Nick Grant is a name you may not be overly familiar with, but you’re really doing yourself a disservice. This is his first studio album, and the eleven-track LP showcases one of the strongest pen games around, and a delivery that can’t be tested. This guy is going to be a household name soon, and if you don’t know get to know.
Beginning with the refined, sophisticated ‘Sometimes’, Nick Grant’s effortless class and intelligent writing shines through from the outset, over soulful, textured production featuring a brilliant hook from Dominic Gordon. Nick’s skill is that of a man with far more projects than the South Carolina MC actually has, and he’s one of the most exciting lyricists to emerge in recent years. Nick exudes sophistication on ‘Drug Lord Couture’, and the punchline-heavy verses are complimented by an ambitious instrumental and a super-soulful chorus.
‘Bouncin’ sounds incredibly current, and it’s dope to hear the young lyricist demonstrate his versatility and confidence in delivering quality bars over both traditional beats as well as bass-driven synthetic production. He’s remarkable at both too. Rising R&B vocalist BJ The Chicago Kid appears on the excellent ‘Gotta Be More’, and the crisp, jazzy production compliments Nick’s sublimely executed lyricism packed with a humble attitude and an intelligent, socially aware perspective.
‘Get Up’, featuring Ricco Barino and Watch The Duck, is as trendy a song you can get; this one is drenched in crossover material with the creative James Brown sampling giving the production more than a hint of Mark Ronson influence. This is followed by the aptly titled and musically brilliant ‘Get Down’. The upbeat, frantic beat and Nick’s pacey flows are an exhilarating combination, and this is an MC with a masterful command of the microphone as well as an instantly likeable charisma. The LP finishes with the flawless ‘Luxury Vintage Rap’; the funky, boom bap beat is simply amazing and Nick spits with a confidence and skill unlike that of the vast majority of rappers in the game right now.
‘Return Of The Cool’ is a diverse project that solidifies Nick Grant as one of the most talented young lyricists on the circuit. He’s come a long way since last year’s ”88′ mixtape, and that’s not to say it was subpar, it’s just that he’s got everything locked down here. The beats, the bars, the content; it’s all top-drawer stuff. There’s a couple of tracks that are a little too soft for me, it’s more the powerful, punchline-driven material that excites me, but then my first introduction to Nick was his freestyle on Sway In The Morning on Shade 45 (if you’ve not checked that go on YouTube now and find it). This guy is exceptional, and he’s made a real dent with ‘Return Of The Cool’ without a single huge co-sign or expensive feature. Get yourself involved with the Nick Grant story , you’ve really got no excuses.
By Sam Bennett