Sac State senior and rapper Greo the Storyteller speaks her truth through music

First EP released in December


Brooke Uhlenhop

Rapper and Sac State senior communications major Greo the Storyteller performs her song “Chillin'” Thursday, Jan. 30, at Stage 76 in Carmichael. She performed along with other Sacramento artists.

Brooke Uhlenhop

“Work It” by Missy Elliot plays loudly over the speakers at Stage 76 Kitchen and Bar in Carmichael as Greo the Storyteller calmly walks up to the stage to perform.

In her mustard yellow shirt and black pants, she looks at home as she sings her song “Chillin’” to the local crowd.

The name “Greo” is based off of the word “Griot,” a West African storyteller, singer or poet. Although it is a stage name, she said it has become who she is. She said no longer uses her legal name. 

“I took the name kind of like an homage to that,” she said. “It adds to my persona. Even in class I forgot to answer I’ve been going by Greo for so long.” 

Greo, a Sacramento State senior public relations major, wears many hats. She is a rapper, singer, poet and song-writer. She is also occasionally an event planner. 

Despite doing all that, her passion stays with rapping and being a performer. For her, it is an outlet to get her feelings out.

“I definitely feel like it allows me to give my perspective and tell my perspective from an authentic place in a way that’s also fun,” Greo said about her rapping. “It’s really fun to be able to rhyme and also make sense and also say something that means something.”

With influences from Lauren Hill, Queen Latifah and Nicki Minaj, Greo said that she tries to be conscious in her music. 

“I try and say things that really mean something but sometimes I also just want to talk my shit,”  Greo said.  

She released her first EP “Farsighted” on Dec. 20 of last year. The seven-track CD took seven months to plan, write, record and release. 

Story continues below Spotify playlist.

Sac State has helped Greo share her music and network. She started rapping in 2018. The first time she rapped in public was at a fraternity party after a friend convinced her to perform. 

Since then her music career has snowballed from one person seeing her at a show and asking her to perform at another show, where more people see her and ask her to perform.

“Greo as an artist is the epitome of Black girl magic,” said former board member of Sac State’s Black Student Union Takayla Johnson. 

“She’s so comfortable in her skin and who she is as a person,” Johnson said. “I’m so proud of Greo and her music journey. I remember her first time performing music at Sac State and her growth is amazing.”

Greo said that most of her friends are artists in their own way. 

On the same day her EP released she hosted an event called Hip Hop and Holistics at Classy Hippie Tea Company in Sacramento. She added that any gathering with her friends ends up like an open mic. 

“I’m just that type of person that attracts art or is attracted to art,” Greo said. “I like seeing people make something out of their talent. A lot of people keep that stuff hidden so I really like people who are confident enough to put their talent out.” 

One of her close friends and collaborators is Sac State senior sociology major Patrick Donatien Jr., who goes by DJ Don P. 

“I actually was DJing an event at Southside Park. Right before I was about to leave I saw Greo perform and I told myself that I’ll be getting in contact with her because I truly enjoyed her art and style,” Donatien said about their friendship. “So I hit her up on Instagram to DJ her next upcoming show and she was excited about it. From then until now her and I have been close like family while also curating music for about a year now.”

Greo has plans to make more music as she finishes her last year at Sac State. But for now she is living by her one rule: speaking life.

“I always tell them that speaking life doesn’t always mean that you got to be always on your positive stuff all day every day,” Greo said. “You can definitely talk shit and assert your dominance and at the same time speak life.”