Latrell James dials in conflict and nostalgia on ‘Tracphone’

New Sounds: 'We was never built to grow here / Even if we from this soil', James raps on his newest track


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Latrell James is at a crossroads.

As the Boston rapper continues to secure his spot as one of the best hip-hop artists in the city, his feeling towards his hometown are seemingly becoming less clear. At least, that’s what his new tune “Tracphone,” out today (March 28), tries to explain.


“‘Tracphone’ to me is when you no longer feel like you belong in a place where you grew up,” James tells Wonderland Magazine. “It’s those lone footprints in the snow. Gentrification takes a toll on communities of colour and I wanted make light of that while also highlighting other important issues that affect us too. ‘Tracphone’ is more of a metaphor for wanting to hold onto things that are ‘old’ vs the new, and overall being proud of who you are and where you come from.”

His verses spare no details on the matter, but one quip in particular sums up the local gentrification issue as simply and succinctly as one can: “We was never built to grow here / Even if we from this soil.”

There’s no denying his roots in this community. There’s no denying his bloom, either. Listen to “Tracphone” via Soundcloud below.