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Phillip Bernard, better known as Grafh, was born in the southeastern section of Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, USA on August 23, 1982. This particular part of Queens had an especially notorious reputation. Phillip’s early years were spent in a climate submerged in the infamous crack wars of the 1980s. Attempting to avoid these pitfalls, a young Phillip took on rhyming as a past time. Unfortunately, street life would take charge in a way he never expected. A neighborhood mentor was gunned down right in front of Phillip; following that, he witnessed his father’s murder. With two close and sudden losses, Phillip was caught in a blend of mourning, rage, revenge, and a sense of providing a life for him and his mother. A rough time indeed, but he believed in the adage, “God never gives a burden too heavy to carry or overcome.” With the help of a friend of his father, Phillip was encouraged to stay clear of the perils of the street. The family friend asked Phillip to consider other careers with more certainty and longevity than rap music, even making him promise to finish school. But Phillip didn’t exactly keep his promise; with one foot in the street, his entire mind, body, and soul were dedicated to music.
At this time he took on the name Grafh, due to his talent for graphically painting pictures with his lyrics, and to insure his father’s friend didn’t hear of his street exploits and neighborhood rap battles. Grafh hit the rap circuit on a mission and it wasn’t long before word of Grafh’s raw talents reached the office of Black Hand Entertainment, a Jamaica, Queens based record label with strong street ties. Once the rapper and record label staff eventually met, Black Hand’s CEO was surprised: Grafh was Phillip and the CEO was Chaz Williams, the family friend who’d told the young man to stay away from trouble. He is featured on the soundtrack to Dame Dash’s Ultimate Hustler which is on BET.|
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