Lately the New York hip-hop collective, Pro Era, has been trying to prove that they are more than just Joey Bada$$. Kirk Knight dropped an impressive debut project at the end of 2015 entitled, Late Knight Special. But now the spotlight is on Brooklyn and Pro Era emcee, Nyck Caution, with the recent release of his debut project Disguise the Limit.
If you’ve been following the Pro Era or Beastcoast Movement you may have seen Caution’s name come up on the collaborative mixtapes, features and on his debut mixtape The Pursuit, Vol. 1. Nyck picked up rapping as a hobby growing up in Brooklyn’s Basin neighborhood citing Eminem and 8 Mile as he’s main influence. It wasn’t until Caution was in high school where he met Joey [Bada$$], and began recording with the late Capital Steez, that he started taking rapping seriously. For the people who are unfamiliar, Nyck also has a background in acting. In 2013 he starred in the indie movie, It Felt Like Love, that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
During some downtime at this year’s SXSW Nyck’s manager was able to link me with the 22-year-old emcee. We chopped it up about everything from Pro Era, to his album Disguise the Limit and his favorite movies. Check out what Nyck and I talked about in further detail below.
RESPECT.: What’s up man how are you?
Nyck: Chillin’ I’m at SXSW.
RESPECT.: How is it out there and who are you out there with?
Nyck: Joey comes later today but I’m with the pros and sh*t chillin’.
RESPECT.: When did you start rapping or what made you want to rap?
Nyck: I can’t even give you an age… but I started recording when I was in the 10th grade with my friend that I record with still ‘til this day. I just always had that passion and once I had the tools to get it done I started doing it every day.
RESPECT.: What drives you and what is the message you try to deliver with your music?
Nyck: The main theory behind the whole sh*t that I came up with is to inspire the escape. The whole idea is to relate to all of these people in whatever situation they are in… And to inspire them no matter what it is weather is drugs or poverty or whatever the situation may be I would like them to get out of that situation.
RESPECT.: Your debut album, why did you choose the name Disguise the Limit?
Nyck: Well I used it because of Capital Steez rest in peace to one of the founders of Pro Era… The studio we use to go to and the line “The sky is the limit, that’s what they told the f*cking fool. The sky is the limit now I’m aiming for the sun and moon.” When I heard that line that was the first line I heard from a peer that really impressed and stuck with me. “Disguise the limit” is such a cool play on words too and when he [Steez] passed away we were trying to figure out this Pro Era thing I feel like it fit the message and my project really well. I just wanted to use some of his ideas and spread the message he already stared with my project.
RESPECT.: What was your favorite track to record/write on Disguise the Limit?
Nyck: I had a lot of favorites but I really liked recording “Inspire the Escape.” We just did that whole song in a day or two. We had the singer [Madison Iman] come in and there just was really good vibes in the room and afterwards I added production to it. The whole process of the song was seamless and it was one of the first songs finished on the project.
RESPECT.: I saw that on “What’s Understood” Metro Boomin produced it. How was it working with him?
Nyck: Actually I was in a Joey session with Metro and he was just making beats with Joey. Joey had some beats that he didn’t end up doing and I was in the session like, “Yo I want this beat.” Joey sent it to me as soon as I got home from L.A. and I did my verse on it and sent it to Joey and got it done. Being in the studio with Metro: he’s very consistent and efficient he just made beats one after another and they were all fire. That was very inspiring.
RESPECT.: I just saw your video for “Basin” it was really dope, I can’t lie man. Where were you trying to go with that? It reminds me of a movie.
Nyck: The idea behind that sh*t was like–in the song I used the Fight Club sample– which is saying everything is a copy and you don’t know if you are asleep or awake. If you are listening to the beat and the switch up it captures the mind of someone who can’t sleep and has insomnia. To me it’s like you are waking up in this club atmosphere and all of these places where you don’t know where you’re really at… When you’re asleep you kind of feel drugged out and what’s fake. The whole concept was trying to distinguish what’s real and what isn’t real. I’m trying to give my videos a broad idea and have the cinematography look really dope. I have to watch it to establish what it means as a viewer.
RESPECT.: You sampled Fight Club. Are you heavy into movies. What are your top 3 movies?
Nyck: Well I love the “Pursuit of Happiness” for sure… My three favorite are different than 3 that inspire me. I can’t think of two other ones off the top.
RESPECT.: How do you feel about the direction of Pro Era as the future? I see Obama’s daughters rocking your shirts and that says a lot.
Nyck: It’s kind of like Joey had projects out and we all just had features here and there. Now you are getting full projects from us as individual artist. It’s showing how Pro Era is diverse as a group. When you hear a Kirk Knight Verse and hear a Nyck Caution verse it’s not going to sound the same because it has different sounds and vibes. The more we grow with Pro Era the more the range we are going to have as a full group.
RESPECT.: Who is the craziest person you met and who do you want to work with?
Nyck: Being on tour with Wiz [Wiz Khalifa] and seeing him every day was surreal. He’s such a down to earth cool dude. To actually see him chill with him and smoke with him it was just surreal, but you got to play it like it’s normal because you do that sh*t every day. The person I would want to work with is Quentin Tarantino all of his sh*t is just ridiculous.
RESPECT.: Who do you listen to that’s aside from Pro Era or Beastcoast?
Nyck: Denzel Curry. I f**k with Travis [$cott] and went back to old school with a lot of Lil’ Wayne at the moment.
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