Beast Coast recently brought Big Tigger back into the fold for nostalgic return of “The Basement Cypher,” and while each member held it down, Nyck Caution caught attention when he issued a challenge to some of the game’s white rappers: “Why every white rapper rap quick?” he ponders. “Slow them down and see if they can out-rap Nyck.” The chorus of “NO!” from his compatriots speaks volumes. 

Though Nyck’s bars are likely skewing toward playful competition, his call-out does raise an interesting point. For the most part, many prominent white rappers – including Eminem, Logic (though he is biracial), Yelawolf, Lil Dicky, and Machine Gun Kelly – have a tendency to spit at higher tempos, especially when compared to their modern-day peers and contemporaries. While the stylistic trend was originally explored by rappers like Twista and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (who, interestingly enough, had a mild feud over this very fact), it has since become associated with the dreaded “rappity-rap” flow. Today, many critics have associated the aforementioned white rappers with the art of “chopping,” as Tech N9ne once billed it, with songs like Logic & Em’s “Homicide” and Machine Gun Kelly’s “Breaking News 2” acting as prime exhibits. 

Nyck, who comes from Italian and Jewish heritage, is known for his bold and enunciated New York style, fuelled in parts by bravado, experience, and his environment. Never one to fall back on the shallow pleasures of double-time for double-time’s sake, Nyck prefers to make a point through the strength of his punchlines and imagery, a student of The Lox in a sense. That’s not to say a speed-rapper can’t slide clever punchlines into a verse, as Eminem has proven capable of doing, but all too often rappers opt for placeholder, rhyming non-sequitur words to meet syllabic requirement; hence the all-too-familiar brand of “lyrical miracle.” 

Nyck’s confidence is admirable, and his challenge does serve in shining a spotlight on modern-day flow trends. Adding a racial element to the discussion is inevitable to ruffle certain feathers, but it can’t be denied that Nyck’s take addresses to a specific demographic of artists. Yet there’s another element at play, more interesting to admirers hip-hop of techniques. The idea that rapping fast has become synonymous with craft mastery is likely frustrating to a New York scholar like Nyck, and by association, his likeminded Beast Coast associates. Consider the origin of stylistic influence when analyzing Nyck’s challenge, and consider that speaking quickly is worth little when greater substance is lacking. 

Be sure to watch the Beast Coast Basement Cypher, which features excellent performances across the board, Nyck Caution’s closing challenge among them. Look for that Escape From New York album to drop on May 24th.

Nyck Caution Challenges White Rappers To Stop "Rapping Quick"
Image via HNHH