Nicole Learner
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Nicole Learner

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop R&B

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"Nicole Learner EP Series Overview"

After much waiting, Nicole Learner is here with her project. But it wasn’t just any project because she didn’t just bring us one EP. She didn’t just bring us two EPs. She came to us with THREE EPs as part of her Nicole Learner EP Series. If you’re not familiar with Nicole’s music, she has a very unique flow, focusing more on substance of WHAT she’s saying rather than HOW she says it. You can always relate to the subject matter in her songs and she delivers three different messages in this series.


The Love Bitter EP

It’s probably easy to guess the theme of the first of the EP series. The five track project dives into the different aspects of love. On here, Learner explores the many levels of love we can experience. For example on “All Yours,” (which I have a personal bias for that one day we’ll examine) she talks about the infamous one night stand. Her flow is as dope as ever but it’s literally just the beginning of the ride. One thing I noticed early is that her writing has gotten better. This was made abundantly clear to my favorite cut off of the EP, “Memory.” In it, she delivers two verses about an old flame. But its the manner in which she delivers them. At least to this listener, I got the image of Learner working at her job as she’s having this conversation. The imagery invoked of her messing up serving customers and quickly dismissing a call as a “wrong number,” really makes it feel like she’s distracted at work by a memory. Overall, The Love Bitter EP is the outlet pass of the series.


Unfostered Attentiveness

The tone of the series takes a more serious tone with this EP. Here we find Nicole exploring herself and the environment around her. It’s her “conscious hip hop” EP if one is desperate to put a label on it. The title of the EP itself is interesting. I’ve broken the title down to the “attention of the unsupervised” or “attention of the orphaned.” You get the sense that she is trying to convey that much of what she’s learning from the world wasn’t necessarily brought to her attention but rather she’s learning on the fly. For example on “Good Enough,’ she speaks on having this insecurity about our need to meet society’s standards, constantly navigating through what others want you to do or what’s cool. What’s dope about this song is the “disembodied voice” that acts as Learner’s conscious on the hook, telling her all the things she could do to be “good enough.” But as defiant as ever, she states that’s not for her and that she has grander plans in store. Even with a bumping bass reminiscent of a trap beat, this is the type of learning that Nicole is trying to get the listener to understand. I was also quite excited for the third installment of “Mother City,” and of course I was not disappointed. Nicole has always had a love for her hometown, even through it’s constant changes. She’s always been able to convey her complicated relationship with her surroundings and this edition was no different. She is accompanied by Miss Gray, not only her engineer with the project, but one of her biggest motivators in this process. She delivers a dope verse behind Learner making this a gem. Unfostered Attentiveness is absolutely the poetic alley oop pass. Which means what comes up is the dunk.


F*ck All That…I Just Wanna Chill

After about 20 minutes of listening to UA, you’re probably ready to lead your own revolution of change. But Learner hits you with the biggest swerve and as the title of the EP suggests, its all about vibing now. There’s “Good Time” with Crown and Dot Cash which will set you in the perfect mood for any night out. There’s also the relentless “Empty Bottles” where Learner gave me one of my anthems of 2016 with “drink em and pour em.” One of the more interesting songs is “In Advance” which is the perfect tale of the being firmly in a friend zone but after a night of drinking and partying…well you know what the title of the EP is. We also get a reunion of sorts with “Left Behind” which marks the return of Tone Low and L7 who, along with Learner, made up the group of KaOz. I can honestly say, it just might be the best track the three have done together as they all drop three killer verses and have a very dope hook to accompany it.


Overall Thoughts

The Nicole Learner EP series was well worth the wait. Learner was able to take three different themes and create three very solid tapes. There’s something for everyone if you take the time to listen and I definitely suggest you do. Nicole Learner believes in r.a.p. music: Respect. Acceptance. Progression. And with this series, she is definitely on the right path with her progression, creating an experience that is unique to her style. - B.A. Braxton


"Coldtrain Keeps Chugging: My Favorite Nicole Learner Songs"

Coldtrain Keeps Chugging: My Favorite Nicole Learner Songs
tallguy54November 14, 2015musicbirthday, music, Nicole Learner, rap, songs

Today is a special day because it is Nicole Learner’s birthday!!!!



Me and the homie are very similar. We love food. We have a ear for all types of music. We’ve shared a crush on Ariana Grande. Those are three most important things in any friendship, if you’re wondering. While we patiently await her newest offerings, here is a list of my personal favorite tracks.

Honorable Mention

“Sleep, Sleep” from Microwave Minute Flow series

“Like Me” from FromTheTop

“Window Seat” from FromTheTop

10) “RappersalaCrispies” from FromTheTop

Learn This!: “Man it’s getting dangerous/I can tell they scared of us/The probably think we murderous/killing all these beats and stuff.”

Kicking off my countdown is a song that had an Annie sample. With that moment, this song was already a personal favorite but then Nicole decides to rip her verse. She doesn’t talk about that often but I really like this one.

9) “Bottom Dreamer” from Microwave Minute Flow series

Learn This!: “Now when you coming up, where you from can hold you back/And when you get big, it could take you right back.”

There was a time Nic would drop what she would call Microwave Minute Flows, a quick string of bars to salivate the taste buds. This one was one of my favorites. It’s kind of a personal track which is really one of her strong suits.

8) “Truth of the Matter” from WakenCrank the Mixtape

Learn This!: “Where you wanna go? Can I take you there?/If I don’t know the way, will you guide me there?/If I don’t have the gas, will you ride me there?”

Nicole has a very unique ear for beats. Many tracks involve sampling and if you know my love for Charles Hamilton, then you know I enjoy a good sample. Here, she nabs one of her favorite artists Frank Ocean and the soothing track is perfect for the crush Nicole is conveying to the listener. This also marked the first time we ever did a “collab” as the poem at the end is written by yours truly. Me and Nicole might just have some more stuff cooking up so stay tuned!

7) “Attack on Titan” from TALKING TALL THEME SONG

Learn This!: I stick it and move it. See watch how I do it/You solid in state. See me I’m more like fluid/I get what I wanna. Don’t tell me I can’t/I’ll never forget how you told me fake facts.

Can’t remember when it was but one night, I tweeted out that i wanted a theme song for this blog. I thought it would be a cool thing to do but didn’t think anyone would take it seriously. Next thing I know, Nicole hit me up and sent me this gem. She truly captures who I am which really isn’t that different from who she is. Just as I’m passionate about my writing, she is twice as passionate about music and you can hear in this song as she rips ALL of her verses. She even got Nisho to drop a few bars too making this song the perfect theme song I could ask for.

6) “MotherCity” from FromTheTop

Learn This!: “I’ll never forget you, forever I’ll represent you.”

Nicole, in my opinion, has a love/hate relationship with her home of DC. On the one hand she will rep it until the day she dies. But there are times when she’s not a fan of what its become. MotherCity is her heartfelt way of speaking to DC. And yet again, that sample!

5) “You Got That” from ???

Learn This!: Roses are red/Violets are blue/I hate flowers but I love you

If you remember, Learner debuted this here at Talking Tall some time ago. Think “Truth of the Matter” but now with an uptempo beat. Nicole is having fun here, adorably letting her crush know that “you got that that that!”

4) “IFHY Cover” from WakenCrank the Mixtape

Learn This!: “Feeling come and go but for you they are the latter/Just don’t start that being nice shit/that makes me even madder”

This was such a dope original cover of Tyler, the Creator’s song. Nicole is able to sound so calm while spitting bars that are borderline stalker-ish. However, I am still upset that the video she did was taken off Youtube. If you ever got the pleasure of seeing it, you saw exactly how much fun Nicole has in the studio and doing what she loves.

3) “OneoftheseMornings” from FromTheTop

Learn This!: “I don’t want to see you give up/I want to stop time for you just so you could catch up.”

This song holds so much sentimental value. This is actually where it all started for me and Nicole. She spit the verses for me and I was in awe that this girl who I had seen countless time on campus could really spit…like better than most of those who I knew rapped. What struck me was the subject matter. So many people can rap about cars and clothes and materialistic things. But she rapped about personal subjects, stuff you could tell came from a genuine place. That day I was blown away and I gained a friend in the process.

2) “MumbleJumble” from FromTheTop

Learn This!: Hanging with the homies, they stay fucking with the ozone/but at ground level, we come back, fuck up your home grown

Remember what I said about loving samples. Come on! Dexter’s Lab? Nicole starts the song with the very appropriate “This might be the most random thing I’ve ever written” and for good reasons. But damn if it isn’t a dope track. She’s all over the place subject wise but she keeps that flow tight.

1 ) “IHearEmTalkin” from FromTheTop

Learn This!: “I had to make em watch, my journey to the top/cuz they said I couldn’t do it, now they gotta suffer through it.”

This right here is one of my favorite songs of all time. Like if I were to make a 100 song playlist to listen to on a deserted island for the rest of my life, this is on there. No question. The rapid flow, the nonstop wordplay. If you stare at your ipod, laptop, or whatever you’re listening to the song from closely, you can see the swagger she’s just sweating off. I wanted a 2nd verse so badly. Will i ever get it? Maybe (GASP!)

If you want to listen to these songs, be sure to visit Nicole Learner’s website, nicolelearnermusic.com!

Happy Birthday Nic! We’re all anticipating what fire you got coming next! - B.A.Braxton


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Nicole Learner was born in Washington, DC on November 13, 1991. She was raised in the city with two other siblings in a single parent household. Growing up, Nicole eventually strayed away from the typical activities of her peers.  Many of them either played sports or became caught up in the “street lifestyle.” However, Nicole turned to music. Being homeschooled during her middle school years, she spent much of her time writing and playing her keyboard. By the time she got to high school, she began playing brass instruments, making beats, and learning about sound engineering.  

“I never really learned how to fit in or how to be socially comfortable around people because we moved so much growing up. I never really cared about making friends because I knew that they wouldn’t be around for long.”  - Nicole Learner

In 2009, Nicole left Washington, DC to attend Randolph-Macon College and would go on to graduating in 2013 with a degree in Arts Management. During her time there, she performed at music events on campus and gained support from fellow students. All the support she received made her seriously consider becoming a professional rapper. Her biggest push came from author, poet, and blog writer, Brandon Braxton. Even today you can catch them trading jokes, sharing music, and supporting each other on Twitter and Facebook.

“When I first rapped for him. The first thing he said was, Nigga? Why are you still here. To this day. That has to be the greatest compliment that I have received so far,”

Nicole Learner began taking her music seriously the summer of 2013. She began her journey with a project titled “Wakencrank The Mixtape.” A six-track mixtape created to let people know that she had decided to pursue a professional music career.

Nicole makes music because she feels the need to make a change in people’s lives from an authentic perspective. She puts it this way,

“If I can get a kid to not pick up gun or drugs in the first place. Then we won’t need to prevent it in the future. I want to show people that you can be positive, conscious, and fun. I listened to the stories and learned early that getting caught up in negative things had negative consequences. At a young age I just wanted to be the change I wanted to see.”

Nicole grew up idolizing female artists such as Lauryn Hill, Nonchalant, and Left Eye. Females that people respected, but for some reason had their success shorted a mainstream level. On the male side she loved listening to Tupac, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, and eventually Kanye West. All of these artist shared unique perspectives of society through their lyrics. However, the crazy thing is, her primary music of choice is R&B, Soul, and Golden Oldies.

“Its just something about a great singer’s ability to melodically articulate their feelings in a way that touches you in an inexplicable way. I always say that I only rap cause I can’t sing. And its so true! I just have to figure out how to communicate my feelings tone wise through rap the same way a singer would and I’ll be good…great.”

Nicole’s style of rap fits somewhere in the realm of genuine artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, J. Cole, Mac Miller, Rapsody, and Chance the Rapper. Although, I think most would agree that that wouldn’t be quite accurate either. Nicole is opening a new lane for a new type of rapper.

“When I make my music, it’s so someone can have their own experience with it. I don’t to use complex word structures to get my message accross. I just want to say it. Maybe throw a little sparkle here and there from time to time, but that’s it. I won’t you to get what I’m expressing from a place that’s relevant to you too. It’s funny that my desire for this all began because I wanted to be a sound engineer. I still do, but I want to see how far the rap takes me.”

Her most recent release, The Nicole Learner EP Series, can be found on numerous platforms including SoundCloud and Bandcamp. A sample version of the series can also be found on Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, and Google Play.  The goal of the project was to take the listener on a musical journey with three separate EPs: The Love Bitter EP, Un-fostered Attentiveness, and Fvck All That: I Just Wanna Chill.  As always with her music, she finds a way to relate to everyone on the project. The series is a fitting introduction to seeing her diversity as an artist.

Nicole Learner’s music is crafted with the intentions of giving you content that you can define with your own feelings and thoughts. She describes it like this,

“It’s like ever morphing clay. So when I touch it, it’s my experience and my feelings. But when it gets to you and you touch it, you can vibe to it with your experiences and your feelings.“

Nicole Learner’s musical journey has just begun and you do not want to miss out! Support Nicole Learner and, above all, support and spread good music!

Band Members