Grieves Biography

Early Years

Benjamin Laub was born on February 23, 1984 in Chicago Illinois. In his early life, Ben's father would take him to Jazz and Blues clubs to listen to the music. Naturally this instilled music into his life at a young age. He later moved to Fort Collins, Colorado with his family and began to explore other music genres incuding Punk Rock and Hip Hop. At the age of 19, Benjamin moved to Seattle, Washington to pursue a career in music. Seattle, being known for it's diverse music scene, would propel Benjamin Laub (later to attain the stagename Grieves) into his career in music.

Budo & Rhymesayers

In Seattle, Grieves began honing his craft of Hip Hop music. In 2007, Grieves was successful in self-releasing his own debut album titled Irreversible. With the success of Irreversible, Grieves began to fund and book his own tours in order to grow his fan base all across the US. While in Seattle, Grieves paired with a producer and multi-instrumentalist known as Budo. Together, Grives and Budo produced 15 tracks of sample-free, melody-driven songs comprised into an album titled 88 Keys & Counting in 2008. Grieves' unique combination of singing and rapping, combined with Budo's addition of guitar, horn, and keyboard sounds, 88 Keys and Counting was met with outstanding reviews praising the talent that they brought to the table. 88 Keys and Counting was released by Grieves and Budo as a digital release as opposed to a CD.

On February 1, 2010 the well known group Rhymsayers Entertainment, (famous for acts such as Atmosphere and P.O.S.) announced that they had signed Grieves to their label. With the help of Rhymesayer's Entertainment, 88 Keys & Counting was re-released as a CD along with a new EP titled The Confessions of Mr. Modest. Both the re-release and new EP were released on March 2, 2010.

Inspiration In Tragedy

After two years of touring to support the album 88 Keys & Counting, Grieves encountered a horrible tragedy in his life. With the loss of his older sister Rebecca, combined with the dwindling high of his CD's success, Grieves was enduring a great deal of pain in his life. Grieves used this pain in his life to produce a deep emotional sound. He began to conceptualize a new album that would address the bond that music creates between individuals and how it brings us all together, as well as the strength that this bond has despite any emotional or physical distances between individuals.

After relocating to New York in the end of 2008 Grieves, with the help of Budo, co-produced Together/Apart. Budo's perfect instrumental support of Grieves' chilling lyrics made for deep sound to the album. Some of the songs of the album were recorded in Colorado (when Grieves had returned home to be with family) and Washington. By recording the songs of the album in three different regions, Grieves and Budo were able to instill vastly different regional influences in the album. The songs of the album covered the bond of music as originally planned, as well as subjects such as trust, addiction, and self-reflection. Released on June 21, 2011, Together/Apart was Grieves' most emotional and most personal album to date.


The newest album from Grieves and Budo, Together/Apart, debuted at #112 in the Top 200 Album Sales chart. This was Grieves' first appearance in the Top 200 chart, marking a huge success in his musical career. Most of the songs on the album solely feature Grieves' raps and singing. However, fellow Rhymesayers Entertainment artists Brother Ali and Krukid are featured in the tracks "Tragic" and "No Matter What". The opening track "Lightspeed" opens the album with a very mellow but heartfelt tone with lyrics that express the importance of just stopping and enjoying life. As the album progresses, the tracks get deeper and more emotional. SPIN magazine wrote about the second track, "Bloody Poetry", in which they wrote "Part inspirational pep talk, part therapy session, and part crooning song of devotion, the track shows off Grieves' lyrical dexterity and a bleeding heart." The unique combination of rapping and singing, combined with lyrics deeply rooted in emotion, aid in Grieves' success.

With the success of Together/Apart, Grieves and Budo were invited to start performing on much more prestigious venues. In 2011, Grieves and Budo performed at the South by Southwest music festival. In the Summer of 2011 they also performed at the Vans Warped Tour, a nationwide tour that spans two months of dates, boasts 40 or more well known bands, and has been running every Summer since 1995. The unique sound and feel that Grieves' brings to the table makes him one of the best rap artists to come out of Seattle in the past decade. Grieves music has been featured in SPIN, Seattle Weekly, and The Washington Post, and his success is not about to end.