Nyck Caution released his newest album “Anywhere But Here” on January 15, one day before his 27th birthday, and it almost feels like it comes from someone more advanced in years. There is not only a sense of loss and the negative feelings associated with loss on this album, but also a sense of hope and duty to carry on even though someone close to you is gone. This is a follow up to his 2016 debut album “Disguise The Limit” and his newest release since last year’s “Open Flame” E.P. Nyck Caution is part of the Pro Era crew out of New York, who also claims Joey Bada$$ and Flatbush Zombies, among others. One thing I noticed about this album, as well as the rest of his releases, is that he seems to value quality over quantity.
This album contains 14 tracks and clocks in around 37 minutes. This made the 12 actual songs on the album, accompanied by two short skits, stand out as almost all bangers. His past releases have followed a similar pattern with “Open Flame” running 15 mins over five tracks, his Nyck@Knight project with Kirk Knight was 26 minutes over eight tracks, and “Disguise The Limit” was 44 minutes over 11 tracks. I do not know if this intentional on his part, but it makes his albums feel like they are all killer and no filler, and his projects always leave me wanting more.
From the moment I hit play, I knew I was going to love this album. “December 24” features a sparse beat with Caution starting off with his trademark delivery building as the song progresses. If this song’s story is autobiographical, he talks a little about his Dad’s death and how it has affected him going forward. “Your pops woulda turned in his grave if he saw that you gave up, that’s not how the Caution was bred” is a line that conveys his loss but also how that loss motivates him. I do not know if losing my Dad this year makes this album resonate so much with me.
The song “Anywhere But Here” starts off with a sample of a guy talking, presumably his Dad, shouting out the Pro Era crew and telling them to win a Grammy. This song also contains another laid-back beat with Caution spitting fire over the top. This song also has a certain sadness to it, but you will get caught up in the lyrics and the beat. “Motion Sickness” is the third track on the album and continues the introspective look at life that feels prominent on this album. This song felt like it was more representative of hope than sadness. Vin Skit No.1 features the same voice I presumed to be his Dad on the second track, and it is a silly little skit, but I am sure Nyck included it to give listeners a little insight into his Dad’s personality.
“How You Live It” is the next song on the album and is the first single of the album. The song features Joey Bada$$ and is probably the best representation of Nyck Caution’s style. “What You Want” kicks off with the hook for the song and then Caution tears it up. This song feels like a response to aspects of the music business that Caution is less than thrilled with. “Dirt On Your Name” is laid back in both beat and flow, but the song has to be one of the best on the album, with a hook that is sung and will no doubt get stuck in your head. The next track is the second skit on the album and features that same voice from the first skit joking around with the punchline being Denzel Curry who is featured on the song that follows.
“Bad Day” has a catch hook and high energy flows from both Caution and Curry. This must be my favorite track on the album. “Coat Check/ Session 47” is another laid-back beat with fire flow over the top. “Product of My Environment” features Nyck Caution, Erick The Architect, and Kota the Friend spitting what sound to be autobiographical bars. “Things Could Be Worse” is another song that feels hopeful and shows a point of view that you gain after coming out of loss. I found this to be very uplifting and was something I needed to hear. “Something To Remember Me By” is the second to last track and sonically sounds like it could be similar to a Mac Miller song. “Kids That Wish” closes out the album and feels like a celebratory song to me a little bit. This features another sample of the voice I assume is his Dad’s giving him a very inspiring message.
If you like hip-hop, you need to check out this album. Nyck Caution, along with everyone else in the Pro-Era crew, are younger rappers who have a very 90’s aesthetic and sound. While this album has a lot of sadness in it, there is just as much celebration and hope. If you have recently lost someone important to you this album will hit you a certain way, and if you have not, then this will be your new favorite album from your new favorite rapper.