Tag Archives: Lost In New York

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2012 (Part Three) – Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson / M9 / Showbiz & AG etc.

Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson – “Dice Game” (Mello Music Group) – This Motown duo definitely weren’t taking a gamble when they jumped in the studio together to record this sureshot collection of rugged bangers. With Simpson injecting his rhymes with a slightly more personal feel than on previous material, Brown ensured his beats matched the tone of the Detroit emcee’s verses perfectly, whether highlighting their hometown (“Reputation”) or pondering the future (“How Will I Go”).

dice game cover

Grand Papa Tra – “Lost In New York” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com) – Not one for adhering to today’s digital norm of emailing tracks and verses back and forth to complete a project, Swiss producer Tra wanted a more authentic recording experience, so made the trip to NYC to put together this collection of East Coast-influenced cuts with the likes of Sadat X, Mic Geronimo and Royal Flush.

lost in new york cover

Prose – “Back In The Habit” (Boom Bap Professionals) – Following-up two impressive albums, “Force Of Habit” (2010) and “The Dark Side Of The Boom” (2011), UK emcee / producer partnership Efeks and Steady Rock remained true to their underground roots on this quality EP which featured the witty old-school tribute “The Class Of ’94″.

prose habit cover

Fraction & Fresh Kils – “Extra Science” (Math Music Productions) – This album could easily never have happened considering it was a chance encounter at a Toronto Hip-Hop event that led to this Canadian duo teaming-up for this release. Thankfully, the rap gods were obviously smiling on that fateful day, which in turn led to underground fans being blessed with an accomplished, polished display of musical brilliance steeped in soulful, jazzy vibes and masterful lyricism.

fraction cover

Union – “Analogtronics” (Fat Beats) – A mind-bending mix of 80s-style synths, Dilla-influenced beats and space-age imagery, Paris-based producers OJ and Gold delivered a truly unique sonic experience with this collection of intergalactic funk, taking listeners on an epic musical journey amongst the stars with the likes of Talib Kweli, MF Doom and Roc Marciano on-hand to lyrically moonwalk across their sci-fly soundscapes.

union cover

Casual & J Rawls – “Respect Game Or Expect Flames” (Nature Sounds) – An unexpected but welcome collaboration, the cocky, Oakland drawl of Hiero’s Casual was the perfect fit for veteran Ohio-based producer Rawls’ well-crafted beats on this thoroughly entertaining album.

casual rawls cover

M9 – “Magna Carta” (M9Ether.BandCamp.Com) – Easily one of the most gifted lyricists in the present-day rap game, London’s Melanin 9 filled his heavily-anticpated “Magna Carta” project with intricately woven verses packed with gritty street knowledge, political opinion and social commentary. Edutainment, indeed.

magna carta cover

Gensu Dean – “Lo-Fi Fingahz” (Mello Music Group) – Texas-based producer Dean celebrated his love of his trusty SP 1200 sampler by using it to craft a quality selection of true-school neck-snappers on this album which featured the likes of Brand Nubian, Large Professor and Count Bass D.

gensu dean cover

Heavy Links – “The Essence” (HeavyLinks.BandCamp.Com) – Midlands, UK trio Habitat, El Tel and Donnie Propa released their third EP project which, following a successful appearance at September’s Boom Bap Hip-Hop Festival, raised the crew’s profile and widened the audience for their brand of good ol’ fashioned homegrown rap.

heavy links cover

Showbiz & AG – “Mugshot Music: Preloaded” (DITC Records) – Released as a free warm-up for “Mugshot Music” proper, this might not have been considered an official album by the Bronx duo, but it was definitely much more than just a mixtape. Featuring some of Show’s best production in recent times and typically self-assured bars from Andre The Giant, “Preloaded” probably wouldn’t have left fans unsatisfied even if it had been the pair’s only 2012 release.

Showbiz & AG cover

Ryan Proctor

Part Four coming soon – check Part One and Part Two.

New Joint – Jus Logic

Jus Logic - “Rap No More” (MissinLynk.Com / 2012)

The Queens, NY lyricist flips the instrumental intro track from Swiss producer Grand Papa Tra’s recent “Lost In New York” album.

New Joint – Grand Papa Tra / Reap / Nutso / Punchline etc.

Grand Papa Tra ft. Reap, Nutso, Punchline, YB & Debonair - “Hip-Hop Is Back” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

Another true-school sureshot from the Swiss producer’s recent album “Lost In New York”.

