Released in 1995 on D.G.F Productions, Thumpa Ace’s EP “Tryin’ To Get My Grip$$” is a quintessential artifact from the Bay Area’s vibrant hip-hop scene of the ’90s. The six-track EP, a cassette-only release, manifests as a capsule of that time, particularly capturing the essence of G-Funk and gangsta rap styles. Though considered rare, the project has been a subject of intrigue for collectors and connoisseurs of the genre, positioning itself as an underground gem.
“Steppin’ To The Mind,” the opening track, offers an immediate plunge into the blend of rich, synthesized G-Funk melodies and gritty gangsta narrative. The track skillfully sets the tone for the rest of the project, offering a complex blend of braggadocio and reflection.
“Livin’ My Life” delves deeper into the personal philosophies of Thumpa Ace. The track skillfully oscillates between accounts of daily hustles and aspirations, underscoring the dichotomies that often characterize life on the streets. The title track “Tryin’ To Get My Grip$$” serves as the focal point of the EP, blending groovy basslines with a lyrical narrative focused on the relentless pursuit of money and status.
Flipping to side B, “Took It How It Came” offers a tale of resilience and adaptability in a world of uncertainties. The thematic elements carry through into “Born Wit Tha Sickness,” a track that wades into the darker aspects of street life and the inherent challenges and ‘sickness’ that the artist feels he was born into. The EP closes out with “I’m Out!!!”, a final statement that encapsulates the project’s overall thematic threads while leaving listeners wanting more.
Though concise, “Tryin’ To Get My Grip$$” makes no compromises on musical or thematic depth. Each track contributes to a broader narrative, presenting a nuanced look at the trials, tribulations, and ambitions of life in the San Fran Cali Bay Area during a defining era for hip-hop. Given its rare status and tape-only format, the EP stands as a collectible snapshot of a moment in hip-hop history, making it a must-have for aficionados of the genre.