It’s always cool to hear how rhymers start out, be it Jay-Z beating on pots and pans or Eminem spitting venom at freestyle battles.

From scrappy Wells, Maine, a far odder tale has emerged. First Spose and, hot on his heels, Cam Groves have converted their shared burger-flipping lackadaise into hella-catchy verses and sold them to sophisticated bidders.

These guys have gotten this far by putting fire in their work ’round the clock and keeping the faith. While Spose has blazed the trail for the two, burning bright behind him is fearless Groves.

GO connected with Groves on origins, ambition and making your own mark as he prepped for Saturday’s monster show with Spose and Educated Advocates at Port City Music Hall.

How did you first learn to rhyme?

I started rhyming when I was 15. I first learned how to rhyme by simply being a large fan of rap music in the first place. Being such an avid listener kinda crafted what I liked and didn’t like when it came to rap music. Since then, it has been a huge learning experience on how to turn rhyming into a full, well-thought-out song.

What are they putting in the water in Wells that spawns aspiring MCs?

Ha, ha. Wells actually has an extensive roster of MCs that dates back beyond Spose and myself. When we were in high school, there were a couple older dudes that formed a rap group called The Parlous Pair. These dudes were pretty much the reason why Spose and I started rapping. I feel every small town has their local rapper; we just have a better vision.

What did you want to be sure to get right on your debut record, “Hope Something Cool Happens”? How has the effort been received so far?

The one thing I wanted to make sure I did with this release was make a strong debut into Maine’s hip-hop music scene. Being kind of a newcomer to the scene, I wanted my solo effort to make the following statement: “Hi, all 500 rappers in Maine, I’m Cam Groves and I make jams!”

So far, I feel it has been received quite well. I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback both online and at my shows. Also, I’ve gotten some good exposure/results on Maine radio, Bull Moose sales charts, and I even got a mention in Rolling Stone magazine. So it’s safe to say I succeeded in making a strong debut.

Talk about your relationship with Spose. How has he helped your career? Are you ready to make your own mark?

Spose and I have been close friends for about 10 years now, rapping being “the thing” that brought us together. Outside of writing rhymes, Spose taught me everything I know about recording, promoting, playing and marketing music (and even a few songwriting tips). Also, Spose has given me some good opportunities by letting me perform with him on a national level.

Though we’re part of the same team, perform and make music together, yes, I am ready to make my own mark. When it comes down to it, we’re both solo artists, so I’m working hard on material that might just help me make that mark.

What was your favorite show of the past year and why?

As part of the crazy tour I went on with Spose, we got to perform at the Bamboozle festival in New Jersey. This was the first time we shared the stage with huge national acts, which was crazy to even think about at the time. Here we were at this giant music festival that I would have paid to go to, only we get to rock the stage. It was nuts.

Who is the best living rapper?

I don’t think there is a best. There’s too many sub-genres and categories of hip-hop for there to be a best. I feel judging music is based mostly upon personal opinion. There was a day when I thought Eminem was the best; however, my opinion changed with his later work. This only proved to me that nobody is the best, and that we’re all human.

Can we expect any surprises on (the new CD) “Grovenistic?”

What you can expect from “Grovenistic” will be a collection of jams that are of course relatable to the everyday person, as well as witty rhyme-driving rap verses, as well as songs that contain more substance than those on my first release as well as a few interesting stories narrated in rhyme form, as well as a couple special guests. Sorry for the intentional run-on sentence.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.


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