Torae & Nick Grant Take The Torch From Big Daddy Kane And Hold It High (Audio)
“Someone tell Praise to bring the bass and the treble in…”
From the opening declaration, “Okay, let’s get the figures and facts” made in his typical take-no-prisoners style, Brooklyn, New York MC, Torae makes connections with the past, present, and future on “YGB.”
Perfectly matched by South Carolina Epic Records sensation Nick Grant, Torae says in passing how he is “America’s nightmare” because he doesn’t conform to stereotypes while expressing defiance when faced with the prospect of four years of hate, bigotry, and social stress.
Toy sings on the hook: “Young, Gifted and Black / Ain’t it a fact / Got me under attack / Got a target on my back.”
The song title “YGB” is a direct nod to the Nina Simone/Weldon Irvine classic, “To be Young, Gifted and Black” but this association with the past works on a deeper, even more Hip-Hop-specific level.
Producer Praise uses a sample from Albert King’s 1972 “I’ll Play The Blues For You” – the same sample that underpinned Big Daddy Kane’s “Young, Gifted and Black.” Previously, JAY-Z also used it on his 2010 song of the same name.
All this suggests that Torae is staking out territory here, encouraging listeners to see his take as part of a continuum with other New York MCs, providing their perspective on being “young, gifted and black” albeit from different generations and strikingly different personality types.
Praise crafted three of the beats on Torae’s Entitled, and in some respects, this release maps out a similar musical trajectory.
What elevates “YGB” is the way Torae and Nick Grant work together: both AFH 2017 South By Southwest performers sound nice side-by-side. Added to this, the harder-edged drum sound on “YGB” gives the music an urgency that is in keeping with the lyrical content and seems completely appropriate for the current mood.