Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Beef began writing poetry, performing spoken word, singing, whistling and dancing at a young age. He started rapping over industry tunes during his early teens.
Grefe attended University of Wisconsin–Madison in the Fall of 2008. During his time in college, he also worked for 93.1 JAMZ as a part-time on-air personality and producer, for the Badger Herald as a staff writer, for Wisconsin Union Theater as a marketing intern, and a bartender for several bars in downtown Madison. He would graduate in the Spring of 2013 with degrees in Sociology and Spanish.
Grefe received national notoriety for his debut single, "Coastie Song (What's A Coastie)." The record, although intended to be flirtatious towards coasties, offended many. Some called the song "xenophobic" and others – "anti-Semitic." Beef and producer Quincy Kwalae adopted the name Zooniversity Music, following their premiere. The group's following release, "My Biddy," was also met with questions. Rich Albertoni of The Isthmus said that some would find the love song to the lesbian chancellor "funny," while others would see it as "offensive." Zooniversity would eventually drop their debut mixtape, The Red Zebra Exhibit, on May 17, 2010.
Later that year, the group premiered their first music video "Teach Me How To Bucky" during the 2010 UW Homecoming game. The song itself was a remix to Cali Swag District's popular "Teach Me How to Dougie" song. After deputes within the group, Zooniversity came to an end.
Grefe launched the website for Basement Made, his production and publication company, in mid-August 2012. He coined the slogan "it all started in the basement..." at this time.
Grefe dropped his first solo mixtape "Chapter 1: The Sun & Moon" on October 31, 2011. He followed it up with "The GRIME TAPE" on April 8, 2013.
Grefe relocated to California in early 2015 for an editorial internship at HipHopDX. After 3 months, he was offered a freelance contributor position there (#1 contributor). Shortly after, Grefe re-launched his publication and production house Basement Made, which has since become one of the most popular organizations in America for independent Hip Hop and working class culture.
From March 2015 to March 2017, the artist resided in Los Angeles, working, and gearing up to release his 27-track concept album Chapter II: Double Major, along with other music. Clifton announced that he'd be releasing the project as separate EP's that compose the full project – one every month. The first called Chapter II: The Hustle premiered on January 15, 2016. The artist then debuted his Chapter II: The Fall In a month later on February 22, 2016. The next project, called Chapter II: The Depression, was released on April 16, 2016, and Chapter II: The Bars followed on June 9, 2016. About a year later, the artist dropped the rest of the EPs. Beef released the full album on July 5, 2017.
Grefe published a critical article about Midwest Hip Hop on November 9, 2015 called Madison Hip Hop Needs Renaissance To Pop. Then another on March 24, 2016 named The Wisconsin Soul: The Best Rappers Out Of The Badger State. The artist became an author on January 20, 2017, when he published his first book through Basement Made, entitled Why Wisconsin Voted For Donald Trump: The Coastie Privilege.
Shortly after the release, Grefe returned to his hometown, where he started writing his second book and autobiography The Life of Cliff G: Dog. The artist and webmaster published his progress live to his website for several months. Grefe currently works as a mover for 2 Men and a Truck.
|The Red Zebra Exhibit
|The Fall In||
|The Fall Out||
|The Move Out West||
|The Home State||
|Chapter 1: The Sun & Moon||
|The GRIME TAPE||
|Chapter II: Double Major||
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