By Jack Barnes
An uncommonly intense emcee with a knack for melodic lyricism, Queens rapper Trav blends old-school New York toughness with modern hitmaking ability. Today, Trav shares QRAK (Queens Raised a King), a career-defining new album. With a low-pitched growl (occasionally substituted for infectious auto-tuned yelps) and deep connections to everyone in the metropolitan area, Trav is a versatile talent, with a knack for finding the right flow and for warbling a catchy hook. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
On his new album, Trav takes a long look at his past and how they affect his current circumstances, from his childhood living with his mother to earning the respect of the NYC rap game, poetically contrasting with the lavishes of his current life. Premiered by VIBE, the album boasts highlights such as the rowdy, Lil Durk-featuring banger “Boost Mobile,” the urgent, yet laid-back “Blow My High,” featuring Meek Mill, and the druggy, HYPEBEAST-premiered“Rolled Up,” which features Tory Lanez and Belly. Featuring additional appearances from Jim Jones, Blac Youngsta, Don Q, and Vory, QRAK is a welcome window into the life of a NYC rapper on the rise.
Along with the project, Trav also shares the video for “QRAK,” the project intro. Produced by famed Philly producer Jahlil Beats, the man behind Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N*gga” and many others, “QRAK” is an apocalyptic banger, with devilish choirs, John Carpenter-keyboards, and snapping snares. Trav attacks the beat with a low-pitched growl, building a head of steam with an energetic delivery near the end of the track, lending an added urgency to his gruesomely detailed bars: “Broad day/N*ggas know how we play/All day/finger-f*ck that Ruger just like foreplay/Ok?!” The video finds Trav ruminating in his prison cell, counting the days until he gets out of jail and can get violent revenge on the people who have wronged him.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, Trav started rapping at the age of 16, catching the attention of NYC tastemakers, including DJ Whookid and DJ Green Lantern. Trav credits his first big break to DJ Green Lantern’s radio show on Sirius XM. In 2009, Trav linked up with 50 Cent, who brought the young rapper into his network of G-Unit affialiates. Trav released his first solo tape The Way I See It, and then released Follow Me, hosted by DJ Whookid, which featured the single “Ride The Wave,” which made a splash on urban radio. Since “Ride The Wave,” Trav has collaborated with Lloyd Banks and Juelz Santana, and he recently opened for Sean Kingston and Jim Jones on the “Red Bull Presents: Vamp Life Tour.”
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