Berkeley’s favorite son Caleborate has worked hard to put the city on over the last few years, dropping projects such as Hella Good and 1993 showcasing his ability on the mic and paying homage to his roots and supporters. Both projects looked toward the future as Caleb continues to build himself and grow into the Bay music scene overflowing with talent.
Caleborate’s latest release, Real Person, is a major departure from the previous two projects. Where Hella Good and 1993 offered hints of Caleb’s ability to wax introspective, Real Person is a project completely centered around authenticity and candor. His ability to lay himself bare over the track does not come at the cost of any content and results in his most comprehensive project to date.
Real Person sheds the ornaments that adorn the current wave of hip-hop. The project carries few features apart from 1-O.A.K., Donte Thomas, and MVCK, as well as guest vocals from Alexis Angulo. The instrumentals are laid back and cohesive, dropping multiple vocals layers and samples in favor of a more simplistic approach. It works. Real Person focuses on the essentials of production and songwriting, allowing Caleborate’s voice to reverberate throughout.
This would not be possible without the quality Caleb brings to his bars. He pens a eulogy for himself over fantastic production from names such as Lege Kale, Ian McKee, Willem Ardui, Drew Banga, and a few others. Caleborate’s familiarity with his producers is another driving force of the project. Their ability to translate their visions into reality sustain what would be a daunting concept in others’ hands.
Caleborate talks living, legacy, mental state, drive, ambition and more on the project, even tackling the complexities of current politics on “Down.” Caleborate fleshes out the roots of his ambitions and traces his trajectory all the way back to his parent’s divorce on the standout track “Wanna Be.” His phenomenal singles “Soul” and “Bankrobber” also make an appearance on the project.
Real Person is a story of life, obstacles, anxieties and dreams. The multiplicity of topics that Caleb tackles over the course of the 10-track album coalesce into one concept: the real person. Caleborate strips himself down to create music on a human level that reflects the humility that has endeared him to so many fans.
Caleborate continues to push forward, already releasing visual content and hosting listening parties to celebrate the new project. Let him take you away with Real Person on SoundCloud below.