Define a “Real Person.” What characteristics can you break it down to? Maybe words like, honest or loyal, come to mind, but Caleborate defines a real person as being “unapologetically yourself”.
Born Caleb Parker, Caleborate is an emcee from Berkeley, CA who’s running through the game as an independent artist under his TBKTR label. The acronym, short for That Black Kid That Raps, is his self-reflection materialized into a record label, collective and lifestyle. Caleb’s first LP Hella Good (2015) introduces him as a socially conscious lyricist, a surprising image due to the Bay Area’s notoriety for Hyphy and ratchet music. It’s instrumentation credits local producers, 1-O.A.K. and Kuya Beats.
Story | Nico Blitz
In 2016, the Berkeley-bred emcee launched his sophomore opus 1993, which skyrocketed his career even further with more hits produced from Bay Area heavy hitters HBK P-Lo, Julia Lewis, and another local up-and-comer, Elujay. Though its most popular record “Consequences” carries more head-bobbing swagger in the beat, the Julia Lewis-produced song is an honest explanation of Caleb’s willingness to avoid stagnation, as he just wants to “chill, smoke, drink and be cool”.
But the question remains: How did Caleborate sonically forge a non-traditional Hyphy sound despite working with many of the Bay’s instrumental blacksmiths? From his experiences growing up as a young adult, moving from house to house, and tampering with the notion of changing the world, Caleb proves that being “unapologetically yourself” is boundless.
His most recent album, Real Person, confesses his many pitfalls that (re)shaped his identity and personal views. As a young black man in the United States, a child of divorced parents, and on the edge of having little to no money, Caleborate explains his struggles and its effect in his music in our exclusive interview below:
He also threw in a jab at Donald Trump in our freestyle session, Recess Rhymes.
At the end of the day, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if we were unapologetically ourselves. Because, really, why fuck with people who don’t fuck with you?
Listen to Caleborate’s 2017 project Real Person below. For more on the Berkeley-native, visit his website.