Nyck Caution – Disguise The Limit

Originally published at Hip-Hop DX on March 9, 2016

Despite being a secondary Pro Era member, NYCk Caution’s latest offering will leave those in tune with the Brooklyn crew eager for the next drop. Album mentalities are established on moments such as a “Stay Fly” remix interlude and Edward Norton Fight Club clad intros. On the LP’s lead loosie, “Church,” the Three 6 Mafia rip gives way to the hungry mic animal chanting “Live for the highs, live through the lows.” As all of Pro Era toured across the world, this rallying call was heard from mosh pits to moments of silence.

From the onset of Disguise the Limit, named for a Capital Steez lyric from the song “Negus,” Caution’s furious flow is on display. His lyrical prowess is strong with the levels showcasing his abrasive style of spitting. He opens the project with “I assassinate these feelings/ Vaccinate my children/ In the apple we be rotting/ While I calculate a million/ Break the shackle off my ankle/ ‘cuz they tryna make me fit in/ And there’s them who know/ That we rise for the resistance,” and rarely slows down from there.

“Out of Reach” stands as the project’s finest lyrical moment, taking the listener on a narrative journey chronicling the tragic suicidal end of Capital Steez’ life through the eyes of his friends. The homage is not only heartfelt but uses such colorful description that it is easy to empathize with the feeling of loss and shock. The loss of Steez was also compounded by the death of his father and the most prolific moments arrive when NYCk tackles these feelings head on. “Baptize” revisits dreams of his late mentor: “Told me do what you do/ and believe in yourself the way I’m believing in you…I swear on everything when I leave this earth/It’ll be on both feet no knees on the dirt.”

The production moves in interesting directions with original boom bap over spacey synths that cover everything from melodic singing, high-hats and deep strings in the background. Mid-song shifts from big electronics and arena rock vibes on “Crucifix” to punk rock near heavy metal on “Wordsmith” will undoubtedly please longtime Pro Era supporters. Caution stays in step with the solid work of numerous producers including Chuck Strangers, Slauson Malone, Metro Boomin’ and Kirk Knight whose fingerprints are all over work.

Nyck’s main shortcoming is a lack of versatility with his delivery which sounds a bit out of place on some softer moments such is the case with the laid back sonics of “Just in Case” and “Holding Back.” Like most verbose MCs who tend to spill their thoughts on subdued production, Caution’s thoughts often get lost in musical translation. In order to make a more well-rounded project in the future, there will need to be a diversity within the flows to make more dynamic product. The victory lap “What’s Understood,” featuring dueling verses from NYCk and cohort Joey Bada$$, leave things off on a positive note and is indication that his best is coming right around the corner.

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