Nyk Cage – Key To The City

 Nyk Cage – Key To The City

Nyk Cage – Key To The City – Album Review

I wake up in the morning thinking profit margins…

I knew I was doing life wrong…I’ve never gotten up thinking about anything other than a fresh coffee.

Nyk Cage has got a solid vibe goin’ on…I like what I’ve been hearing on his new EP called Key To The City.  I might not have a single clue about the value of money & all that, but I was still able to find my way into a song like “Principals” as the record began.  To be truthful, I think Cage has been blessed with one of those voices you really just wanna listen to, but to the man’s credit, he uses careful precision on the mic and crafted lyricism to build on his natural talents.  Dude’s got perspective and insightful words when you’re listening to what he’s spittin’ in his lyrics, and he performs with the confidence you wanna hear from a capable emcee that knows how to handle his business.  Nyk’s clearly had a groundbreaking year planned for his music with this being his second record of 2023 so far, or third if you count the fact he remixed his last called 30 Day Run with a ‘chopped & screwed’ variation.  “I’ve got a purpose yo, I’m careful with the time I spend,” as he’ll tell ya himself on “Principals” – which is always a good thing for anyone out there pursuing art/music as a career…trust when I tell ya, if you go into this business with no goals, no aim, and no drive, you’ll be drifting from couch to couch before you crash & burn in four years.

If you do things right though, and you stay focused, you’ll get that money by doing what you love.  Nyk sounds like he’s got the right mindset it takes to succeed in this industry, and he’s certainly got the skill.  Combined with music produced by THE OTH3RS, he’s setting up shop the right way with what it takes to build a legacy…more along the lines of Conscious Hip-Hop than the current trends of Rap/Trap without substance.  I’ve got love for all kinds of music as you regular readers here know, but yeah, I grew up on titans of the mic like Kweli, Mos Def, Common, and the list goes on…I prefer to listen to artists that have got something real to say.  You can consider Cage to be a part of that crowd for the next generation as far as I’m concerned…I listen to the laidback vibes of a cut like “Supercharged,” and I’m seriously impressed with how sharp Nyk’s focus has remained.  Let’s be real here…95% of the people out there that would have got a track like this to rhyme over in the modern day would have approached something like “Supercharged” to give it a faded performance on the mic to match the sound & samples you hear – but Cage proves to be vigilant, aware, and filled with true conviction in every word he spits.  It works!  Call the man crazy if you like, but taking a mix of serious passion and craft to his bars seems like the right way to go about this whole music thang if you ask me.  Solid hooks, great lyricism, and resounding confidence that you can literally hear in every syllable…I’m tellin’ ya, it makes a difference.

One of the most impressive moments on this record actually comes from the shortest track of the set.  I’m not the guy that’ll usually advocate on behalf of short tracks under two-minutes in length, but if you can make the most of every second like you’ll hear Cage do, then sure, I’m all for it.  It’s just rare, that’s all – but I suppose that’s the kind of emcee we’re dealin’ with here.  “Fresh Tulips” is bulletproof y’all – Nyk’s basically puttin’ on a clinic throughout this track, spittin’ what’s undeniable poetry and proving he’s got a genuine taste for the finer things in life.  “Plannin’ for the future while in Vancouver” – hey whaddya know, we’ve got something in common after all!  I could throw a rock and hit Vancouver, and I’ve been here planning for my future for about thirty-seven years of my life at this point.  And here I was a little worried Cage and I weren’t gonna find some common ground as he was rappin about “my masseuse, speaking Spanish as she hits the glutes” – I wasn’t even sure I knew how to SPELL glutes, let alone actually have any worth talkin’ about!  It’s probably fair to say that if you’re out there living a life that’s about champagne flutes, eatin’ lobster, world travel & such…you’ll probably find you relate more to Nyk Cage overall and might get that much more out of his material, but as for the rest of us plebeians, the reality is we can still acknowledge tracks like “Fresh Tulips” still sound incredible, even if it’s harder for us to relate to the substance in the lyricism.  Not all music is designed for everybody, that’s the facts – I stay in my lane and know where my limitations are…I like what I hear without a doubt, but Nyk and I clearly live in different worlds…it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy every day, and I’m cool with that.  It keeps the bills down, you feel me?  Cage is eating meals that likely cost more than I make in a year.

We run in different circles, and that’s all good y’all.  Nyk’s out here shouting out Elon Musk in “Fall Off/Key To The City,” and I personally wouldn’t even shit on that motherfucker if he paid me millions to – I suppose when the machines eventually take over this planet one day and eat the billionaires along with the rest of us, we’ll see who was right to feel the way they did in the long run.  Like I said – can I still acknowledge the fact that a track like “Fall Off/Key To The City” still sounds killer to listen to?  Of course.  None of us should necessarily need to relate to anything that any artist says in any track, ever – that’s the reality; you’ll obviously get more out of any cut if you do of course, but it’s not something we should really expect when we’re all out here living different lives.  Personally, I really enjoyed picturing the kind of lavish life that Nyk Cage was rappin’ about throughout this lineup of songs on Key To The City – there’s no doubt it’d be something else to live the way he is.  I’m certainly not praying that he “Fall Off” – I’m cheering on the man’s success when it comes right down to it.  He’s ambitious, he set goals, and he’s been achieving them…as far as I’m concerned, he’s a role model.  Dude should be proud of putting in the work and getting the results…last I checked that’s the American Dream come to fruition, is it not?  Elon can suck a permanent dick in my opinion, and the big ol’ mouth-hurtin’ kind at that…but Cage is cool.

Is this dude spending a lot of time here in Vancouver though, or is that just what I’m hearing?  This is my first experience with Cage’s music…I’ve got links to a few pages out there & whatnot, but I have no clue where the dude is actually from…is he from right here in BC where I’m at right now?  You’d have to basically have that Musk-money to live around here and feel good about it…and it seems like every time Cage has referenced the city in his songs, he’s been flying into it…so chances are, he’s from somewhere else.  Anyhow.  “Ragtops” is a really solid cut too…in fact, to be honest with ya, I haven’t heard anything less than supreme quality throughout the course of this whole record.  Nyk clearly knows what he wants to get out of his songs, THE OTH3RS have locked down the production…the ingredients are all there, and the execution goes equally hard – that’s the recipe for success right there is what that is.  Cage has pretty much detailed the blueprint of what he does and how he does it…and like a great many people out there that are successful in what they do, they know they can fully spill all the secrets of the sauce out loud, because 99.9% of the people out there simply couldn’t do things the same way even IF they tried, which they probably won’t.  I very much appreciate the way that Cage has gone after his dreams with everything he’s got – dude sounds like he’s a complete professional, and he’s still “all about improving” at this stage of the game, which is good.  We’re all lifelong students of the game if you’re doing things right…no matter where you’re at in life, there’s always another level to reach if you wanna.  “Ragtops” is a stellar cut on this record…I like the way that Nyk has mixed some self-reflection into this track, while also letting us in on what he’s been focused on to become the man/artist he is now today.

Everything is on the up, and I’d rather keep it there” – pay attention y’all…Cage is talkin’ truths in every one of these songs, and for as far beyond the average person’s lifestyle as so many of these tracks can be, he’s actually really grounded when it comes to how he’s gone about relating how he got himself there.  It’s been as simple as being focused on working hard enough to earn himself a Key To The City – and actually putting the work in to get there.  Now he’s flyin’ his mom out to the Maldives and all that – but trust me when I tell ya, none of what he’s achieved has fallen into his lap…the man has earned it, and when you earn it, you deserve it.  “R4W” mixes a dreamier vibe to the music, while giving you an array of insightful lyricism that merges his past into his present, taking you back to stories he doesn’t really wanna talk about, to accomplishments he can’t help but to be proud of.  Clearly, Cage has been through some shit in his life, but he’s been “finessing under pressure” to make a better life for himself, and ultimately, you gotta admire for being “on a whole other level” to achieve everything he’s set his mind to.  I highly suspect the man ain’t done checking off his list of what he wants to accomplish either – so believe me when I tell ya, he’s still on the early side of a long career with the kind of drive and talent he’s got.  “R4W” floats on a cushion of air sound-wise, yet remains humble and grounded in his lyricism.

Everything that I drop is large – I order the venti” – LOVE IT.  Cage wraps up his new record “in beastmode” on “The Journey” at the end…the dude’s hungry for the m-i-c, and I’m completely here for it.  Anyone that’s read these pages of ours throughout the past decade knows I’m all about passion and interest in what YOU do…if you can prove you’ve got those goin’ on, I’m always gonna be in your corner.  Nyk Cage has essentially shown us nothing BUT those two elements, track after track, bar for bar, all the way through Key To The City.  Dig the jazzy vibe and extra swagger that “The Journey” pumps out at the end of his latest record…if anything, I might even be inclined to say he’s got one of his most relevant and accessible cuts right here at the end of this album…people would love this track.  Dude’s got a whole lot to offer the Rap game from the roots of Hip-Hop to a more diverse spin on Trap towards the end of this record, and just about everything in between.  Cage has got the kind of versatility and drive it takes to make a name for himself in this business…I’m stoked to see just how far this man can take his career over these next years to come, and excited to listen to whatever he chooses to do with his music next.

Find out more about Nyk Cage at his official page at Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/nyk.cage

Find out what we do & how we do it at sleepingbagstudios, and be the next up on our pages by clicking here!



"I’m passionate about what I do, and just as passionate about what YOU do. Together, we can get your music into the hands of the people that should have it. Let’s create something incredible."

Send this to a friend