Sounding like a cross between a horror movie and an audio-documentary on societal breakdown, Grim Reality was among hip-hop's underground cult classics of the early 1990s. Insane Poetry divided this very over-the-top debut into a "Grim Side" and a "Reality Side"; the former is full of references to things like decapitation, dismemberment and satanism and finds the L.A. group rapping from the perspective of a psycho killer a la Hannibal Lector, John Wayne Gacy, Gary Heidnik or Jeffrey Dahmer. Poetry goes out of its way to be offensive, and sure enough, explicit offerings like "Angel of Death," "Bring Ya Daughter to the Slaughter" and the single "How Ya Gonna Reason with a Psycho" managed to offend everyone from feminists and Christian fundamentalists to some East Coast rappers (who argued that Poetry was giving rap the type of negative publicity it didn't need). But the CD's "Grim Side" should be taken for what it is -- wild, outrageous entertainment, pure and simple. Meanwhile, the "Reality Side" also thrives on shock value but offers more serious sociopolitical commentary. "One Careless Moment" is the disturbing account of an AIDS-infected woman who makes a point of having unprotected sex with male victims, while "Manic Depressive" describes a suicidal man who goes on a killing spree after being evicted from his apartment and getting fired from his low-paying job. Obviously, a CD this graphic isn't for everyone, but those who aren't turned off by all of the violent, shocking imagery will find Grim Reality to be compelling.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson