This page is outdated. For updated bio, see Clifton’s autobiography The Life of Cliff G: Dog.
Clifton “Beef” Grefe was born on October 12, 1989 at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. The Midwest Renaissance Man, Wisco Cold, The One With The Words, Founder, Lead Performer and Editor-in-Chief of Basement Made was raised on the rural unincorporated Northside of Madison in a 2 bedroom house, with 2 Foster Parents and 2 Brothers, in the middle of cornfields – in Burke. Then the family moved to nearby unincorporated Token Creek – a part of Windsor and the Southside of DeForest. The 6O8 area code stayed the same. In one way or another, Beef has always had a passion for family, community and outdoors. He spent most of his time around the Neighborhood, on the Family Farms, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells, Black River Falls, Hayward and Chippewa Flowage, and Up Nort in The Northwoods or on The Land during his youth. They hung out with their family – on both sides – Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins, especially Corey Faherty, the Browns and Olsons, a lot. Corey got the guys into a lot of different critical thinking type scenarios, and introduced them to RPGs (Warcraft, Starcraft), Nintendo (Super Mario Brothers), card games (Star Wars, Magic The Gathering), biking, snowboarding, Frisbee, disc golf, music and comedy – especially Alien Ant Farm, Bloodhound Gang, Darude, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Weird Al and Seinfeld. His brother introduced Cliff to Nirvana. The family took trips in their van to many parts of the U.S., often times with a camper or boat attached to the back. When they fish, it’s usually for Panfish – Bluegill, Sunfish, Pumpkinseed, Crappe, Bass, Catfish, Bullhead, Northern Pike and Muskellunge. He also did some Crawfish netting at Silver Lake, and played a game similar to the future SlamBall. Of course, the fam and friends went to Packer, Badger and Bucks games. The parties took place in the basement, barn, out back, on the water, or on the block. They saw the Monster Trucks and Globetrotters at the Colosseum on the Westside. The Grefe’s went to Mount Rushmore and panned for Gold in South Dakota, saw the Buffalo, Groundhogs, Badlands, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountains, and a rodeo in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Colorado. The family saw Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Cliff and fam also went on a trip to the Cancún area where they 4-wheeled in the jungle and on the beach, saw the ancient ruins, shopped in town, enjoyed nightly performances, and went to Cozumel – where they did some scuba. They also went on trips to Minnesota, Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois – by train. The family has had several dogs, including 3 Golden Retrievers and 1 Husky. They also had a fish tank for a while, until the giant sucker fish got too big and ate everything else. The Grefe’s raised moths and butterflies from caterpillars, and helped injured birds back to health. One year, from school, they got a praying mantis to care for on their own. They also incubated chicks to hatch in class. Also through school, he also went to help clear brush at the Big Hill, saw the Ringling Bros., Henry Vilas Zoo, Devil’s Lake State Park, Blue Heron Wild Life Sanctuary, The Dells on a Duck tour, Cave of the Mounds. He went on business trips to Lake Geneva, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia – through DECA and FBLA.
His fam spent a lot of time giving back through church – helping out at service, planting trees, picking up trash, making Lefse, Lutefisk, Pie and other Norski dishes and pastries for suppers and smorgasbords. Cliff’s favorite color is Green and his favorite number is 2. Much of his fashion comes from athletic gear, clothing that his Mother and Grandmothers sewed for him, hand-me-downs from Cousins, garage sales, thrift shops, local retailers, folk, work and formal wear. He hails from a bloodline of highly educated, hardworking, artistic, tough, politically active farmers, teachers, local government, military and technical workers. Clifton was raised of Norwegian and German descent, was baptized and confirmed Lutheran.
The middle child started playing several sports at a young age. The Grefe family built their original hoop with 2x4s and plywood in their gravel driveway. They golfed across the lawn and into the park. Their friend Cody Smith was always there, and often Angela Schlobaum, Mike Spiess, Chance Sanford, Chad Ramos, Brett, Marie, Kyle Wesner and Eric Boikin. One neighbor was that of their Lutheran Pastor and the other of a Mormon family. They lived across the street from the park and a couple girlfriends – who had a fort built in one of their rooms from wood, pillows and carpeting. The Grefe’s had a big garden with – at one time or another – sunflowers, asparagus, cucumbers, green beans, dill, corn, squash, pumpkins, gourds, tomatoes, green peppers, radishes, cabbage, chives, rhubarb, apples, watermelon and raspberries. They tried not to cheat by using fertilizer and pesticides (keeping it organic), and still have a garden compost bin for biodegradable garbage. The Grefe’s can aka jar a lot as well, have pickled cucumbers, green beans and brussels sprouts, and made jams of many sorts. His Dad dried and made venison jerky as well. Although his parents grew and cooked a lot, they also got fast food and cooked up frozen dinners when they were worn out from work. This was often a fun experience for the kids too. So was pop, candy, playtime, games and toys. Toys were actually locked in a cabinet. These things had to be earned, as did money, and often with House or Yard Chores for Gold Stars or the new kind of Sticker. This pushed the boys to compete against each other. Sometimes the Grefe Boys pooled their earnings for a bigger item. Dad used strong words and occasional slap to the head to discipline. Mom employed sympathy and empathy, and wrote many love notes for the boys. She also spanked the boys when they messed up.
Cliff’s Mother was into flowers, his Father into trees. As a kid, the boy also competed in basketball, football and soccer. With his bros and friends around the neighborhood, and area, the kids also liked to explore, build, draw, paint, dance, whistle, hunt, fish, play in the mud, doon buggy, swim, hike, kayak, canoe, swing, merry-go-round, monkey bars, ladder, see saw, raft, ATV, snowmobile aka “sled”, sled, toboggan, bike, skate, ski, snowboard, tend to plants, animals and bugs, play cards, handheld games (including Paperboy and Tetris), Pogs, board games (Pictionary, Monopoly, Uno, Sequence, Taboo, Guesstures, Clue, Risk), Yo-Yo, Pokémon, Nerf Guns, Dress Up, Sega, Playstation, and eventually Xbox, card games (Solitaire, Euchre, Peek, Sheep’s Head, Old Maid, Canasta, Spoons, Speed, Up and Down the River, Rummy, Spades, Hearts, Crazy Eights, Go Fish, War), dominoes, create stories and games, wrestle, box and run. As kids, they’d often to to the Rollerdrome on Friday nights for skating and games. A friend from class, named Jordan Hyler, inspired him to start boxing, as did Brenton Wolter, Cade Anundson and Martin Binning. Muhammad Ali was one of his idols. The Jocks inspired him to lift weights. Eventually, he benched 185 in high school, started doing sets of 50 pushups and 100 situps, leg lifts and planks, ran a mile under 6 minutes, stretched nightly, and wrote out his own workout regimens. For several years, Cliff and a few of the guys got season passes to Cascade Mountain, sometimes even going after basketball practice. They also went on trips to the Upper Peninsula (UP) in Michigan – to Blackjack, Powderhorn and Indianhead – to Ski and Snowboard. This is how he met Peter Konopacki, Colin Droster, Jackson and Jip. Cliff has also done Rib Mountain, Tyrol Basin and Devil’s Head in Wisco, and Copper Mountain in Colorado. The area also played various Yard Games, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard, Beach Volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, Kubb, Croquet, Bocce Ball and Lacrosse.
The first records that Cliff and his Brothers listened to were ’70s and ’80s vinyls from his parents’ collection – Rock, Folk, Gospel, Blues, Country and Classical. He and his Bros jammed to Abba, Aerosmith, Ann Murray, Beethoven, Cheap Trick, Crystal Gayle, Deep Purple, Freddie King, Ike and Tina Turner, Joan Baez, Johann Strauss Jr., Journey, Judy Collins, Kiss, Lawrence Welk, Mahalia Jackson, Santana, Queen and ZZ Top in the basement. Cliff’s Mom played a critical role in his interest in music. An incredibly talented singer and multi-instrumentalist, she gave Clifton his ear. They sang in church just about every Sunday until Cliff’s confirmation at 16. This was about the only place that Clifton sang before Hip Hop. His Dad was more into Rock music. He had a lot of Cassettes. Cliff took Bass lessons for a few months but was more into writing and vocal performance. The Emo, Goth and Skater students were partly responsible for Cliff’s interest in Metal and Screamo. Tim Benson was a big reason for his continued interest in Metal. His friend Cord aka Coolie Smooth (of Chicago) got him pumping Drill music. Scott Trevorrow and Kjell Bakke sang a beautiful Ska-Punk dedication for a few local fallen comrades – Matt, Kass and Kyle – who passed in a tragic accident. Never forget. RIP the boys. Erik and Dustin “Wishbone” Wichmann got Beef interested in Punk and Ska (Blink 182 and I Voted for Kodos). Cynkar got him into Sum 41 and Lacrosse. Sam, Sedat and Dan were always on the newest Hip Hop.
Clifton is an Autodidact, and has always possessed an unrelenting thirst for knowledge. He taught himself how to read and is a self-taught Musician. A couple of his first books were Good Night Moon, Where The Wild Things Are, Winnie-the-Pooh, Frog and Toad are Friends, Oscar Otter, The Rainbow Fish, Are You My Mother?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dr. Seuss, and eventually comics, and A Wrinkle in Time, Moby Dick, Rascal, Wringer, Goosebumps, Jumanji, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and Star Wars. Cliff started finishing full novels in elementary school. A teacher took notice and began testing him weekly in the lunchroom. Cliff also developed a photographic memory, acute spacial reasoning, and picked up writing and rehearsing poetry at a young age – as a positive way to express both his beautiful and painful experiences. He started writing things down if they inspired him. In 4th grade, he won his first poetry contest (“How To Build A House”), basketball trophy (Tri-County) and mathematics competition (Math 24). After a short stint as Poo Trane, inspired by Winnie The Pooh and the Windsor Train, but misinterpreted as Gay by others, Cliff started going by Beefy Grefe around age 14 – which was often changed to Beefy G or Beef. The youngster started rapping over industry beats around 14-16, really just having fun with it and freestyling at first. Then the producer in him downloaded Fruity Loops and Audacity. He bought a cheap mic and the crew got to recording full records in his friend’s basement – in DeForest. They recorded in a spare room, known as Da Boof, and passed out at least 2 full tapes of crazy remixes upon the streets. The group would write for a while and then record – based on whoever was there and feeling it.
Cliff got into modern Hip Hop around age 10, starting with Will Smith’s Big Willie Style, Bow Wow’s Beware of Dog, Eminem’s Slim Shady LP and Ludacris’ Word of Mouf – on CD. He remembers playing Baha Men on a radio, ZZ Top and The Beach Boys on cassette, listening to the local Hot 105.9 Hip Hop (Janesville-Madison) station, 93.1 Rock & Hip Hop, and 94.1 Solid Rock Madison radio. Cliff eventually had a friend named Cory Delfosse burn CDs for him, which got him into downloading music of his own off Kazaa, and from other online communities like it. He got into Techno for a bit. Then he started making his own mixes and passing them out. He’d write for other people too, although it was pretty immature most of the time, like the Mad Libs he did on the bus. He was producing something though, and always kept a notebook. The Ticonderoga and Mirado were his favorite pencils to use. Bic pens. Young Cliff was also a fan of A Tribe Called Quest, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Rhymesayers, Black Rob, Beanie Sigel, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Young Buck, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, G-Unit, D-12, Shady Records, Bizarre, David Banner, Joe Budden, Kardinal Offishall, YoungBloodZ, Busta Rhymes, Biggie Smalls, Big Pun, Fat Joe, Krs One, Rakim, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Cassidy, Dipset, DMX, Ruff Ryders, Bone Crusher, Killer Mike, Memphis Bleek, Meech, 2 Pistols, M.O.P., RUN-DMC, MC Hammer, The Sugar Hill Gang, 69 Boyz, 2 Live Crew, Fabolous, Game, Gucci Mane, Wiz Khalifa, Hurricane Chris, Soulja Boy, Roscoe Dash, U.S.D.A, Boyz n da Hood, Young Jeezy, N.W.A, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Blackstreet, Lil Troy, Mos Def, Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Biz Markie, Kriss Kross, Eve, Vanilla Ice, Common, Consequence, GLC, Lupe Fiasco, Clipse, Pusha T, GOOD Music, Birdman, Lil Wayne, Mannie Fresh, Big Tymers, Cory Gunz, Young Money, Mims, Mobb Deep, Lil Flip, Nappy Roots, Grits, Nelly, Murphy Lee, St. Lunatics, Shop Boyz, Chingy, Coolio, Tag Team, P. Diddy aka Puff Daddy, Jadakiss, Ja Rule, Cypress Hill, Outkast, Andre 3000, Big Boi, Shawty Lo, Foxx, D4L, Lil Boosie, Pharrell, E-40, Keak Da Sneak, Missy Elliott, The Black Eyed Peas, Plies, Remy Ma, Lil Kim, Lil Mama, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, M.I.A., Three 6 Mafia, Juicy J, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Mase, Shyne, Alchemist, Big L, Gang Starr, Luniz, Timbaland, T.I., Tech N9ne, Strange Music, Scarface, Tupac, Twista, will.i.am, Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Khia, Digital Underground, LL Cool J, Jurassic 5, Juvenile, Trick Daddy, Petey Pablo, Huey, Salt-N-Pepa, Xzibit, Ying Yang Twins, Yo Gotti, Yung Joc, Young Dro, Lil Jon, and singers Akon, Alicia Keys, Aaliyah, Fergie, Matisyahu, Dido, Keri Hilson, Anthony Hamilton, Baby Bash, Bob Marley, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Cassie, Yung Berg, Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland, The-Dream, Ginuwine, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild, Joe, Jon B., J. Holiday, Cupid, Donell Jones, Afroman, Shaggy, Jeremih, Mario, Tyrese, Estelle, Frankie J, Lloyd, Mario Vazquez, Chris Brown, Ashanti, Gwen Stefani, Jordin Sparks, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Sean Kingston, Sisqo, Vanessa Carlton, 112, Jagged Edge, Boyz II Men, New Edition, Jamie Foxx, K-Ci & JoJo, Ricky Martin, Justin Timberlake, Justin Vernon, Lyfe Jennings, Montell Jordan, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Jesse McCartney, ‘Nsync, Boyz II Men, New Edition, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Colby O’Donis, Jay Sean, Ne-Yo, Prince, R. Kelly, Joe, Rihanna, Ciara, CeeLo, Sean Paul, Shakira, TLC, Brandy, Faith Evans, Pretty Ricky, Keith Sweat, Mario Winans, Bobby Brown, Bobby Valentino, B2K, Omarion, Marques Houston, Ray J, Loon, Brian McKnight, Babyface, Jodeci, Luther Vandross, Wyclef Jean, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Enrique Iglesias, Frank Ocean, Shai, Trey Songz, T-Pain and Usher. He rocked out to Metal and Hard Rock, and also Punk, Ska and Alternative Rock of many sorts, including Audioslave, Breaking Benjamin, Beastie Boys, Creed, The Roots, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Crossfade, Sevendust, Chevelle, Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Green Day, Gym Class Heroes, Hoobastank, Incubus, My Chemical Romance, Nickelback, Shinedown, Disturbed, Dope, Evanescence, Godsmack, Hinder, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Modest Mouse, Mudvayne, Muse, N.E.R.D., Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, Offspring, Rage Against The Machine, Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, P.O.D., Powerman 5000, Drowning Pool, Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, Rob Zombie, Rehab, Seether, Slipknot, Korn, Saliva, Staind, System of a Down, Trapt and Three Days Grace. Cliff has also developed a deep appreciation for ’60s Soul, ’70s Funk, ’80s Pop and ’00s EDM as well.
The Grefe’s didn’t have cable until they moved, but they grew up watching plenty of PBS and other Network shows including Barney, Lamb Chop, Reading Rainbow, The Joy of Painting, Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Magic School Bus, Recess, Woody Woodpecker, and of course Saturday Morning Cartoons, which was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Power Rangers, Mighty Ducks, Street Sharks and Transformers. Also, it was Care Bears, Scooby-Doo, Pokémon, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World, Friends, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Family Fued, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, The Price is Right, Home Improvement, The Red Green Show, The Steve Harvey Show, The Jamie Foxx Show, Celebrity Deathmatch, WWF/WWE, Disney, Sports and Walker Texas Ranger – on Sunday nights. Using a friend’s camcorder, Cliff and the homies also made short improvised Comedic films up to an hour in length. A few of their favorite comedians were Chris Farley, Katt Williams, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Eddie Murphy, Charlie Murphy, Jon Heder, Tom Hanks, Dave Chappelle, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama, Debra Jo Rupp, Kurtwood Smith, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Luis Guzmán, John Turturro, Jon Lovitz, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech & Chong, Jay & Silent Bob, Harold & Kumar, Ryan Reynolds, Jamie Kennedy, Neil Patrick Harris, Matthew Mcconaughey, Jeremy Piven, Pauly Shore, John Leguizamo, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Mark Wahlberg, Jerry Ferrara, Bob Saget, Lil B, Weird Al Yankovic and Andy Milonakis. He was generally into Comedy, Drama, Horror, Action, Gangster, Adventure, Mystery and Sci-fi films.
Beef’s close friend Sam “Dope” Hope (Iowa-Wisconsin) played an essential part in keeping the young’n sane, and getting him into entertainment. As kids, The Crew rapped about Guns, Abusing Women (and Men) and Drugs, buying expensive Designer Clothing and Jewelry on their first songs – as they were used to hearing and seeing rappers talk about those things. His other guys, and girls, were incredible in facilitating the creative process. Tim “T-Bens” Benson, Ryan “RCyn” Cynkar, Sedat “Sdot” Resad, Dan “Dirk” Clausen aka “Claus Boss”, Travis Wiley, Jared Miller, Erik “Schmitty” Schmitt, Jace “Tippin” Pippin, Kjell, John “JB” Brown, Brenton “B-Wol” Wolter, G.P. Foster, Jacob “Muthafuckin” Bartlett, Mike Johnson, Eric Weaver, Austin “Big City” Hatzinger, AJ Blanchet, Teague Harvey, Nate “Millertime” Miller, J.J. Clemmer, Travis Rotar, Travis Statz, Tyler Rauls, Ryan “Foz” Fosler, Andy “Coop” Cooper, Derek “Sok” Sokolowski, Tom Kirkland, Javonte “Jay” Walters, Zack “Wack” Wachowiak, Brel Hutton-Okpalaeke, Rebecca Hudson, Khamseng Yang, Steve Henning, Tim & Ashley LaRock, Nick Kilen, The Henrekin Brothers, The Franz Brothers and The Owen Brothers had the raps, chops and/or jokes. Pao Vang could draw.
Sam’s basement was famous. It was mostly freestyles at first but then they started writing. They also played Pool downstairs and played with Airsoft guns out back in the trees. They made jumps too, as did Cliff and his Brothers, in Deerfield, at the grandparents’. Cliff’s lady friends – especially Amber Elert, Brooke “B-Ray” Rayford (Fort Worth, Texas), Brooke (South Bend, Indiana), Jackie Hoffman, Kala Orcholski, Julie Cooper, Brandy Koltenberg, and girlfriends Angelica “Jel” Thairaummit (Beaver Dam) and Megan Diaz – got him into particular artists in Country, Pop, Rock, Hip Hop and R&B, dancing and even gymnastics. Megan also introduced him to the First Wave program, Defcee and Cydney at UW – during the Summer leading up to his Freshman Year. Mike Miller and Taylor Stofflet inspired him to dance harder, and to R&B, as guys. The courts, mall, arcade and bowling alley were often the spots. Some of the guys got discount cards one summer, from DECA, and played countless games of $1 bowling. Almost every year, someone would lay out a tarp ahead of time to watch “Rhythm n Booms” at Warner Park on the Northside of Madison. The Crew pushed to “invent” things. They competed against each other but came together as a unit.
Before coming of age, Clifton had done odd jobs for money, mostly in the family, at school, or up the road. Then he got his first occupation – on paper – during the week of his 16th birthday. Cliff drove a stick shift Dodge Neon and Toyota Camry. The young man picked up a gig as a seasonal Warehouse Stocker, moved on to become a Salesman and Cashier, Grocery Stocker – and after he was accepted to college – Doorman, Server, Busser, Bartender and Bar Manager, Radio Personality and Audio Engineer, Theater and Event Marketer, Journalist, Copywriter, Brand Ambassador and Social Media Rep. Cliff has also Bailed Hay, Landscaped, Gardened, worked Construction, Cleaned apartments, Built and Moved Furniture, Painted, Shoveled Snow, Mowed Lawns, Raked Leaves, Picked up Sticks and Pine Cones, Chopped Wood, Weeded, Sold Tickets, Electronics, Household Supplies, Blood and Plasma, Weed, and participated in Clinical Trials to make ends. He has won awards across many industries. The artist continues to sling his Music (Singles, Beats, Mixtapes and Performances), Writing, Recording, Engineering, Editing, and Apparel. It’s always been No Excuses from the young mogul.
Clifton has overcome mountains of adversity on his journey to the present, including hurdles over the Gangs, Drugs and Corruption during his youth in the 6O8. He and many of his friends have fallen victim, or casualty, to these forces. Cliff and his Brothers were teased as the The Nature Boys by some of their peers, and Clifton – Clifford The Big Red Dog. He was later called harsher names during adolescent years, including Skinhead, Hick, Mophead, Fag, Gay, Queer, Homo, Wigger, Nigger, Nigger-lover, White Trash, Poor, Scum, Slime, Bitch, Crazy, Psycho, Retard, Crazy, Hippie, Nut, Nerd, Punk, Nazi, Goofy, Corny, Cheesy, Loser, Fuckup, Bastard, Wannabe and Burnout, among many other things. Young Beef was afflicted with trauma-induced scoliosis – at his first job – unable to use the lift equipment as a minor, was falsely accused of stealing and refused a letter of recommendation – at his second. At 14, his Grandfather died on his Mom’s side, causing him a great amount of sorrow. The young man was arrested for the first time at age 16, for theft, by way of an anonymous tip, and was diagnosed with Depression and Bipolar Disorder – by different sources. Cliff has neither condition. However, he did start Drinking, Smoking, popping Mushrooms and abusing Pills (especially Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Codeine, Cold Medicine and Adderall), overdosing on Lean, talking to himself and losing his hair around this time. Cliff was assaulted by Police around age 18, resulting in permanent nerve damage to his left foot. He dented his shin and dislocated his right shoulder, trying to show off and do snowboarding tricks. Cliff dislocated his left elbow, trying to show off and dunk at practice, and developed Shin Splints and Tendinitis by playing sports year round. The varsity basketball coach benched Cliff for his last two years of high school ball, as a personal vendetta. Clifton was benched in Soccer for the last few games and suffered a terrible hamstring sprain at the start of his senior Track season, putting him on rehab for the rest of the year. Also, Cliff’s Mother and Brother were involved in near-fatal accidents in a short time span, causing Cliff a great deal of stress. Grefe developed Plantar Fasciitis from wearing too many shoes without arch support. He had Nightterrors, Epilepsy, Insomnia and Migraines on-and-off from around 16 to 23 – the time when he was taking Pills for pain and his alleged disorders.
Cliff has often embraced Family, Prayer, Art, Music, Games, Women and Environment through problems, and the student of life has always remained committed to his schooling, graduating with a 3.9 GPA at the nearby DeForest Area High School (DAHS) – in 2008. The student was a 7-time lettering athlete in Basketball, Soccer and Track & Field, a 3-sport 4-year athlete, and competed at the state and national level in DECA and FBLA. He was a Link Leader, Peer Court Judge, active member of National Honor Society (NHS), winner of the Mr. Norski talent show, Track & Field Spirit Award, Best Dressed, Accessorized and Perfect Attendance awards, and played some MATC summer league and AAU hoops – winning several tournaments (around Midwest) and an MVP Award. In hoops, he was inspired by his Father, and his guys, especially Stoltenberg, Nate Nassett, Kort Frank, Mike Bollig, Jared Konsella, Cody “Big Red” Johnson, Brandon Haney, Michael “MJ” Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Ray Allen, Bo Ryan, Dick Bennett, Devin Harris, Michael Finley, Brian Butch, Mike Wilkinson, Greg Stiemsma, Joe Krabbenhoft, Jon Leuer, Keaton Nankivil, Kirk Penney, Alando Tucker, Tanner Bronson, Wes Matthews, Michael Flowers, Trevon Hughes, Marcus Landry, Latrell Sprewell, Allen “A.I.” Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Jason Kidd, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, LeBron “King” James, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin “KG” Garnett, Sam Cassell, “Big Ben” Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Michael Redd, Larry Sanders, Dikembe Mutombo, Yao Ming and many others. He went to camps in Ripon, Menominie and Madison. He even received an offer to play in Australia. In football, his guys Chris “Stolty” Stoltenberg, Scott Fiscus, Colton Haas, Brenton Wolter, Tim Benson, Nate Miller and Justin Orrick inspired him, and many Packers, including Brett Favre. He remembers watching the Superbowl between Green Bay and New England in Super Bowl XXXI – in 1997. Cliff had to compete against a tough Amanda Long for the fullback position one year in football. He got an offer to play semi-pro wide reciever in Germantown when he was 18-19. Cliff was loved dearly by his family, most of his community and teachers – a celebrated Cheesehead, Norski, Badger and Wisconsin German. However, many singled out the Grefe family, and Clifton.
The young king was accepted into the globally renowned, but nearby, University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Fall of 2008 on 9 different scholarships. Originally, Cliff planned to study Mathematics, as he had already passed Calculus 2 in high school. He passed AP and AS courses in Psychology, Spanish and Accounting. He was always more into the Sciences, though. Cliff went on to take many Business, Communications, Humanities, Sociology, Psychology and Language classes at UW – finding interest in not one but several other areas. Beef bought a Macbook, hung a mic from his dorm ceiling, employed Garageband, and started recording out of Sellery Hall 5B aka Gillin House. Their floor drink was the Gillinger. His roommate Jake Kastner tried to get Beef to study and slow down on the drinking, but with the added excitement of Freshman Year, the new student wound up drinking even more. His other floormates were also extremely helpful, including Tony “T-Lazz” Lazzeretti, Donny “D-Ri” Riles, Scott Coleman, Kaylan Gray, Sam Petricca, Big Dan, Jessie Costello, Sonia Hansen, Sarina Singh and Caitlin Zablotney. At this time, Beef began mixing vocals more seriously, but was still playing around for the most part. He continued to write a lot, though. Unfortunately, Cliff also caught a bad sickness for several months, and when paired with a lot of drinking, problems at home, and the MTV show “College Life” being shot in his dormitory, he had a tough first year at UW. Cliff was placed on academic probation at least 3 times over the course of his college career, mostly the result of overdrinking.
Cliff remained resilient, and continued to put his mind to work, finding inspiration from a group of excellent people involved with the Network Marketing company Amway Global. They went on business trips to The Mil, Richmond, Virginia and Dallas, Texas. His buddies Danny Peterson, Paul Nelson, Mark Latif, Matt Cyrtmus and Samir Master were clutch. Rest in peace to Elliott Kane – a Madison-raised role model and Cliff’s team leader for some time. The so called Freshie was also recruited by the International Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta to become a Founding Father of the Mu Chapter at Wisconsin. According to recruitment, admittance to the Mu Chapter Alpha Class was only granted to those with references, a good academic standing and position in a collegiate org. Also, Phi Gams were known for recruiting “Fiji Gentlemen” and stood by the values: Friendship, Knowledge, Service, Morality and Excellence. They also had the lowest dues on campus. Growing up, Clifton knew virtually nothing at all of Greek Life, but when a highly-respected childhood friend and Amway business partner approached him about membership, Cliff was hard pressed to say no. The Colony Pledge Educator turned out to be Cliff’s baptizing and childhood Pastor. Mu raised more money for philanthropic causes than any other Greek chapter on campus. They also partied a lot. Clifton helped organize and inspire many events on the Philanthropy and Social Committees. Beef became known as the go to for playlists – as in high school. The new initiate immediately got to work and taught as Pledge Educator, lead as Vice President of his pledge class, and wound up chairing the Trick or Treat with the Greeks event for several years, and running more miles than anyone else in the yearly Ball Run. The Ball Run is a yearly run from Madison to Minneapolis, or vice versa, along the road, with the game ball. Sponsors donate for the efforts. At this time, most donations went to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Later, some would go to USO. Phi Gams grilled out, held dances, went swimming off the dock, played bags, took a trip to a pumpkin patch and corn maze, and occasionly played a game called Whales Tales. Cliff also participated in the Humorology aka “Humo” for a semester. Also, David Mort and Clifton took a trip to Land O’ Lakes in Wisconsin, where the two did some Jet Skiing, and went up to the Upper Peninsula to play some $5 Blackjack at an area Casino. Some of the Brothers went to Troy Marks’ lakehouse on Lake Geneva for one 4th of July. On another 4th, Cliff and a few of his 5B floormates went up to the northern Braynard, MN. A couple years later, he and his girl, and Tony, hit up Chicago for the event.
It was through the fraternity that Cliff met producer Quincy “Kwalae” Harrison of Bloomington, Indiana. The two connected on several levels, and had both already decided to move into their fraternity house during its inaugural year. After settling in, they adopted the name Zooniversity Music – in hopes to craft a Positive, Fun and Ironic sound that would connect their smaller Midwestern communities with larger Badger crowds, and the rest of the world. Since the house was new to their chapter, there were several vacant rooms, and the two were able to flip one of them into a makeshift studio. Quincy and Cliff went on a couple trips to Bloomington aka The Bloom in Southern Indiana. One was with fellow fraternity mate Paul Fass – who helped out a lot with fine tuning the sound. They recorded out of a rented office space over Spring Break once, and hit the IU campus to promote. With J.T. “Candyman” McWilliams, later SpeakEasy, and Deveron Crews aka D. Crews, and Jay, the crew went on a road trip to Minneapolis, where they recorded in an in-house studio and at Minneapolis Media Institute (MMI) – a space that Prince apparently used. Unfortunately, the files were lost, but the unit get to see the studio and Dinkytown.
The rap duo quickly released their first single, “Coastie Song (What’s A Coastie)” – a love ode for privileged female student transplants – on Myspace in October of 2009. Going by the names Quincy and Beef, the duo promoted the record using alternative grassroots Social Media and Guerrilla Marketing techniques, which built buzz up to 15,000 plays before they uploaded the song to YouTube (300,000). Beef started making picture-videos for the group’s songs – using Garageband. The record gained widespread attention and sparked national controversy concerning the cultural divide between Wisconsin (and the Midwest) and the Coasts (and Chicagoland). The song was a celebrated sensation throughout the Midwest and East Coast – although some Media outlets (including Hip Hop) called the artists Drunk, Garbage, Racist, Trash, Xenophobic, Anti-Semitic and the song a Parody. They condemned the White Boys for Acting Black, insisting that the pair Hang themselves by Noose and Stop Rapping, among other things.
Clifton’s first ever single was featured by Capital Times, Isthmus, The Badger Herald, NBC 15, WKOW 27, WTDY, WJQM, WSUM, WJJO, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, OnMilwaukee, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed, Examiner, UPI, Washington Monthly, Forward.com and Boston.com. Alex Truong, of Phi Gamma Delta, gave the guys some of their first coverage. UW and Madison College professors have called on the song in lecture material. A couple girls shot a fan video for the record. Another artist recorded an acoustic remix. A trio of young ladies from the Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) sorority at UW-Madison recorded a remix to the record titled “What’s A Sconnie?” Taylor O’Doherty aka Tay Tay O’Day headed up the group. Opportunities started to pour in. According to Q, Chicago, Illinois singer R. Kelly offered to jump on the remix, if Quincy and Beef payed him $250,000, or it could’ve been $500,000. He also said Rafael Casal (Berkeley, California) of UW-Madison’s First Wave Hip Hop Scholarship Program offered to shoot a music video for $1,000, and New York rapper Mims offered to do a feature for $1,000. Cliff was obviously misunderstood, and didn’t have that kind of money, so he and Q kept pushing forward.
Quincy and Beef crafted the “My Biddy” record for the University of Wisconsin – Madison Chancellor on Valentine’s Day. Sam Petricca of The MadHatters acappella group offered his vocals to the mix. With roses, the duo hand delivered the song to Biddy Martin’s doorstep. She graciously accepted, inviting them to her holiday party at her house. The record was a hit around town, and was later covered by Wisconsin State Journal and Isthmus, who largely praised the record, but also said that some would find it Offensive. The Zoo’s first project, a 7-track Red Zebra Exhibit EP, was released in the Spring of 2010. VibeToThis posted.
Moving on, Beef spent the Summer recording and filming with Quincy for their first music video “Teach Me How To Bucky” with Cascia Productions. He started bouncing around this time too at the Nitty Gritty Birthday Bar. Quincy and Logan Cascia edited the movie and sound. Beef also dropped a popular “Black & Yellow” remix, called “Red & White”, in response to Wiz Khalifa’s popular record. Zooniversity premiered the TMHTB video on the Jumbotron at the UW Homecoming game. The Cinematographer was working at Camp Randall, and had the plug there. The Cali Swag District remix features many campus celebrities including UW chancellor Biddy Martin, marching band director Mike Leckrone, many football athletes and local celebrity Piccolo Pete. The duo performed at various venues, and did a wild show with Madison local DJ group Dirty Disco Kidz and Hip Hop band Star Persons for “Nightmare on State Street 2” at The Orpheum – on Halloween.
Although intended to show positive Wisconsin state and collegiate pride, the Zoo caught shade upon the video’s release from both their university and its athletic department for copyright infringement. However, according to Q, after the two entities understood that the music video was the best free promotion they’d ever receive (over 2,200,000 plays on Youtube and national press), both parties agreed to promote it and sell the shirts. Particular outlets also complained that the video was Too White, wrote the artists off as Goofy creators of a Spoof, and insisted that the artists Die. There were also rumors that Zooniversity Music was being sued by Cali Swag District, but as far as Beef was told, this was not true.
Regardless of the continual media bias, and attempted sabotage from others, Clifton drew far-reaching attention and created national dialogue – once again. “Teach Me How To Bucky” was featured on many national and local platforms, including Capital Times, Isthmus, The Badger Herald, NBC 15, WKOW 27, OnWisconsin, Triple MMM, WJQM, WJJO, WTDY, WSUM, Marquette Wire, UW-Green Bay News, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Deadspin, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Northwestern, Examiner, Bloom Magazine, Dallas Observer, Bustle, The Journal Times. The record also made “The Best Madison Music Video of 2010” by Isthmus, was awarded “Video of the Year” at the annual Madison Area Music Awards (MAMAs), and ran as the #1 song on local Hip Hop station 93.1 JAMZ (Madison-DeForest, former 105.9) for many weeks.
In December, Zooniversity dropped the “Jimi Thing” record with an open verse, inviting other artists to record their own version – as a competition for the final feature spot. Later in the month, Badger Trips recruited the artists to promote their Rose Bowl trip in Zooniversity’s original video series “Zooday Tuesday”. In exchange, the duo performed on a private jet from Madison, Wisconsin to Los Angeles, California on December 30. Tension arose between the two artists due to Beef’s frustrations with the vulturing, self–serving producer over several issues, especially financial. Beef and Rio Escobar set up the “Beerpong Champions” collaboration between The Zoo and Madison’s Soldier Click in late January. The multi-faceted Escobar filmed, edited and performed on the straight-to-video record. Then the two parties dropped the visual the following month. Beef also dropped an “Activate My Heart” remix with Sun Prairie’s D. Crews. Universal removed the Youtube version almost immediately. Zooniversity dropped their last record on 4/20/11 called “Just Relax”. Many local artists had recorded verses to the “Jimi Thing” beat, and Beef wanted to use one of theirs for the track, but Q chose to release the official version with West Coast Frat Rapper Loggy instead. Pardon The Swag Music, Great White Shark, DML.fm and VibeToThis posted the “Just Relax” record. Although The Zoo split at this point, Zooniversity Music drew the first major attention to Wisconsin Hip Hop since Coo Coo Cal in the early 2000s. The two had about 50 unreleased records, according to Q. Their last performance took place on a crane boat, alongside J.T. Roach and Alexandra Offerdahl, on Lake Mendota.
Since, Beef has been pursuing his solo career, which has gone in a much more personal direction. He spent the next few months teaching himself to engineer using Logic Pro, a mini-Keyboard and Akai MPD. He also delivered a verse on local Fitchburg native J.T. Roach’s “If It Kills Me” R&B record, which has since been reworked several times. Roach would sign to Redbull Records alongside Harrison. Beef dropped his freshman solo tape Chapter 1: The Sun & Moon – a two-sided project of originals, consisting of 11 SUN and 11 MOON tracks – on October 31, 2011. The SUN records reflect the conscious, soulful side of the artist and the life that everyone had grown used to seeing during the day. The world had heard this bright side of the artist through his past group. On the MOON side, Clifton reveals the darker side to his life and what he hadn’t covered in his more structured group. He also started bartending around this time, and continued to experiment with Cocaine, Xanax, Molly, Opium, Whippets and Snus – as inspired by stereotypical frat life. In his opinion, Snus is better than Chewing Tobacco. Again, in moderation. Sadly, one member quoted another as saying, “He would die before using a condom”. Stereotypical Frat talk like Eskimo Bro, Frat Bro, So Frat, Total Frat Move, Run Train, Pound, Smash, Smush, Annihilate, so on and so forth, continued to be a part of the rhetoric – as continued after high school – which poured into the music somewhat, but not as much. Generally, members were of high caliber.
Director Beef set up the music video for the project’s first single, “Travel Light”, which was filmed and released in the Summer leading up to the Autumn drop. The reflective Boom Bap record features additional vocals from Candice Duarte and production from Madison Media Institute (MMI) graduate Michael Cooper. The first 15 tracks were released on the artist’s Bandcamp page. He secured feats from locals Kane-O, Reign (Reigny Day), Deken Frost (Star Persons), Swisha Vendetta aka Veezy of Rockford, IL, D. Crews, ¡Oye!, and Marvy Marv of Madison’s Track Team Music (TTM) for the tape, and received production help from hometown heroes Cooper, Reign and Platinum-selling DJ Pain 1. Both sides are introduced by a spoken word interpretation from Beef. Together, all 22 tracks represent the first chapter of Beef’s life – Chapter 1. Soon, College-of-Music posted, as well as Fusion Mixtapes.
After a difficult Winter overcoming a confrontation with his suburban New York roommate – who continually disrespected Clifton’s family, friends, work and music – Beef was arrested, missed Christmas, was forced to move back home and lose touch with much of his Fraternity. The New Yorker lied to the Police, Judge, University and Fraternity about what transpired. At his bar jobs, Cliff’s bosses recognized his talents, but often refused to play his music, and made him do a disproportionate amount of the grimy jobs. Beef still made it back to UW by the following semester. By May 2012, the artist was Producing, Promoting and Headlining the “Mifflin Kick Off” event with Kid Ink at Orpheum Theatre, with Freddie (Minnesota) of WDYWN. Clifton was working for 93.1 JAMZ of Midwest Family Broadcasting at the time, so he also hooked up an interview at the station with JD Garfield. Cliff also assisted with the Big Sean concert at the “Taste of Madison”. He’s been to many Wisconsin area Hip Hop shows, and a few in Los Angeles. Basement Made and WDYWN featured local artists Soldier Click, DJ Pain 1, Shah, Deck Ent, Veezy, D. Crews, Candice Duarte and Kane-O in the lineup. Darnell Smalls and Jay worked security. Tony Sanchez flipped the footage of the performance into a video for the rock-influenced “Eyes Low”. No significant violence occurred at the show, nor did any at Clifton’s previous performance with Dirty Disco Kidz at the same venue.
He dropped the “Skittlin (remix)” on April 15, 2012 in response to Kanye’s “Cold (Theraflu)”. Beef saw further recognition for his work the following Summer. RAWartists: Madison nominated the “Coolin” video for “Ensemble 2012”. Excited, but disappointed that it was a Pay-to-Play operation, the artist was pressured out of doing the show. Clear Channel’s Z104 later nominated Beef as the station’s first ever “Artist of the Month” (but never posted article). The remaining 7 songs were released as a re-up, entitled Chapter 1: The Eclipse, on August 15, 2012 with “The SUN” and “The MOON” visuals. He debuted the merch on the brand new Basement Made platform. He took up the motto “it all started in the basement…” at this time because it’s where he grew up listening to and creating his music and productions. The Mission: to get Clifton, Wisconsin, the Midwest and other intelligent, talented artists and craftsman – prosperity – in America. WIhiphop shared one of the videos on their platform. Beef featured on Kane-O’s “Live Now Die Never” record – a Weightless production (beat by Michael Cooper, video by Tony Sanchez, words by 6O8 artist) – in August. Then it was onto the “Backpacks & Tattoos” remix of the “Snapbacks and Tattoos” song. He also offered a verse on a Winner’s Circle (Sun Prairie), and SpeakEasy (California by way of Sun Prairie by way of Minnesota), “I.D.K.” record. Another complete 6O8 collaboration, Quaibozz made the beat, Winner’s Circle the hook, and Beef and SpeakEasy – the verses. Clifton also hopped on the Dr. Dre beat and dropped it as “Beats by Dre Commercial”.
The GRIME TAPE
Cliff dropped his sophomore project on April 4, 2013, while working to finish up his double major in Sociology and Spanish at UW-Madison. His girlfriend at the time, Britney Klaetch (Fond Du Lac), who cared for him deeply and introduced him to Fon Du Lac, unfortunately broke up with him on the day – sending the near-graduate into a bender. While he was drunken stumbling, Cliff broke part of his right foot. He also blacked out and got his nose broken in a barfight. The Chapter series is an autobiography, delivered through smart, lyrical, tightly tailored music. The Grime style is all about living in the lows, getting wild, turning up and not holding anything back. Production changed on this project, after Beef began composing more of his records, and working heavily with Michael Cooper. He featured Marvy Marv, Dflo, D. Crews and Yung Saint on the project, and grabbed additional production from Cooper, Madison’s Victory and Captain Hook. The GRIME TAPE was originally to be released exclusively as a mixtape, but since all of the music was original, it was posted for sale on iTunes in early 2013. Beef later posted it for free download on his SC.
Beef continued to study Hip Hop while in college, House and EDM, and began making playlists on his computer – utilizing the internet and social media more, especially Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud and Pandora. He always took time to remember the greats. Some of his favorite rising artists were Drake, The Weeknd, King Louie, Tory Lanez, Big Sean, Chevy Woods, K Camp, Kevin Gates, Post Malone, Verse Simmonds, G-Eazy, Mike Posner, Nicki Minaj, Bei Maejor, Kid Ink, 2 Chainz, New Boyz, Audiopush, Jon Connor, Tyga, Freddie Gibbs, Machine Gun Kelly, Prof, Allan Kingdom, Chance The Rapper, Lil Durk, Lil Reese, Chief Keef, Rockie Fresh, DeJ Loaf, Kid Cudi, Chip Tha Ripper, Royce Da 5’9″, Slaughterhouse, J. Cole, Action Bronson, Kirko Bangz, Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Future, Migos, Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, Logic, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Murs, Nipsey Hussle, The Fugees, Wale, B.o.B, Charles Hamilton, Mac Miller, Hit-Boy, Travi$ Scott, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Joey Bada$$, Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., Cyhi the Prynce, Asher Roth, Curren$y, Yelawolf, Jay Rock, Donnis, Yung L.A., Waka Flocka Flame, O.J. da Juiceman, Trinidad James, Rae Sremmurd, Bobby Shmurda, YG, Hopsin and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. In Wisco, he started to get more into local emcees. Before, Beef had listened to Madison’s Profound, Joe Flowroshus, F.A.B, AA, The Crest and DJ Pain 1. Then he got into Chaos NewMoney, 3rd Dimension, Smokes, Anthony Lamarr, and Milwaukee Hip Hop with Pizzle, Klassik and The Cranberry Show – who were coming up, and UW First Wave Hip Hop with Defcee (Oak Park, IL), J Dante (Chicago), ¡Oye! (Milwaukee), Phonetic One aka P1 (Minneapolis) and Rafael Casal – who placed The Zoo on one of his sites. Also VJ Wesley, Sean Smart and Moses. Clifton also explored singers Damien Marley, Miguel, Taio Cruz, Pleasure P, Fantasia, Avant, Ty Dolla $ign, Kevin McCall, Bruno Mars, Justin Vernon, New Kids on the Block, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Adele and Skylar Grey. His girlfriend at the time, Leah Weipert (Stillwater, MN), introduced him to Vegetarianism, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, The Beatles, and some aspects of Buddhism and Horoscopes.
The student graduated from the UW-Madison in May of 2013, earning a Double Major in Sociology and Spanish from the prestigious university, and receiving a nomination from Esty Dinur (by way of Russia and Israel) at Wisconsin Union Theater – for “2013 Compelling Graduate Story”. He learned a lot about World Music at his position there, took photo and video, edited, took notes on webinars, and ran certain social media channels. Cliff also dominated in competitive basketball, football, soccer and volleyball leagues. He served as Marketing Chair of Kick It To Cancer, helping orchestrate one of the orgs’ first large scale campus event at his fraternity house. Cliff also gained experience through Service-Learning courses at UW, overseeing the English-Spanish bilingual Southdale afterschool program, and working the fraternity Halloween event for a few years in a row – with kids. Also, Cliff and his First Year Interest Group (FIG) worked together to organize one of the area’s first health screenings (at a food pantry) at S.S. Morris Community AME on the Eastside of Madison. Khamseng Yang and Nate Miller – of DHS – were in this unit too. He and the squad researched many 6O8 based pantries and churches before coming up with the plan. Cliff spent his graduation day in detox, after partying the night before.
The alumnus unveiled the visuals for “Smörgåsbord” in the Summer of 2013. Beefy directed and produced the video in a downtown Madison arts facility. Tony Sanchez shot and edited the music video. WIhiphop posted, and later Midwest Loud followed suit. In June, an uplifting multi-ethnic collaboration with Christian, Gospel-Soul-Hip Hop Singer and Civil Rights Leader Anthony Lamarr, Mad City emcees Smokes and D.L.O. The Iceman, engineer Scott Lamps, Grammy-nominated Joey Banks and decorated cinematographer Trevor Banks – called “Elevation” – lead to a music video at Blue Mound State Park, in the Winter, and awarded Beef with his 2nd Madison Area Music Award – which would later lead to a Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award nomination. The crew performed the collaboration at the Overture Center for the Arts during the MAMAs. Beef dropped the Big Sean – “BEWARE” and Problem – “Can’t-Stand-Ya” remixes in September, and the “NO SHAME” collaboration and dedication with the 6O8’s Spencer Zue and Superior Webbs – at the end of December. RIP Zue.
The time frame of Chapter II: Double Major stretches from the final years in Clifton Beef’s college career to the present. His latest album is to be composed of many EPs, of different styles, that piece together to tell the full story. Chapter 2‘s first single “Oh Lord” features local lyricist Carter Jordan and production from Michael Cooper. The introspective record was released straight-to-video in November of 2013. WIhiphop posted, and eventually Midwest Loud. Too Shade of Superior Webbs, a local artist, shot the film in Token Creek. The second single “Dear Britney,” was revealed a few months after, followed by a more cooled out “The One That Got A Way”. Too Shade did the beat and Cooper mixed it. Both songs were written about females that made a lasting impression on him. Beef performed the tracks at The Wisco, alongside Pledge Empire Records, on Madison’s East Side.
The Midwest Renaissance Man reached the pinnacle of his Alcoholism in 2014, after having just got off papers, again, marking the end of a 10-year on-and-off balancing act with one problem, but stressing another. He was also involved in a car wreck, drunk driving, and hasn’t had a car since. His hard drive crashed for the 3rd time. He kicked it with a few friends – Chris Hayes, Drew Simmons, Christian Alcorta aka C.A., and Kevin Bailey – for a while, who kept him going. Cliff signed up with 3 Staffing Agencies in Madison but none of them found him a job. The artist moved back in with his parents, and traded off bouncing from job to job, battling the bottle, releasing little music. But inspired by his Mother, Lil Bro, crumbling and destroyed relationships, Cliff realized that he needed to change. He put down the juice on December 1, 2014, while still bartending full time, and hasn’t had a sip since (minus one mishap). However, the Wisconsinite does recognize Alcohol as a big part of his culture – that many have died protecting – and does not condemn it for others that do not suffer from a similar condition.
Over the previous couple of years, Beef had also attempted to book many Madison and area venues, but all turned him away due to supposed Violence from Local Hip Hop. The artist and recent UW alumnus tried to organize a yearly large scale UW-sponsored concert but was told it wasn’t in the budget. The following school year, UW launched the “Revelry Music Festival” as the annual UW-sponsored concert, putting largely Industry and First Wave acts on stage, instead of a mix of local and industry. He interviewed one of their representatives, but after hearing their lack of local music knowledge, he began rigorously applying for positions in business – domestic and foreign (through AIESEC) – seeing a gig in a big city market as the key to connect the industry to the local scene. Cliff went far in interviews with companies in Norway, Czech Republic, Serbia, Hungary, Singapore, China and Taiwan – but every time the VISA situation proved to be too complicated. He was also offered positions in Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Peru – but they didn’t pay enough to live on.
After a tough year, a few standalone tracks and instrumentals, Beef got the plug from Justin Hunte (of South Carolina) and made the move to California in early 2015. He dropped 3 jobs and nearly everything he had in Madison – on 3 weeks notice – to pack up and ship out to the HipHopDX (Canada-New York-Los Angeles) office in Hollywood, California for a 3-month Hip Hop Editorial Internship. Out of the hundreds upon hundreds of jobs and internships that Clifton applied and submitted to, DX was the only American company to offer Clifton a job outside of hospitality and manual labor. He stayed on SpeakEasy’s floor for his first month in California, in Anaheim, taking the Metro an hour and a half to work (both ways). Then he moved to a so-called Student-Artist community, in Franklin Village, in Hollywood. This was virtually his only option. As an intern, Cliff worked 1 month in Editorial, News and Audio/Video, met Glasses Malone, Dubb, Audiopush, Krayzie Bone, Bei Maejor, Dizaster, No I.D., was the #1 contributor, and was offered a Freelance Contributor position following his trial period.
Cliff accepted the job, picked up a social media rep position at The FADER, as well as acting, and other freelance gigs, and re-launched the Basement Made platform – with some help from a couple friends at the house he was staying at. He began making a name for himself in LA as a Rapper-Journalist. His piece on the subject is now a top 3 result in Google. Rather than simply posting or criticizing, Clifton Beef is known for his Local Wisconsin Speak, Vast Vocabulary, Brutal Honesty, Progressive Social Commentary, Poetic Flow, Extensive Research, and Knowledge of the Independent Artist. He has published at several periodicals, over 250 articles to DX and 1,000 to Basement Made – placing more Wisconsin and Midwest artists than virtually everyone on Earth.
While interning at DX, Beef typically returned from his 9-5 at the office to work all night in his makeshift garage studio in Hollywood. The house he stayed at is a story of its own (ran by two men from Florida and one from Colombia), but starting with “It’s Your Move” on August 8 of 2015, Beef was back to dropping music. HipHopDaily.net posted. The artist followed the uplifting, self-produced Michael Medall collaboration with the Cooper-made title track “Off Papers / Double Major”, and a self-produced, one-take “Anything If Nothing”. He dedicated the “Outer Space” collaboration – with Anthony Lamarr and Michael Cooper – to fallen emcee Phonetic One, producer Zue, Kelsey Olson, and those in distress – via HipHopDX. The Badger Herald and Daily Cardinal later picked up the story. Next, Beef uncovered a couple more heartfelt records – “Old Thompson & Marb Reds” and “The Only Thing Left Is Religion”. He made the first beat and Victory did the second.
Then, Beef penned a huge piece called “Madison Hip Hop Needs Renaissance To Pop”. The article drew wide reaching support, but also criticism for its straightforwardness – particularly from the on-air personality Brian Holmes (Florida) of 93.1 JAMZ – who said Clifton was an Ego-Driven Narcissist who has actually achieved next to nothing.
On December 15, 2015, the artist premiered the music video for “Off Papers” and the spoken word campaign video for “Basement Made”. Beef directed and produced the music video with local talent Colin Droster – of Drawstring Productions – who previously featured a studio performance of Clifton’s “Homemade” record in his Focus Boardshop premiere of the Snowboarding-Local Music piece entitled “CHEEZ : Local Produce From Wisconsin”. Former DX multimedia manager James Kreisberg (of New York) edited the film. On this day, Clifton also slated Chapter II: Double Major for a 2016 release. A month later in the Winter, he would deliver The Hustle EP via Basement Made on January 15, 2016. Clifton produced half of the project, Michael Cooper did the other. Both HipHopDX and GetYourBuzzUp picked up the project.
The Fall In
Next, Beef debuted an EP for the ladies called The Fall In on February 22, 2016. This was his first R&B record, and modeled the project after the 3 kinds of love most familiar to him: Love, Lust and Leisure. The artist ties each record to a part of day, crafting one as a morning record called “Sushi & Eggs”, one for the afternoon called “Good Brain”, and one for the night, he named “Nightswim”. Madison’s Michael Cooper delivers production, Oklahoma’s Tony Chaney the guitar, J|D (Orange County), and Charles White (D.C.) the vocals.
Clifton penned the massive feature called “The Wisconsin Soul: The Best Rappers Out The Badger State” aka “The Hottest Rappers On The 2016 Wisconsin Music Scene” to HipHopDX on March 24, 2016 – about a year from when he started his internship at the publication. His work was widely embraced throughout Wisconsin and America. Namely, Beef spoke to IshDARR, Trapo, Ra’Shaun, Pizzle, WebsterX, Wave Chapelle, 3rd Dimension, Von Alexander, Sean Smart, Rahn Harper and Bankx for the feature. The dynamic piece is now the #1 result in Google for “Wisconsin Hip Hop”, and top 3 for “Madison Hip Hop” and “Milwaukee Hip Hop”. Surprisingly, the artist was also met with attacks and false accusations from some of the artists he placed – IshDarr, WebsterX, Reggie Bonds, Klassik, B. Ortiz – all of whom previously supported. Also Charles Grant. And from the white collar side came journalist Dylan Houghton of Daily Chiefers (Florida), Tone Madison (Scott Gordon of Florida and Michael Penn II of suburban D.C.), and Janice M. Voigt.
A day later, Clifton released the visuals for “Good Brain”, a feel good smoker song. The Multi Directed, Produced, Performed and Co-starred in the music video – alongside actress Nicole Samra (California). The Cali native pushed him to get his website in order, take more photos, freelance outside writing, and listen to ’80s Rock and Pop. Beef recorded the new song with globetrotting singer Leona Harper back in Madison and later wrapped it up in Cali. This was also the first music video he edited himself. He uses Final Cut Pro. Get Your Buzz Up supported once again. Houghton of Daily Chiefers posted the “Nightswim” record (but would later delete article).
Clifton, drawn thin from stress and malnutrition, and missing an opportunity to join a couple of recovered addicts to AA (from Nebraska), he turned to the Ambien “Blue Pill” (after he was given a mixed bag of pills from a housemate returning to Tennessee), and he collapsed on the cement in early April. There was also Alcohol, Cocaine, Cough Syrup, Molly, Xanax, Acid and Prostitutes, among many other stereotypical Hollywood things, in heavy rotation at the house – pushing the recovering addict to relapse, but before and after the incident with the Blue, Cliff has stayed away from everything but the safe “Red Pill” Ibuprofen. Luckily, the legendary artist was only knocked unconscious, and lost his front 2 teeth, but he also found this a good time to unveil The Depression on 4/16/16. Cliff expresses the importance of the numbers 2,4 and 16 with the release. As survival and career advancement have been exceptionally difficult for the young artist, he has had to formulate numerical – and at times paradoxical or parabolic – plans and explanations for the progression of his life. He explains the importance of God, Math, Work and Art in overcoming Drugs and Depression on the project.
Around this time, Beef also uncovered the music video for “Old Thompson & Marb Reds”. Arcani of ATM Visuals did the edit. Cliff had recorded the song 2 years prior in 2014, 2 years since his last stint in any sort of rehab, although it was DeForest, Wisconsin’s Jacob Weisenburger who added the final vocal touches to the mix in Hollywood, and Michael Cooper who did the engineering. The artist realized, at the time of release, that he was in sunny California – 16 months sober, living life off his “Bars”. Currently, Cliff tries to keep his medication as natural as possible, while avoiding pills. He believes that Vitamins, Herbal Supplements, Caffeine, Weed, Tobacco, Alcohol, Ibuprofin and Adderall are fine separately and in moderation. Mushrooms are fun in safe natural places, and again, in moderation. Drugging and Roofying others is never permissible, especially when it’s put upon others with rhetoric or slight of hand. Cliff has abused drugs and suffered psychological attacks, but also recognizes the importance of medicine. He tries to keep his diet as healthy as he can (veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, starches, fish, red meat and sugar if he feels like it), but also as affordable as possible. He likes Milk a lot, and sometimes a perfectly crafted mix with chocolate. Really, anything with Cinnamon. Also Green Tea. Steak, Potatoes, Pastries and Ice Cream calm him down. Cheese, Sausage, Tomatoes, Chips, Pickles and Salads are a few of his favorite things to snack on.
On April 18, 2016, Clifton “Beef” Grefe was added to Wikipedia.
The artist was also nominated for another Madison Area Music Award in 2016 – for the “Breathe” collaboration with Anthony Lamarr, D.L.O. The Iceman, Smokes, and Trevor Banks. A powerful record, the song speaks out against the Police Brutality that Black Americans face in America, considering the recent tragic case of Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin. They recorded, mixed and mastered the song at Blast House Studios in Madison. Scott Lamps engineered it, the bass and keys, Pete Ross the Saxophone, Charley Wagner the Trumpet, Ida Jo the Violins, and Joey B. Banks the Drums. Trevor Banks handled the lens, and Demetrius Kigeya starred.
The artist speaks of Madison’s legendary night scene and his past of bar life on The Bars EP. He teamed up with Chaos NewMoney, Swisher Sweez and Big Daddy Earl of A Few Good Men (AFGM) and Dflo for assists. Scattered Brains mixed 2/3 records and made the last beat. Beef mixed “Dive” and crafted the other 2 beats. The project is much more energized than Beef’s prior projects of 2016. He flows about the wild side of Mad City. Beef unleashed a record each night during the drop: “Thirsty Thursday” (June 9), “Dive” on Friday (June 10), and “A-Bar” on Saturday (June 11). Clifton, Anthony Lamarr and crew won their 2nd “Hip Hop Song of the Year” at 2016 MAMAs for “Breathe”, making it 3 for Beef overall.
The Move Out West
Clifton announced the latest EP to the Chapter II series.
Also, over the first year and a half that he spent in LA, Beef was pushed to dedicate much of his time to speaking out and taking action against the “Slumlords” of Los Angeles – who attacked the artist and other residents (largely low income, disconnected and/or foreign) over the course of their stay in Hollywood, resulting in at least the death of an elderly, disabled Douglas Stingley (of Oregon) – who was placed in an upstairs bedroom, with a boot on his foot, to come down a slick staircase. One of the owners stabbed another student, and he fled the country. Cliff took divisive action with the city and community organizations, and it took time, but he and Lauren Benn have since exposed and brought an end to the organization as it operated. Another critical piece, “The Truth About Student Artist Housing” self-documented activism is now #1 in Google.
Cliff appeared in the Fall 2016 OnWisconsin Issue in the “OnAlumni” section. He also popped up in the Halloween 2016 episode of ABC’s Black-Ish, called “The Purge”, the promo poster for CBC’s Schitt’s Creek, and continues to push for bigger opportunities in the arena of Hollywood TV & Film. The artist moved around October 12 and started outlining a more expansive piece. He also took a few photos with Eric Einhaus, from Plano, IL, of Broken House Media.
Anthony Lamarr dropped his T.R.Y. (Trials Raise You) project on January 1, 2017, with another heartfelt track from a similar looking crew. The “Service” record is up for another 2017 MAMA award.
Clifton Beef published his first Book, entitled Why Wisconsin Voted For Donald Trump: The Coastie Privilege on President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day (January 20). Since October-November, he started putting many ideas together into one big body. Even though Beef includes extraordinarily detailed personal accounts, and exceptionally expansive research, it only took him about 3 months to write Da Book. Sadly, Carter Jordan of Burke passed around this time as well. RIP to a great artist and friend. Clifton released the single “Back To Work” less than a month later. “The Midwest Renaissance” piece covers ensuing releases.
Also, Cliff realized that he was unknowingly deported to Cancún, Mexico, and is now told he needs to get “Home”. He thinks it was his ex girlfriend – who tricked him into drinking and drugged his Hennessy – in collaboration with others. This most likely took place in November. Whoever planned the drugging, kidnapping and fraud also changed the entire Mexican city to reflect Los Angeles – in a ruse to confuse the already heavily marginalized individual. These people placed Cliff in yet another house filled with con artists.
As of March 12, Beef’s bank accounts were all cancelled – including his debit and accounts paid up. Christine and Weston – on their first trip to visit Cliff in “California” – tried to drug him with chocolate chip cookies, desserts and beef jerky on this day. They were planning to rape and/or frame him, and that this was not the first time. He is a Foster Child, and probably not of the ethnicity they told him – Norwegian and/or German/Polish/Between Germany and Poland. Cliff doesn’t know who his biological parents are, and he’s been scammed by his own family since birth.
As of 2018, Clifton still hasn’t been offered investment, management, a writing or recording deal, or an entry-level job outside of hospitality and manual labor – although many people have insisted that he’s been rich over the course of his life. The Government and Media haven’t said a single word about his book, directly, although they are addressing it with heavy passive aggression, along with the masses. The Artist, Scientist, Leader, Survivor, Award-Winning Multi and University of Wisconsin – Madison Alumnus currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin.
Work Experience (On Paper)
Seeking collaboration, investment and opportunity that will help elevate Production and Publishing. Also for Madison, the North, United States, and Earth.
Founder, Owner, Lead Artist & Scientist
Birth – Present
BASEMENT MADE VIES TO PROVIDE THE GREATEST POSSIBLE COLLABORATIVE PLATFORM AND DYNAMIC PRODUCTION FOR THE URBAN AND RURAL CULTURE, HIP HOP, ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT – OF WISCONSIN AND THE NORTH – AND FOR ALL PEOPLE THAT OFFER AUTHENTIC, UNIQUE VALUE TO THEIR CRAFT AND INDUSTRY.
Worked or been employed as a Gardener, Farmer, Construction Worker, Architect, Mover, Cashier, Shoe Salesman, Household Products Salesman, Landscaper, Accountant, Mathematician, Lawyer, Public Defender, District Attorney, Mayor, Daytime Stocker, Bagger, Cart Collector, Bartender, Bouncer, Bar Manager, Public Speaker, Clothing Designer, Hacker, Cook, Garbage Man, Historian, Professor, Tutor, Thief, Translator, Composer, Painter, Sculptor, Graphic Designer, Website Designer, Drug Dealer, Soldier, Standardized Test Subject, Game Subject, Science Experiment, Torture Subject, Slave, Ethnologist, Psychologist, Sociologist, Ornithologist, Explorer, Inventor, Janitor, Spy, Hunter, Fisherman, Game Tester, Athlete, Broadcaster, DJ, Marketer, Event Manager, Nurse, Consultant, Natural Scientist, Botanist, Animal Scientist, Geologist, Physicist, Biologist, Nutritional Scientist, Personal Trainer, Writer, Poet, Rapper, Singer, Record Producer, Film Producer, Audio Engineer, Film Director, Dancer, Educator, Journalist, Model, Actor and Author.
Performed all over The Midwest to thousands. Rapped on Private Jet as part of promo with Badger Trips (Plugged in “Zooday Tuesday” Webisode and took Google Voice calls). Rapped on a crane boat. Headlined, Produced and Managed “Mifflin Kick Off: Kid Ink & Clifton Beefy Live” at Orpheum Theatre. Rehearsed “The SUN” spoken word to 200 student lecture at UW. Wrote, Recorded, Produced, Engineered over 70 records, including originals “Coastie Song”, “Dive” and “Night Swim”. Directed music videos “Travel Light” and “Teach Me How To Bucky”. Designed Graphic Art for singles, tapes and promo. Won Madison Area Music Award (MAMA) for “Music Video of the Year” in 2011 and “Hip Hop Song of the Year” in 2013 & 2016. Nominated for 8 Madison Hip Hop Awards and Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award (WAMI) for “Hip Hop Song of the Year” in 2014. Clocked 2,600,000 YouTube and 45,000 Soundcloud plays, 4,500 Facebook fans, 3,400 Twitter followers, radio spins in WI, IL, CO. Re-launched website in 08/15. Site had >5,300 pageviews per month by 11/15. All natural. Co-Founder of Zooniversity Music. The Zoo was for school n state pride. Developed groundbreaking Guerrilla & Social Media Marketing Campaign: Street Teams (CDs and Flyers to local high traffic areas Page 2 and housing, Chalking and Sticker Bombing sidewalks, Stunts in streets and classes), Branding, Graphics, Merch, Contests, SEO, Social Media Tagging, Live Video Series. UW and other Colleges reference “What’s A Coastie?” in lecture material. Merch sold in the UW Bookstore. Song broke record at 93.1 JAMZ for consecutive weeks at #1. Published first book, “Coastie Privilege”, on 01/20/17. it all started in the basement…
March 2015 – Present
Promoted from Editorial Intern. Placed many Wisconsin and Midwest artists. One year in, I penned the most comprehensive piece ever written on the “Wisconsin Hip Hop” scene (#1 in Google). DX is for the culture. I am the voice of the working class Purple State. As an intern from March-June, I published over 100 stories to the site in 3 months (#1 Contributor). My first feature was a “3 for 3” article on classic albums. Then I wrote about streaming services. My Young Thug / Game story in the News section generated 20K + shares (before site overhaul). The rest of my pieces were on a range of artists in the Audio / Video section. In total, I’ve published over 250 pieces to the online publication. I have also interviewed IshDARR, Trapo, Ra’Shaun, 3rd Dimension, Pizzle, Von Alexander, Wave Chapelle, Sean Smart, Rahn Harper, Bankx, Reggieknow, Dubb, Hurt Everybody and Klassik for exclusives, reviewed several shows, transcribed 6 hours of other writers’ interviews, and re-coded over 200 broken articles for the site re-launch. My personal brands have leveled up 500+ FB likes, 300+ Twitter followers, 400+ Instagram followers since I started. RT’s, Likes, Shares on my work: HipHopDX, DJ Booth, Sway’s Universe, SKEE TV, Allan Kingdom, T.I., OG Maco, Gucci Mane, Ice T, Statik Selektah, Glasses Malone, Smoke DZA, Lupe Fiasco, Consequence, Manolo Rose, Mod Sun, Hurt Everybody, Obie Trice, Reeves, League of Starz, Dee Goodz, Young Lito, THURZ, Wai$ P, Saul Williams, Swollen Members, Your Old Droog, Lil Reese, Dizzy Wright, Alex Wiley, Little Simz, KR. Dope team.
