By Shay (IG: shay_neezy)
Culture Republic along with Hot 93.7 and Time Frozen Studios held a silent listening party for Nick Grant’s first studio album, “Return of the Cool”, Friday December 9 in Hartford, CT. Those in attendance also got a sneak peak of Grant’s newest project “Sunday Dinner”, another heavy hitter with more A-list features, slated for release in May/June of 2017.
If the Atlanta-based rapper’s name rings a bell it is because his lyrical abilities have created a major buzz this year. After teaming up with Grand Hustle co-founder Jason Geter of Culture Republic, Grant released his breakout mixtape titled ‘88 (February 2016). Virtually unknown prior to the release of ‘88 Grant’s solid lyricism and word play has him leading the pack of newcomers in what many see as the dawning of a new era in hip hop. Notable songs like “Black Sinatra” and “Something to Say”, nostalgic of hip hop’s past, have impressed rap legends and hip hop aficionado’s alike. Grant has also been praised for his freestyles on the BET Cypher Battle, Funk Flex and ‘Sway in the Morning’ Show. He even landed the position as opener for Dave East’s recent 11-city “Hate Me Now” Tour (April 2016).
Newly signed to Epic records, Grant’s release of ROTC showcases his passion to bring his listeners good music. On Friday, Grant described ‘Return of the Cool’ as an homage to the musicians he grew up listening to. Legends like Nas, Andre 3000 and music greats such as Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes. Their influence is clear, as Grant curates a sound that is truly classic hip hop and soul fusion. As a breath of fresh air from the current rap scene, Grant has pushed away from the trend of exclusively catchy hooks and mumbled verses to composing intellectual content and witty punchlines over textured melodies. His attentiveness to song composition and musicality are clear, and have I mentioned, he is an ACTUAL lyricist! Hip hop has been lacking in that area for a while now…
Return of the Cool paints the picture of something “real” and honest experience delivered in poetic prose. I could not imagine experiencing this album any other way then with a silent listening, allowing an uninterrupted focus on the music. Watching the full circle of creativity unfold; that is listening to the music and imagining his ideas in conception, his process during the music creation and finally the final product and its presentation. Definitely “cool” to witness and as Nick said “…the cool [in ROTC], is the way hip hop should be”. Return of the Cool drops January 13th.
Photos By: Shaun Llewellyn @20one__