This extended play was released on June 26th this year. Nick Grant has been doing a lot of shit with TDE lately. He was featured on two of Punch’s singles earlier this year, and now we have this project entirely produced by Tae Beast. I’m mainly familiar with him from features, but I went back and listened to his Dreamin’ Out Loud project from 2018 in preparation for this one. It was alright. There were some dope tracks on it, but I really don’t think you’re missing out on too much if you never check it out. I love that comeback single he dropped back in March though. That shit was fire. I’m also a really big fan of Tae Beast’s production, so I think I’m gonna enjoy this. It might not end up being one of my favorite releases of the year, but I’ll be shocked if it’s wack.
There aren’t any tracks that I didn’t enjoy, so I’ll just write about this one in the proper order of the track listing. The opening song is called L.iving O.ut V.arious E.motions, and I think it’s pretty dope. I honestly think the production was just ever so slightly too safe, and I’m not crazy about the sung hook, but it serves its purpose well enough. The beat is definitely pretty good, but I just wish it went somewhere. It never really develops any further than what you hear right at the start. When it comes to pure technical writing skill, I think Nick Grant has pretty much got it mastered. His flow isn’t too flashy, but he’s got a great delivery, and his wordplay is very impressive. That Baphomet line in the opening verse was awesome to me.
Billy Dee Mahogany
Kill a nigga while he joggin', the world is so toxic, I always feel like they watchin' me
That's what happens when you're the blood of the Anunnakis
Always a leader, but the streets guarded me
Beautiful goddess, but heartless; I paid her to lie to me
Yeah, she's fuckin' for singles, but dreamin' to be monogamous
All you niggas wanna be the GOAT
But if the industry sold you niggas dreams, what would you buy from it?
The sung hook isn’t bad at all, but I would be lying if I said it really added much to the song for me. The actual rapping is easily the selling point in my opinion. I honestly don’t even know if I’d like this track if Nick Grant’s writing wasn’t so good.
You lost your faith in god and put it all in the vote You wanna know they character? Then watch them when they broke I pray abundance overflow These niggas ain't killers, baby, they get sent to the store This melanin just means the paramedics show up late By the time they arrive you'll be at the pearly gates This PTSD is why we high as the murder rate These niggas bitter 'cause the truth is an acquired taste
He killed this shit. Again, the production and hook aren’t bad at all. I just think they’re a little dry. The song is dope overall though. It’s followed by a highlight for me entitled FEDS.
I still don’t think the production is amazing or anything, but it’s definitely very good. I think it’s much more exciting from the preceding instrumental, which was striving for a more soulful, relaxed tone. This one’s way more energetic. I also prefer the structure of this song. There’s no hook or anything like that. Nick’s just rapping his ass off for about 2 and a half minutes. It’s loaded with quotable lines.
I'm a made nigga, got models cleanin' the crib
I'm hair stylin' on 'em, the iron on me, I wig
Feds buggin' your spot, niggas raidin' where you live
You know the stakes high when you makin' it on the strip
I talked to the blind man, he told me what he saw
The deaf nigga told me that he was listenin' to his heart
It's shockin', I ain't hip to the plug, my shit is raw
I been hoppin' out the sockets since Tracee Ellis Ross
His flow is really nice here too. I really don’t have any issues with his performance at all. I mean, maybe they could’ve made the beat a bit more flashy or added a feature or something, but I don’t know. I think the song’s already really goddamn awesome. It’s dope as hell to me. Track 3 is called Bless the Child. Much like the opening track, it has a more soulful, emotional sounding instrumental. I definitely like this beat more than that of L.O.V.E. though. The opening verse from Nick was cool. The content about the manner in which minorities are abused in the United States was pretty nice. The “in the end / Indian” double entendre was okay I guess. I like how he included a reference to Thanksgiving in the following line, but it always annoys me when people refer to natives as Indians. Obviously that’s just a nitpick though. The verse was still dope. The hook is pretty uneventful, but the line about hearing ghetto screams was very cool to me. Again, the opening verse was nice, but that second verse blows it outta the water.
Where I'm from we can't elope, these pigs'll tear your melon off
Where I'm from you either fear a con or you Farrakhan
Trap jumpin' like a telethon
And they numbers like arguin' with your girl, they never wrong, sing this song
These youngin's holdin' pistols like stage fright, they nervous
But still flash it at your frame 'cause shit ain't picture perfect
The devil's smirkin', don't know who to trust
Quick to leave you in the vegetable state if they soup you up
He killed this shit. I think the beat could’ve been a bit more interesting, but Nick Grant himself had a fantastic performance. This shit is dope. The penultimate track is called K9 and it features a sung hook from BJ the Chicago Kid. I like the mellow production here quite a bit, and the first verse from Nick was solid. I just found it kind of annoying how he ended nearly every line the same way. I mean, it fits the song title since he’s referencing dogs, but it’s still a little irritating. BJ’s vocals on the hook are smooth as fuck. The melody itself isn’t really that catchy, but I think he sounds really nice over this beat. I don’t think they could’ve chosen a better feature to sing it honestly. The second verse from Nick is way better than the first one. I think it’s dope. Overall, this is definitely a low point on the project for me, but I do still enjoy it to some extent. I could definitely see how some people might find it boring, but I like it. It’s pretty good. Thankfully they went out with a bang because the closing song, Black Windows, is a major highlight for me. It pretty much follows the same structure as FEDS. I think this track has the best instrumental on the project though, and by kind of a large margin. It probably helps that it switches up about halfway through the song. It’s a really great moment. I feel like the whole energy of the song just levels up at that point. Nick of course killed the verse too.
Have no makings of man, I came in here with God
A nigga play with my chicken and watch your finger lick off
I'm a slim Biggie Smalls, get paid like I play ball
Ridin' with my French bitch, but I still boned yours
These niggas frontin', boy, I'm somethin' that you ain't see before
A certain je ne sais quoi, my brown skin is so flaw
Don't trust no government, they even get you yellow taped off
I got that touch, I'm Ray Charles, say everything with my heart
It’s very straightforward. There’s nothing too out of left field about the song. It’s just very well executed. I think it’s dope as hell.
I think this project is great, and it’s a huge leap in quality from his 2018 mixtape. The production was pretty good for the most part, although not as pristine as I was expecting. It’s really Nick Grant’s actual rapping that makes the project so entertaining. He doesn’t really do anything super different or creative. He’s just a very proficient MC. He knows how to write. If you wanna hear amazing beats and catchy hooks this honestly isn’t the project for you. This kinda reminded me of Black Thought’s Streams of Thought extended plays. I think I’d be more interested if the production was more hard hitting. The smoother more mellow sounds didn’t keep me as engaged as songs like FEDS and Black Windows. I don’t really think Nick Grant has a super unique style, so hopefully on a full length album his production choices are more interesting. This shit right here is great though, and I don’t have any severe gripes. It’s dope. Check it out.