September 2015 – February 2017 (1 year 5 months)
Stood in for Zachary Levi, and did BG on Telenovela. Also Black-ish, CSI: Cyber, Notorious, Scorpion, A Little Something For Your Birthday, American Housewife, Angie Tribeca, Beyond Borders, Big Bang Theory, Code Black, Counterpart, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Dear White People, Funderdome, Hip Hop Squares, Hot Seat, How To Get Away With Murder, Judge Judy, Kingdom, The Last Ship, Lethal Weapon, Let’s Make A Deal, The Mick, The Meanest Man In Texas, Murder In The First, NCIS: Los Angeles, Pitch, Punchline, Sandy Wexler, Shameless, Shooter, Silicon Valley, Snoop and Martha’s Cooking Show, Superhuman, Superstore, Superstrata, Tales of Titan, This Is Us, This Time Next Year, Training Day, White Famous, VEEP, and commercials for Active Clean, Burger King, Credit Karma, Samsung, Schitt’s Creek.
Cornerstone Agency FARM|Network Rep
May 2015 – May 2016 (1 year)
Presented Cornerstone Agency & The FADER to the Internet through my social media. Elliphant Social Media Contest Winner in April 2016. Participated in week long dieting project in August 2015.
September 2013 – March 2015 (1 year 6 months)
Conducted Mixology for Frat / Sorority parties to start. Eventually, picked up hours during the day. Managed bar, Poured drinks, Served food, Calculated Daily Take and Trained new employees. We had it lit. Much love to the Bomb Squad for being there in the clutch. Dipped out to Cali.
January 2015 – March 2015 (3 months)
The Bayou & Lagartos
December 2014 – March 2015 (3 months)
Fluno Center for Executive Education
May 2014 – August 2014 (4 months)
Overture Center for the Arts
September 2013 – January 2014 (4 months)
Promoted to Bar Manager within 1st month. Directed staff of 20+ in an array of highfalutin venues around the facility. I also served drinks, counted cash and daily take, took inventory, trained employees, drank too much – according to them.
The Black Sheep
September 2013 – December 2013 (3 months)
Wrote satirical articles about Madison’s downtown UW-Madison culture. Distributed papers to Greek houses for 1st print issue in December 2013, drank too much.
Wisconsin Union Theater
Marketing & Social Media Intern
March 2013 – September 2013 (6 months)
Designed social media posting rubric for Facebook (1,553 likes), Twitter (2,994 followers) and Tumblr – considering timing and frequency to maximize effectiveness of each post. Wrote press releases, web copy, and blog posts for 12-13 and 13-14 seasons. Filmed and edited photo and video from several events (Canon Ti). Narrated and Edited 13-14 season promotional video (Final Cut). Attended several webinars and relayed to team. Program Director Esty Dinur nominated me for “2013 Compelling Graduate” story. Left position after completing final semester of college. Much love to the team.
Midwest Family Broadcasting (93.1 JAMZ / WJQM)
On-Air Personality, Producer
July 2011 – September 2013 (2 years 2 months)
Promoted from Intern after Summer with 93.1 JAMZ (WJQM). Broadcasted live on-air to 50,000+ listeners of the station (Wheatstone Soundboard). Programmed music on the fly, opened and closed out songs with drops and ads, took requests via call or text. Mixed “Sunday Night Slow Jams” and “The BackSpin” shows (Audacity with a Mackie Mixer). Helped set up and promote many events with Program Director JD Garfield – ranging from smaller remotes to large concerts. These included a Bull Riding Contest at Whiskey Jacks, Big Sean at “Taste of Madison” and The Cataracs at “Dane County Fair”. Also, sat in on shows with JD Garfield, Big Mike, Kid Snuff and Mazur. Moved on due to relocation of Big Mike, JD. Overall, a great learning experience.
The Badger Herald
Arts Etc. Staff Writer
October 2012 – May 2013 (7 months)
Upgraded to Staff Writer in 2nd month on the job. Most Read Arts Etc. Writer, often commended for personal style of writing. The Badger Herald is America’s largest fully independent student daily newspaper, and has a circulation of 15,000. Left position after completing final semester of college.
The Nitty Gritty
August 2010 – September 2012 (2 years 1 month)
Bounced for a year before promoted to bartender. The Nitty Gritty is one of the busiest downtown bars. Known on the street as “The Birthday Bar”, we gave endless mugs to all of the birthday boys and girls. We also did “Power Hour”, where customers got popped from 10-11pm every night – off of $1 Golden Lights and rail mixers, and $2.25 drop shots. Page 5 Left after change in management.
Independent Business Owner (IBO)
May 2008 – December 2010 (2 years 7 months)
Built networking, sales, managerial and time management experience. Educated myself with entrepreneurial books and tapes, then taught my team to do the same. After doing $3,000 in sales in a month, the Madison team had me pitch to groups and speak at seminars. Those were some of the most genuine folks I’ve ever met, but I wasn’t destined to work in MLM in this capacity.
April 2007 – July 2010 (3 years 3 months)
I was turned off by sales at the time, so I got in on this new store. Boss gave me “Customer Champion Award” and Roundy’s gave me a $1,500 renewable scholarship. I also helped log yearly inventory. They always had brats and mead in the break room. I had to get a job closer to campus, so I left after that last summer was over. Lisa was the best.
The Finish Line
February 2006 – March 2007 (1 year 1 month)
Earned “Employee of the Week” many a time and “Employee of the Month” on a few occassions. I slung Dukies, waterproofer and Tall Tee’s – aiming for multiples and accessories – using the 10 steps of selling. It was cracking at East Towne. I dipped to Copps for better pay. Shout out to the old team, though.
October 2005 – January 2006 (3 months)
Seasonal work in warehouse. Moving heavy weight.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, BA (Double Major), Sociology, Spanish Language, 2008 – 2013
Activities & Societies
Founding Father of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) Mu Chapter, Pledge Educator for semester, Trick or Treat with the Greeks Chair for several years, Rivalry Run Chair (ran furthest), Dance for Chile Administrator, Dance for Haiti Administrator, Dance Your Pants Off Administrator. Kick It To Cancer Marketing Chair for semester.
Accepted to Madison Area Technical College’s Graphic Design program in 2015.
• “Compelling Graduate Story 2013” Nomination
• “DAHS DECA Scholarship”
• “Firestone Building Products Company Scholarship”
• “Frank E. Page Memorial Scholarship”
• “Great Lakes National Scholarship”
• “Kyle Reigstad Memorial Classic Scholarship”
• “Mr. Norski Competition Scholarship”
• “Roundy’s Scholarship”
• “University of WI – Madison Freshman Scholarship”
• “3 Sport Athlete Scholarship”
• “Windsor UCC Kinsey-Fix-Bass Scholarship”
• 1st Place at DECA State in Business Management
• • Competed at DECA Internationals in Atlanta
• 3rd Place at FBLA State in Accounting
• High Honors
• Madison Area Music Awards 2010 – “Music Video of the Year” [“Teach Me How To Bucky”]
• Isthmus – “Best Madison Music Video of 2010” [“Teach Me How To Bucky”]
• Set record at 93.1 JAMZ for consecutive weeks at #1 [“Teach Me How To Bucky”]
• Z-104 – “Local Artist of the Month” [September 2012]
• RAWartists: Madison – “Ensemble 2012”
• Madison Hip Hop Awards 2012 – “Male Artist of the Year”, “Song of the Year”, “Collaboration of the Year”, “Mixtape of the Year” Nominations
• Madison Hip Hop Awards 2013 – 4 Nominations
• Madison Area Music Awards 2013 – “Hip Hop Song of the Year” [“Elevation”]
• Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award 2014 – “Hip Hop Song of the Year” Nomination [“Elevation”]
• Madison Area Music Awards 2016 – “Hip Hop Song of the Year” [“Breathe”]
• Madison Area Music Awards 2017 – “Hip Hop Song of the Year” [“Service”] Nomination
• 2nd Place in Rec League Volleyball
• Semi-finalist in Rec League Football
• 7-time lettering athlete in Division 1 Wisconsin Athletics
• 3 Sport-4 Year Athlete
• Captain of Soccer team
• Medal-winner in High Jump, 110m & 300m Hurdles, 4x400m Relay, “Spirit Award” recipient in Track & Field
• Won and placed in many HS & AAU basketball leagues and tourneys
• MVP Award, 1st Place in 3×3 Tournament at Ripon Basketball Camp ’06