New Joint – Grand Papa Tra / Sadat X / Nutso / Punchline

Grand Papa Tra ft. Sadat X, Nutso & Punchline – “Cold World” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

Taken from the Swiss producer’s quality album “Lost In New York”.

Behind The Song… – Grand Papa Tra / Sadat X / Nutso / Punchline

Footage of Swiss producer Grand Papa Tra in NYC with Sadat X, Nutso and Punchline working on the track “Cold World” from his recently released album “Lost In New York”.

New Joint – Grand Papa Tra / Royal Flush / Mic Geronimo

Grand Papa Tra ft. Royal Flush & Mic Geronimo – “Space Ship” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

Second video from the Swiss producer’s quality new album “Lost In New York”.

Album Review – Grand Papa Tra

Grand Papa Tra

“Lost In New York”

(GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com)

If you grew-up listening to Hip-Hop during the Golden-Era of the 80s and 90s, then you’ll already understand why the five boroughs of New York City will always hold something of a special appeal to rap junkies worldwide. Over the years, artists such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Run DMC, KRS-One, Nas and many others all painted pictures of their respective Rotten Apple stomping grounds that became embedded in the domepieces of Hip-Hop fans everywhere, ensuring we knew the names of subway stations, streets and local figures in places such as The Bronx and Brooklyn as if we lived there ourselves.

So it’s no surprise that, ever since Hip-Hop first exploded out of NYC, many out-of-town producers and emcees have attempted to succeed in, or at least be acknowledged by, the Mecca of the culture. The latest travelling man to seek to contribute to the legacy of the city that never sleeps is Switzerland-based producer Grand Papa Tra, whose new project “Lost In New York” is the result of relentless networking, accumulated air miles and hours spent stomping NY streets to numerous studio sessions, with Tra choosing to record face-to-face with his hand-picked collaborators rather than exchange MP3 files over the Internet.

A succinct mix of vocal tracks and instrumental cuts rooted in the heritage of East Coast boom-bap, “Lost In New York” pulls together a selection of both veteran Empire State representatives and newer voices who’ve emerged from the city’s concrete jungles in recent times.

After the brief, ominous “Lost In NY” intro, the unmistakable voice of Brand Nubian’s Sadat X sets the album off properly on the head-nodding anthem “Gotham City”. Over a dense piano-led soundscape punctuated with police sirens, the Wild Cowboy gives his own personal overview of his beloved hometown, referencing everything from the crack explosion of the 80s, to back-in-the day Hip-Hop hot-spots and the terrorist threat of the new millennium. Meanwhile, old Queens running partners Royal Flush and Mic Geronimo unite to drop some typically boisterous New York straight talk on the funk-fuelled “Space Ship”.

The organ-driven “Hip-Hop Is Back” finds Nutso and Punchline attempting to uncover a stolen microphone with the fictional assistance of various NY rap icons, whilst “1 Of A Kind” features female emcee Debonair stirring up memories of self-assured 80s microphone queen Antoinette, delivering sassy, sharp-tongued verses over Tra’s thumping beats.

Clearly a dedicated disciple of the traditional East Coast drum-heavy, sample-laden sound, Grand Papa Tra does a good job throughout “Lost In New York” of respectfully paying homage to his sonic influences whilst still demonstrating his own individual production flair.

As 90s NY favourites Blahzay Blahzay might say, when the Swiss are in the house…oh my god…danger!

Ryan Proctor

Grand Papa Tra ft. Sadat X – “Gotham City” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

New Joint – Grand Papa Tra / Sadat X

Grand Papa Tra ft. Sadat X – “Gotham City” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

Taken from the Swiss producer’s new album “Lost In New York” which also features Mic Geronimo, Royal Flush, Nutso, Punchline and more.

Lost In New York Album Trailer 2 – Grand Papa Tra

Second online trailer for Swiss producer Grand Papa Tra’s forthcoming album “Lost In New York” featuring Sadat X, Nutso, Mic Geronimo, Royal Flush and more.

Lost In New York Album Trailer – Grand Papa Tra / Sadat X / Mic Geronimo / Nutso etc.

Online trailer for the forthcoming “Lost In New York” album from Swiss producer Grand Papa Tra featuring the likes of Sadat X, Royal Flush, Mic Geronimo, Nutso, Punchline and more.