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 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.
Upon his arrival entering ninth grade at Washington High School, he immediately threw himself in the rap ring by ditching school and going to nearby Clark Atlanta University to battle college students. The battles sharpened his tongue to the point that his Economics teacher gave him some unconventional advice.
“He said I was doing the wrong thing coming to school,” laughs Nick, who is a man of few words in casual conversation, but has plenty to say once he puts pen to paper.
“He told me I shouldn’t even be there, that I should leave school and pursue rap.”
He didn’t escape the School of Hard Knocks though. With little to no actual studio experience, Nick stumbled at times on his first mixtape The Intern. He hit his stride with his second offering Born Hip Hop where he re-made classics from the 1990’s. By the time his third offering The Present hit the streets he had grown frustrated with a contractual agreement he made and was ready to move on. Fatefully, his older brother had a chance meeting with a talent scout for music industry heavyweight Jason Geter. He showed the scout a YouTube video of Nick rapping and Geter immediately took interest after he saw it for himself. Three years later when Nick’s prior deal expired, Geter jumped at the chance to sign on as his manager.
“When I listen to his music, it takes me back to the essence of what made me want to be a part of Hip Hop,” says Geter. “He gives me that feeling I had listening to Nas and Biggie rap live on the Stretch and Armstrong and Bobbito show. Nick Grant represents lyricism and fly sh*t.”
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.”