This year’s Made In America TIDAL Rising stage will be full of intricate acts, but fans are particularly looking forward to seeing hip hop head Nick Grant. If the old soul isn’t on your radar just yet, you’re in luck—his Road to MIA feature is the perfect opportunity to become acquainted.

Born in South Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Nick started battle rapping for fun when he was 14 years old. At a young age, he was already learning major life lessons from all the more experienced people he’d been surrounded by. “I was raised around older people…so it’s embedded in me,” he explains. “These life lessons, they don’t expect them to be in a 29-year-old person—it catches a lot of people off guard.”  He’s right, it does, and it’s a quality that has music lovers equally intrigued and impressed.

After hitting Clark Atlanta University, where Nick first honed his skills, TIDAL gives us a glimpse of the complex lyricist at the studio, where he provides some insight into his strategy as he navigates the hip hop game. “Excuse my french, but I don’t want to half-ass anything. So if I do it, I’m going to do my best at it…,” he says with a quiet confidence.  Intent on winning, he drops a gem: “In order to have that seat on the throne, you have to be a lyricist, you have to be number one, you have to know what came before you to know where you’re going.”

On the Road To MIA, Nick’s purpose becomes more clear than ever: music is his way of paying it forward. He teaches young people the lessons his upbringing taught him. He wants to flip the game on its head.

Get to know the young mogul in the making in the premiere up above.

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