Gran Rapids
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Gran Rapids

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Hip Hop EDM




"REVIEW: Saturday Mourning (Gran Rapids)"

Emcee Leach and emcee/producer Jay Battle are the duo who comprise Gran Rapids, a group whose debut album, Saturday Mourning, is a lengthy, party-rocking affair with a sound that trends toward the electronic end of the hip-hop spectrum. It's startlingly confident and self-assured which, in the increasingly over-saturated local hip-hop market, is a necessity for a new group who wants to get noticed and have any hope of emerging unscathed from a crowded scene that's a little like a downtown Metro bus during rush hour.

A national hip-hop critic wrote recently that, when in doubt, rappers wanting to expand their reach beyond backpackers and their over-sized headphones should just make a dance record; ie. a disco album with rap. Gran Rapids doesn't paint itself into that small of a corner, but it rolls with the general idea. Party rap will get you noticed (especially around Town these days, with shows popping off every weekend), and that's the direction GP takes Saturday Mourning.

There's a lot of sh*t-talk set to uptempo beats, perfect for jumping up and down at the club in rapid succession (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Rewsta and Wheredayat, Theredaygo!, among others). Sometimes too much hip-hop with such subject matter makes the listener feel like he's getting bludgeoned over the head with a broken MPC. That's not the case with Gran Rapids. They bring just enough creativity to the table to make it enjoyable. Still, the album's sprawling length dilutes the overall quality just a bit.

Leach and Jay Battle show the most promise for a sustained career in hip-hop on two tracks. "Make Us" is a determined head-nodder where both rappers display legitimate mic control skills and an understanding of the hip-hop fundamentals. And "Robot Fans" is an entertaining lampoon of those How Can I Be Down-type fans who want a piece of the music celebrity action (no matter how big or small). It's still unclear whether Gran Rapids is fit or hungry enough to make it out of Seattle's hip-hop kitchen as celebrities of the bigger variety. With the pot bubbling over, and every rapper jostling for position at the top, it's hard to predict what will happen. Saturday Mourning, though, is a good enough indicator of a group worthy of keeping your eyes on. -

"Gran Rapids - "Forget About It""

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Thursday, September 13, 2012
Video / 206 Gran Rapids - "Forget About It"
Posted by Larry Mizell, Jr. on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Grinding young 206 crew Gran Rapids have distinguished themselves in the last couple of years for their self-sufficiency and their rowdy live shows. Leach (MC) and Jay Battle (MC/producer/engineer) synth-heavy hiphop is hype and party-ready, if slightly bro—but always good times. Their latest video showcases another talent of Leach's—besides looking like a young Judd Nelson—music video directing - Seattle Stranger

"Gran Rapids"

Gran Rapids is an act you have to see to believe. Where do I even start? How they start off is in animal suits, I’m not kidding. Jay Battle is in a Green dinosaur outfit, and hommie Leach rolls out in a gorilla outfit. ??? I don’t even know, but I give it to those guys for taking the visual aspect of the show to a whole new level.

Once the monkey suits come off and the street clothes go on they are still a novelty to behold. Leach has a LOT of energy and he expends it fully dancing about on stage and interacting with the crowed. I think that Leach must have taken gymnastics when he was younger because he all but did a back flip while he was rapping. Aside from the high-energy moves, they also showed their dance musicality. The beats and the raps were a good compliment to each other and created the space for the audience to get into the groove and flow of the music as well.

On the subject of the beats, Gran Rapids have a really cool thing going on. Jay Battle leaves his mark by subtly changing time signatures giving his beats a certain je ne sais quoi. Also, playing around with different synthetic instruments, sampling from classic movies, and incorporating ambient sounds fill up their music in a very unique way.

Gran Rapids is a unique act. You can tell that these artists are in it for the love of music, and the fun that they create on stage spatters out into the audience and everyone has a good time. Be sure to catch Gran Rapids for yourself as soon as you the opportunity. -

"My Philosophy"

Local duo Gran Rapids (who'll be at Hell's Kitchen December 2) that is, MC/producer Jay Battle and MC/Judd Nelson's illegitimate child Leach. I just got ahold of their debut album, Saturday Mourning, a properly goofy, rowdy set blending house-party-rocking instincts with shit-talking rhymes and slick delivery (I can deal without the double-timing on "Sudden Death," but that's me). Good chemistry, big hooks, and original production are all here. - Seattle Stranger

"Gran Rapids "Saturday Mourning""

Seattle hip-hop fans have a lot of options to consider, and here’s yet another: they’re called Gran Rapids. Group members Leach (emcee) and Jay Battle (emcee and producer) have released an LP, titled Saturday Mourning. It’s a surprisingly bold and capable collection of upbeat tracks, generally trending toward the party-rocking, electronic end of the hip-hop spectrum. The album is a little lengthy, but there are enough memorable moments to keep your ears interested, one of which is “Make Us”. On this track, the duo show legitimate mic control skills and an understanding of the hip-hop fundamentals. It’s a determined head-nodder, and indicative of what Gran Rapids seem to be all about.

It’s hot in Seattle’s hip-hop kitchen right now. Do these cats have what it takes to make it out alive? Saturday Mourning‘s indications are good. -


"Gran Rapids" - LP 2012

Perfect Nightmare - Single 2011
Limb by Limb - Single 2011
Forget About it - Single 2012



Leach and Jay Battle of Gran Rapids are representative of the diversity of their hometown of Seattle. Mixing crisp, high quality production, courtesy of Jay Battle, with a loud, quick and confident style of lyricism. Leach and Jay Battle have managed to develop a sound that is uniquely their own. As Proud Seattleites, they are excited to be a part of the city's bustling music scene which is currently being thrust back into the national spotlight thanks to the success of  Ryan Lewis & Macklamore's award winning album and their chart topping singles. 

You can look for Gran Rapids' album Midnight Society in the Spring of 2014 but for a preview of what to expect, check out the video, Holler, below as well as a few original songs from the album.

Band Members