Baby don’t fight it, you just gotta go with it // Ain’t nothin’ for sale, I just put my soul in it …
Nick Grant spits his rhymes with confidence and charisma as we hear the reverbs echo in our ears.
Last night, at one of Boston’s hippest urban streetwear retail stores, AWOL, one of L.A.’s rising stars held an album listening party for the city of Boston in promotion of his recent project Return of the Cool, which dropped just a few days ago on January 13th. Now Grant steps out of the studio and into the worlds of his fans as he comes to meet students from the area in this shop to explain in depth the meaning of each track off the compilation.
While at AWOL, we all looked at the merchandise, chatted, and waited for the rapper to arrive. When Grant did, he walked into the store with a smile on his face and zeal, ready to give his crowd an experience to never forget. I had a chance to interview the man himself before we got down to business and you can read our interview below. We all finally sat down and were each handed headphones with green lights to wear as we were going to be engaging in a silent listening party. The room would remain silent as we all listened to music on our own terms. The Epic Records / Culture Republic signee would then explain the meaning behind each song’s production and creation before sharing it with us and what the track itself personally meant to him. While listening, I noticed how the compositions were seamless and the rhymes were bold. He carried such a strong flow and energy in each track that it was almost impossible to sit still. If you looked around, every person was moving in their own way, vibing to the melodies and infectious harmonies this rapper was picking up and placing down. Smiles cracked when people heard a line or a riff that struck them in the right way and emotions filled the silent store as the music blasted in each of our own ears. That night, we had a chance to hear an amazing and well-constructed album.
It goes without saying, the music was contagious. Everyone seemed to find that one song that really meant something to them, that one song that really made them feel that they were a part of the great return of the cool. The potential for this artist is outrageous, and Grant clearly found his niche and achieved success in this competitive industry of hip hop and rap.
To hear the album now, listen to it here below:
AND Here is our interview:
[Neelu Mohaghegh (Me, NM)]: Hey! So, please introduce yourself!
[Nick Grant, NG]: My name is Nick Grant. I’m a rapper from South Carolina, I make hip hop music, with my grandparents raising me, my mother’s mother, my father’s father , so my life was kind of balanced on like how to treat a woman and stuff you should do as a man like pull your pants up, firm handshakes, look people in the eyes when you speak to them. So, it’s a pretty normal life, I just have something people say is to be an extraordinary talent.
[NM]: Awesome, so what’s been the inspiration behind this album that you just dropped?
[NG]: It started as a mixtape, for so long I was yearning for people to listen to my music and appreciate my music, and when I got a chance for them to do so, I wanted to put out another body of work, but the people on my team felt like it was too soon, too early. And for me, it was always me wanting to put out music. So, it started out as a mixtape, and the inspiration from that came, I wanted people to feel the same thing I felt like growing up as a kid, and that is what I feel hip hop should be present day based on all the great people I’ve been listening to, whether it was: Jay Z, NAS, Tupac, Biggie, all those guys. Pulling from different people, to help build this body of work.
[NM]: So, what does hip hop mean to you?
[NG]: Hip hop is my life. It’s a form of expression. Hip hop helped a lot of people out of bad situations, I feel like if it wasn’t for hip hop, there would be a lot worse things goin’ on in the world, know what I’m sayin’? Hip hop saved a lot of lives. At one point people were break dancing instead of fighting, like battling break dancing instead of fighting; that’s like the coolest thing in the world. This is something I live and breathe and study everyday. I also feel like it’s a way to connect different types of people throughout the world, conversation wise like “why did you say this” and “why did you choose to say that” or “what is this about”. It’s also a way of understanding people. You know if you don’t understand somebody or some type person in hip hop, you can listen to their music and figure out who they really are. Like you might they say “what did you say that?”, you might see an interview and think why did they say that, and then you say “Oh, I see that now, I see why you said that because I heard this album”. You’ll be able to pin point their emotions because that’s the sort of hip hop music they are making.
[NM]: So, where do you see hip hop going?
[NG]: I don’t think hip hop should sound one way. I think it’s a lot that is going on with it, but I think it should be more people saying something and pay attention more to the people that they see, because a lot is good, but when one thing oversaturates the other thing, that’s when it becomes redundant, and how it is right now, is just more trendy than really saying anything and having content. There’s been more substance abuse than substance, and that’s just how it is. But I think it’s getting better, it’s turning, it’s turning. Like more artists like myself are coming everyday. I remember a time when nobody wanted to hear me, but now I wake up and I get “this is the greatest album in the world” and there all those times [for us artist] you’re beating on the door to have people let you in, and now it’s turning. It’s in a good space right now, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, this new generation: Big Sean, Wale, Big K.R.I.T., all these people. I also really like all these guys like 21 Savage, Young Thug, I like all of these guys because I wake up feeling like a different person, so I might wake up amped, and some days I might not be feelin’ it and I want to listen to something that is going to make me think and motivate me, and hip hop has that.
[NM]: What’s your soul song or your spirit song?
[NG]: I listen to a lot of old music like Al Green’s “Something Beautiful”, and I’d say my soul song is Stevie Wonder’s “That Girl”. That’s one of my favorite songs.
[NM]: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
[NG]: Oh man, I’m a comedian. I might say the wrong thing and it’s the funniest thing in the world, but it might offend somebody, so I keep it to myself and stay reserved and relaxed. I don’t really show that side of me a lot to the audience, but when I’m with these guys all we do is laugh and hurt each others’ feelings, haha!
[NM]: Give your fans advice aspiring to go on this same musical career path as you?
[NG]: One big advice, don’t stop and don’t conform to trendy things, stand out, come from the heart, be consistent with that. I always tell people, for me, it wasn’t just having talent, I had to really match my talent with hard work. People admire hard work, it doesn’t matter what you do, people who show hard work will be admired. People with talent always feel like, aw I don’t have to practice think that they don’t have to work because it will always be there, but people with hardwork & talent are unstoppable.
[NM]: So, what are you #OnTheVerge of…
[NG]: Making one of the most classic albums that you’ll probably ever hear from in this generation.
[NM]: Last question and it’s a fun one, if you had to pick one item in this store, what would it be?
[NG]: I was looking at those Jordan IX’s. 😉
Well you heard him here. A very talented and intriguing person making big moves with his music. We all listened carefully to each song and truly felt the meaning behind the lyrics and the music that this rapper was trying to convey. He concluded the night playing for us an exclusive track that has not been released yet and has a very special guest feature 😉 , and also played for us a track he performed live on the Stephen Colbert show.
Check out this artist now on his socials and keep up to date for when this star continues to put out more creative content in promotion for this wicked new studio production: