Nick Grant Reintroduces Cool
Today, Hip-Hop newcomer Nick Grant released his highly anticipated debut album, “Return of the Cool”. As Hip-Hop connoisseurs would have it the body of work does not only deliver, it exceeds many expectations. It is no question that Nick Grant is a distinctly solid talent in a world full of catchy repetitive acts, but the “Return of the Cool” shows that a classic feel can still be evolutionary.
We have seen Nick Grant step into many arenas and humbly stand on his own two feet while creating a curiosity of what he will and can do. Such as his BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher, or his Sway In The Morning freestyle:
Nick has created a consistent buzz while rising to each occasion. Though we have seen his lyrical acrobratics on projects like 88', Black Sinatra, Black Boy/White Boy, & his under the radar “Plus 1" mixtape, an additive to Solange’s groundbreaking “A Seat at the Table”, “Return of the Cool” gives us the insight and answer to the anticipation that has been building through his relentless knocking at Hip-Hop’s door.
The album maintains Nick’s goal of setting himself apart from the generic temperature of Hip-Hop right now. With songs like, “Sing Along” Nick unapologetically calls out the artist pushing mindless noises and the fading art of lyricism. As Ricco Barrino sings the hook, the message of the song is clear:
“Niggas talk about keys and we sing along
Niggas talk about bitches and we sing along
Everything codeine, and ya bankroll mean
Nigga I’m sleep
You didn’t even sell your soul it was free
It’s like you got the same shit on repeat”
“Return of the Cool” definitely lives up to its name as the album familiarizes you with classic samples and captivates you with relatable themes. Sonically there’s a rugged soul to the album, and it’s perfectly woven together with well crafted rhymes. Artist like BJ The Chicago Kid offers a collaboration that creates a well roundedness to an already impactful track, “Gotta Be More” with lyrics like:
All aboard the coon train
Clown Sambo, Painted faces
Tap dancing for whitie gets you nothin’
But a penny for your thoughts
If all times are good
Do you really know who you are
What is for certain about this album is that it does not overstate, nor overextend its purpose with 11 songs and nearly 40 minutes of play time Nick gets in making his point and gets out leaving the audience to marinate on a conversation necessary to have.
Most would agree that Hip-Hop had taken a very bizarre turn as rappers became less concerned with their lyrics and relied on producers to make their songs memorable. Though at its roots Hip-Hop is a theater for storytelling, knowledge, and penmanship. In recent times, mainstream has began to revert their attention back to the artist who elevate the lyrical platform. It is disrespectful to marginalize artist such as Nick Grant as “conscious” rap when inherently Hip-Hop itself was a conscious creation.
Nick finds himself in the middle of a perfect time, due to artist like J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, André 3000, Big K.R.I.T., Run The Jewels, and quite a few more forcing the genre to reevaluate its standard and encouraging it to get back to real lyrical craftsmanship.
If Nick’s career projects in the direction of “Return of the Cool” he is sure to solidify himself as a staple in the industry. The tides are high and the road is curving for artist like Nick Grant. With all the potential he undoubtedly possesses, carving his niche in an industry overrun with superficiality might be his biggest challenge. With the strategic genius and guiding hand of his Culture Republic legendary mentors and managers Jason Geter and Chaka Zulu, Nick is sure to navigate the waters with intention and distinction. Nick has an uncompromising authenticity that I hope to see maintained as he rises to much deserved notoriety.
Listen to songs from the album Return of the Cool, including "Sometimes (feat. Dominic Gordon)," "Drug Lord Couture,"…itun.es
1. “Sometimes” Feat. Dominic Gordon
2. “Drug Lord Couture”
4. “All of You” Feat. B. Hess
5. “The Sing Along” Feat. Ricco Barrino
6. “Gotta Be” feat. BJ The Chicago Kid
7. “PPIP” Feat. Miloh Smith
8. “Get Up” Feat. WatchTheDuck
9. “Get Down”
10. “Return of the Cool” Feat. B. Hess
11. “Luxury Vintage Rap”
Return of the Cool now availableon all streaming services.
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