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Caleborate’s “Real Person” Explores Young, Black, and Gifted

Written by Innocent Owuor

A few weeks ago, in an article on hip hop and mental health I made a statement. I wrote that hip hop has gold at its core: it’s up to us to dig for it. Well, I have been mining away and found a gem. Caleb Parker, a.k.a. Caleborate, fights to break the mold and stifle the ignominious shaming of rap music.

Unlike many of his colleagues, Caleborate’s perception of hip hop is far greater than a source of income and praise. It is an arena of articulation. Moreover, it is an arena accessible to the Young, Black and Gifted, who find little resonance with what is perceived as good music today. It is refreshing to see rappers take up the challenge and speak for his own.

During an XXL interview, he revealed his objective. He says: “I’m a Gemini and I just know myself. I’m not very good at not saying what I feel. There’s shit to me that happens in the world that I feel like if you’re an artist, a celebrity, or entertainer and you have that platform, there’s a lot of shit that should be talked about.”

His music taps into aquifers of soul, bridges the “Art for Art’s Sake” movement with the purposeful drive of rap, and bears the melancholic persona many Young, Black and Gifted listeners carry everyday.

If you are feeling empathetic, or want to engage with a conversational flow and emotional storytelling, “Real Person” is the perfect rap album for you.

From the first song: “Caught up,” the conversation between you and Caleborate begins with a luscious rhodes piano intro and a touching synopsis of the troubling consternations in his life. From then on, the album engages with your incomplete experiences, making you yearn for Caleborate’s closure and your own.

Disclaimers: Closure does not come at the end and every song in the album is explicit. Some lines will have you begging for political correctness, but he does not shy away from it. The misogyny and materialism present in his songs are an indicator of how society failed to teach him better. Rather than hide it, he choses to include it and showcase his flaws.

Caleborate seeks to bring reality back to rap and spark a revolution of retrospection. His introspective album is a welcomed mutiny.


Join the insurgency, listen to Caleborate.

About the author

Innocent Owuor