Nickesse Toney, better known to the world as Nicky Da B, became a face of New Orleans bounce after collaborating with Diplo on the twerk craze-inciting classic "Express Yourself" in 2012. A year ago today, Nicky passed away at the early age of 24, shocking the dance community and cutting short a career about to enter its prime.
Before his passing, Nicky held a strong influence on rising Philadelphian producer G-Buck and fellow Louisiana-based rhymesayer Keno. "I was like I gotta work with him," says Buck. "But I thought a track with Nicky was out of my league. I messaged him on Facebook in mid-2013 like, Hey I have this beat I'd love you on. Literally 30 minutes later he responded like, Yo this is dope, You want a verse or hook? I could go off on this"
"And he did go off," Buck goes on. "He sent me back three or four different versions for the track, each one with different, higher energy. It was dope. I sent back my produced version of the song. Nicky and his management loved it. I needed another verse to finish everything off and that's when his untimely death happened."
The tune lay dormant as G-Buck searched for a voice that could honor Nicky's power. He found it in Fly Boy Keno. "He is he perfect follow-up punch to Nicky. It was like poetry how everything fit together," says Buck. "It made so much sense to me. I worked with Keno on 'ShakeLine' prior. A lot of people left comments on Keno tunes comparing the two but they really have two different styles and cadences."
The result of all this is "Ride The Bike," released a year to the day after Nicky's passing, created in homage and celebration of his towering creative ability. "I'm so happy to hear Nicky's voice again. It's just like he's still here now," says longtime friend and manager Rusty Lazer. "He brought his best to everything he worked on and this is no different. It's extra special on the anniversary of his passing that I get a chance to feel some of those difficult emotions with a part of Nicky that he loved to share the most. I still think of him every day."
"It was a honor working on this record with such a remarkable and wonderful soul," says Keno. "May his legacy continue to live on through each and every artist breaking grounds from our city. Nicky had set the tolls extremely high and he will always be remembered as a trendsetter."
Rest in peace, Nickesse Toney. May your music live forever.