By Neil Z. Yeung, AllMusic
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, Avenue, 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, 2Pac, OutKast, Jay-Z, Rakim, 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.
This article originally appeared on AllMusic.
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