Channeling the spirits of his hip-hop forebears, Walterboro, South Carolina rapper Nick Grant carried the old school into the 2010s with his gift for storytelling and tight delivery.
Like contemporaries Vince Staples
, and Denzel Curry
, Grant opted to focus on socially conscious rhymes inspired by real-life observations and packed verses buoyed by production that favored golden age-style sampling over trap boom. Inspired by Biggie Smalls
, and Nas
, Grant developed his respect for rap history at a young age, rhyming with friends in middle school and improving his skills into high school. Backed by Grand Hustle Records
, his 2016 mixtape '88 (Culture Republic) featured his dense bars and classic jazz and R&B samples, as well as guest appearances by Killer Mike
, Big K.R.I.T.
, and BJ the Chicago Kid
. Later that year, he released a four-song EP inspired by Solange
's critically acclaimed album, which he called A Seat at the Table Plus One. In early 2017, Grant issued his official debut full-length, Return of the Cool. With increased bravado and lyrical prowess, Return once again featured BJ the Chicago Kid
, as well as Ricco Barrino
, Dominic Gordon, and WatchTheDuck
. The album broke into the Top 30 of the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi