. The Grouch's tandem work continued to be carried out most often with fellow Living Legends member Eligh. The duo put together LPs such as Say G&E! (2009) and The Tortoise and the Crow (2014), both of which registered on the Billboard 200 chart. Other artists with whom the Grouch released full-length projects were Luckyiam (under duo alias the CMA), Zion I, and DJ Fresh, as well as Murs, another Living Legend. Thees Handz (2019) closed out the Grouch and Murs' third decade of making music with one another. ~ Johnny Loftus & Andy Kellman, Rovi