South Carolina rapper Nick Grant has been bubbling for a little while now. With an extraordinary performance on Sway In The Morning, his stock may have risen a little, garnering co-signs and praise from established names in the industry. ”88′ is his debut project, a thirteen track mixtape with features from Young Dro, Killer Mike and Big K.R.I.T.
Opening with ‘Somethin To Say’, Grant kicks the project off with passion, soul and terrific flows. With tasteful production and personal lyricism, it’s clear from the outset that Nick Grant is a real MC, speaking from the heart over a crisp instrumental. On ‘Black Sinatra, Grant acknowledges how his gritty, classic sound might be surprising considering his heritage, spitting “a southern n*gga with these up north flows”. His intelligent yet menacing delivery on this track is decisive and entertaining, resulting in one of the standout tracks from ”88’.
On the chilled, jazzy ‘Window Seat’ Grant raps “I feel like 2pac in Gridlock’d no options”; the standard of his writing and the originality of his content is refreshing and impressive. ‘Gold Chains’ sees Nick make thought-provoking observations about the music industry and the dangers of materialism; across his debut mixtape his standards and principles never falter, which is a rare thing nowadays.
The tight, trap flavoured ‘The Plan’ is another highlight, with expertly crafted verses infused with realness and passion. Nick’s diversity in terms of beat direction, and his consistency in terms of intelligent content will surely set him on a lucrative path. Closing out on ‘The Fire’, Nick delivers another soulful cut; his combination of introspective lyrics, smart observations and great punchlines deserves heaps of respect.
This guy is a real MC. That’s what sticks out on ”88′. It’s important to remember this is a mixtape too, and if the standard is already this high an album is going to be a real event. Not every track is perfect, and there’s definitely some room for further defining his sound, but this is a really dope project. It’s free too, so there’s no excuse.
By Sam Bennett