The beats on Greg Grease's late-2012 release Cornbread, Pearl & G are a decidedly fresh mix of smoky turntablist throwbacks, jazzy loops, and psychedelic textures, but they're just the trimmings for his meaty rhymes. A master of cadence, mood, speed, and content, the Minneapolis rapper could have released all of the tracks a capella and they'd still glisten. "For what it's worth, I might record this verse and trash it/So if you hear this track then you know it's magic," he says on "Do It to the Death." Both his recorded work and performances echo this level of scrupulous quality control. Narratives on inner-city violence, domestic struggle, and the assertion of one's greatness have been a staple of rap lyrics for decades, but in Grease's ever-rolling flow they're reborn.