Interview by Michael Alexander
Photo by @bgiggz
From: The Bay
Notable Works: #theusual, Hella Good
Influences: J. Cole, Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye West
What prompted your start for your career path?
I’d have to say my older brother first peaked my interest in making music. He started singing and rapping around 2010 and kind of encouraged me to get into it around the studio. As a younger brother, I tagged along and tried to keep up. As I kept practicing, it just started to materialize into something actually cool. As I aged a little more and got to around 16 or 17, rappers like J. Cole and Kanye continued to push me into doing it seriously and I then became more and more passionate about it once I realized how powerful I could be once I used my words the right way.
Who first recognized your talents and what it meant to you?
I think the first person to really recognize my talent was my pop. I think he always knew that he had talented children and he instilled the kind of qualities in us that made us want to be unique. I think I search for deeper approval of my artistic ability from my pop just because I think he’s a really dope artist himself. He also pushed me in a direction to get into studios and hone my talents and to understand the importance of saying something in your music instead of just talking about frivolous things that don’t really mean much.
First problem you have come across?
As far as music is concerned, one of the biggest problems I found was just getting it heard. That is where the spamming “Check me out” comments came into play. It was my first situation where I had to problem solve and do it with regards to making the art form that I care for the most pop off. I think this was a good problem to have, hell it was a great lesson for me to learn to because as you get deeper into this industry it doesn’t really get easier.
As an up and coming artist what was it that you’ve seen that you needed to improve on?
I think I needed to improve on my relatability most I guess. I’ve always been interested in rapping about my personal life and what afflicts me on a day to day basis and while that does strike a solid chord with people it also kind of keeps the music from being universally felt. So I’ve spent a lot of time learning the best way to relay my experiences to people and keep it dope so that they can feel it and vibe out as much as possible.
How will you make an impact given a chance? Why should people take notice in your work?
I will always make an impact by being myself, I feel like my story (everyone’s really) is unique to tell. And with that, the way that my pen relays what I see and feel is by default going to be different and make someone take notice. I can’t really tell you why you should do something, I guess I can say you it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to take notice of my work because it is honest, it is dope and it is a super fucking cool vibe. It’s hella good.
What are your Top 5 albums or mixtapes of all time?
I’m not sure if I can say this in ranking because this is such a damn hard question and I’m certain I’m going to leave something out [laughs] here goes;
Resurrection – Common, College Dropout – Kanye, Friday Night Lights – J. Cole, Reasonable Doubt – Jay Z, Kush and OJ – Wiz Khalifa
Where do you see your career in the next 10 years?
Somewhere cool hopefully. I don’t know what is in store for me because I can’t tell the future but I hope somewhere cool, happy, and blessed.
Listen to Caleborate’s “Hella Good” below: