While most rappers will swear up and down that non-constructive criticism rolls right off their backs, recent Rhymesayers signee Grieves is man enough to admit that, as irrational as it may be, the hate can sometimes sting. On EP cut Smile for the Blade, the Brooklynite takes aim at those who see his involvement in the music game as open invitation to tear him down, making clear that “You can chastise and blame me, but no matter what, you will never change me.” Budo provides an appropriately tension-fraught backdrop for Grieves’ impassioned flows, shifting from a jumpy chopped-sample hook to a pensive piano-loop verse groove to an ambient, synth-fueled bridge. With a theme that just about everyone can connect with (who hasn’t been on the receiving end of negativity at one point or another?) and some intriguingly intricate boardwork to boot, Smile will undoubtedly strike a chord with our resident underground heads. Grieves’ Confessions of Mr. Modest EP will be available from fifthelementonline.com March 2, packaged with a reissue of his Budo-produced full-length, 88 Keys and Counting.