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Nick Grant is part of a new guard that has cemented Atlanta, Georgia as a city rife with emerging creative talent. The rising musician relocated to the notorious hip-hop mecca from the small town of Walterboro, South Carolina, a city that boasts a population of a little under 5000. This year he dropped the mixtape, 88, February, garnering excitement from critics who appreciated the project’s classic hip-hop bent. We caught up with Grant at the Sonos listening room in Rough Trade Brooklyn to ask about his personal style and what we can expect from Return of the Cool, his upcoming EP releasing in December

Tell us about Return of the Cool…

Return of the Cool pretty much puts soul back into hip-hop as far as lyricism and people being passionate about the craft. I’m just trying to take hip-hop very differently and trying to find ways to talk about my experiences in a clever way. I feel like the game is so unbalanced in the way it is now and we could potentially lose grip of the culture and with it the things that change lives. I feel like we have to place more importance on being passionate about how we create this music, not only that, but also the way we carry ourselves. People look up to us, we’re role models and they take everything we do and say seriously so that’s important to me. The project has BJ the Chicago Kid is on there and DJ Khalil on production so it’s going to be dope.

Describe your personal style…

My personal style is a little retro but a little modern at the same time. I like brands like Capital, visvim, Junya Watanabe and of course the Comme des Garcon collaboration. visvim is my number one for shoes though, but I also like Jordan. Jordan 5 is another favorite shoe and Jordan 12s – really anything relating to the culture.

Who are some of your favorite brands and designers?

The guys I just named [above] and I also loved Ricardo Tisci’s Nike collaboration. I was broke at one point and I spent my whole check on a pair of those shoes.

Where are your favorite places to shop in your hometown, Atlanta?

I like Wish in Atlanta.

What about shopping in NYC?

Concepts is like my favorite store in New York. They have a lot of the stuff you won’t see every day, plus they have a lot of different kinds of Nikes and other sneakers.

How do you dress for a performance?

I dress for style. I like to layer up and make that a part of my show. I guess I dress for the look of it when I’m performing.

Who is your fashion icon?

Definitely Pharrell. He was the first person I looked at and emulated – he made bright colors really cool and super relatable.

What are your dream fashion and music collabs?

My dream music collaboration would be Stevie Wonder and Tupac Shakur. That switches though, some days I feel like Stevie Wonder and Nas or Stevie Wonder and Andre 3000. Stevie Wonder never changes though. I would love to do a fashion collaboration with me, visvim and Pharrell.

What are your musical influences?

My influences are Nas, Tupac Shakur, Snoop, Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, Andre 3000, Curtis Mayfield, Luther Vandross, Anderson .Paak, Talib Kweli, Too $hort, Kurupt – really the whole Dogg Pound. All of TDE, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Blackalicious, Erykah Badu, Big Boi, T.I., Ludacris, J. Dilla, Common, Mos Def…I could go on forever, I love everybody.

Catch up on your pop culture with these celebrity reactions to Kanye West’s hospitalization. You can also learn more about the PLAY:1 and PLAY: 5 speakers in the Sonos listening room here

  • Photographer: Bukunmi Grace
  • G-SHOCK Watch: Mudmaster GG1000-1A5
  • Backpack: Vintage Heavy
  • Sneakers: Maison Martin Margiela "22" Mixed High-Top
  • Jacket: Vintage Heavy
Words by Stephanie Smith-Strickland
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