Nyck Caution - Anywhere But Here: Review
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Rap collective Pro Era, of which Joey Badass is a founder of, has always amassed many talented producers and rappers. Unfortunately not every artist has the bombastic image and position to make a mark in current billboard mainstream charts. But their notoriety is not an issue, as the rap circuit keeps these talents on the radar. One major standout has always been Nyck Caution and he still continues to be, especially on his new album Anywhere But Here, where his flows and lyricism elevates the at times redundant instrumentals.
Unlike the New York City grit - style that is heard on his last effort, an EP with Kirk Knight (producer and rapper) from the collective Pro Era. The EP, Nyck @ Knight, further defines Nyck’s character, flow, and lyricism, while Anywhere But Here returns to the more standard construct of music. It’s melodic R&B and soul-esque chorus lines, intros, and visceral deliveries make most of the tracks standout beyond the thin layer instrumentals that are derivative with its piano keys (for the most part).
When the album falters into loose and yawn inducing instrumentals, Nyck flicks the bic lighter on and his verses make these ears turn back on to the music. He takes us through these deep rooted stories about his life. He opens the track retelling the moment he lost his rock, his father, on Christmas eve. Here, the piano keys blend well with the delivery and chorus line, but that is a given when the producer is Erick The Architect of Flatbush Zombie fame.
Fortunately the content is never lacking in substance or feels like Nyck Caution is trying to slide different ways in styles for exposure. In the best of ways, this album is another testament of who he is as a rapper and what he aspires to be in that regard. There are no huge features that allow him to cross genre borders, but brings in the right people to match him as a rapper/lyricist.
As is with Nyck, the features on the album match wits and deliver at the same level, if not better. Artists like Kota the Friend, Joey Bada$$, and Denzel Curry, to name a few, come with breaths of fresh air to the song itself. It allows the instrumental to flip the switch on those somber notes that aren’t begotten. The Denzel Curry feature on “Bad Day,” is this lively - mosh type of vibe that has the grit and grind sound of Metro areas.
When listening to the 37 minute album, there are definite breaks that bring together the many themes in Anywhere But Here, like escapism and coming-of-age. Each of these breaks act like a significant turning point in his growth, like on “Vin Skit 2,” that hypes up his step forward, especially when acquiring a “big name” feature. The album opens with this feeling that Nyck is looking for a change of “scenery” as he continues his quest of pursuing his hip-hop dreams, which is what the first skit shows as the first breaking/turning point of content direction.
Anywhere But Here is another one to keep Nyck Caution on a list of consistently great rappers who don’t falter their quality for a simple sale. Sometimes you can do both, as sensitivities are varied, and for the hip-hop sphere Nyck is here to stay.