Currently, Nick Grant is wrapping up touring with Ab-Soul and just performed at last week’s Broccoli City Festival in DC, in addition to filming a Tiny Desk performance with NPR while he was in town. The rising rapper will also make his debut on the Made in America stage in Philly this September. Check out his hot new freestyle, courtesy of LA Leakers, above.
MEET THE RAPPER: Nick Grant is living proof that some guys are bred and built to be elite emcees. Born and raised in Walterboro, South Carolina, it didn’t take much for Nick to stick out in the town with a population of barely 5,000 people. While he was firstly known as a talented basketball and baseball player, he discovered that Hip Hop was an equally, if not more, competitive sport. He wrote his first rhyme when a group of friends dared him to write one better than theirs. After winning them over on that bet, the rest of the town followed suit as he battled neighbors and classmates one by one, defeating them all.
Though he was usually the youngest in the battles, he always rhymed with maturity beyond his years; a direct result of his grandmother and older uncles raising him amidst his father being absent and his mother only showing up in his life occasionally. That, coupled with neighborhood OG’s taking him under their wings, Nick inherited gems that most kids his age weren’t being exposed to. Leading Nick to feel like he might have been “raised in the wrong era” as he often says.
“The town is very small, not a big Hip Hop influence at all,” says Nick, who grew up studying rap elder statesmen like Big Daddy Kane and Rakim. “Things always seemed so big and far beyond our reach. We only saw Pac and Biggie and whoever was on TV. The only local heroes were the drug dealers.”Grant, who doesn’t drink or smoke, didn’t want to let a small town environment hold his big city skills hostage. Seeing that there were little to no outlets for his creativity, he relocated to rap music mecca Atlanta where he moved in with his older sister and began fostering his talent.With his hurdles behind him, Nick is on track to become one of Hip Hop’s most respected voices. His calculated flow and detailed wordplay takes listeners back to a time where you had to rewind the song to catch a line. Mending the vulnerability of 2Pac with the quiet urgency of Nas, Nick grants listeners with the same jewels his influences dropped on him.“A lot of the songs I write, I’ve never heard records like them before,” he says. “So instead of complaining or waiting for someone else to make them, I figured I could make them myself.”