Pub Rock was packed wall to wall on Sunday night. Hardly anyone was in the bar area, trying to get as close to the stage as possible. Hip-hop artist Ab-Soul was getting ready to take the stage that night, but not before Nick Grant, a quick-thinking lyricist from South Carolina, had his time under the spotlight. I got the chance to talk to Grant after his show.
Most of these hip-hop and rap fans were there for Ab-Soul who was stopping in Phoenix during his YMF Tour. Grant will be touring with him for a little over half of the tour until they stop in Toronto.
Grant performed some of his tracks from his album released earlier this year, “Return of the Cool,” with freestyle mixed in between. While this was probably the first time most of the audience were hearing him, they were jumping and chanting “Preach!” with nearly every new verse. With just a microphone and a beat, he managed to capture the attention of everyone in the room.
“Anything can be put into a rhyme,” Grant said. “Being that rapping is my job, I have to be mindful of the things around me to apply them to music. For me, it’s just knowing what’s going on around me and the people that raised me and being mindful of the emcees that came before me, the pioneers, Jay-Z, Nas, all these great emcees that we love to mention. That’s what I am and that’s what I represent. Just being mindful of life and life experiences.”
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Originally published on COTMA on April 25, 2017.