Caleborate might be one of the Bay Area’s finest. Born in Sacramento but currently residing in Berkeley, (real name) Caleb is a rapper whose music needs to be heard. More importantly, he’s a Real Person. A real human being with real life struggles just like the rest of us. Which leads us to his debut project. If you thought his last project, 1993, was good, you’re in for a treat. Read more…
Beyond telling his story, Real Person sees Caleb flexing his pen game over smooth, soul-sampled beats. At just 24, Caleborate proves he’s here to stay. Young California had the pleasure of catching up with Caleb in the city of Angels.
For those who don’t know, who is Caleborate?
Caleborate is Caleb Parker: MC from Sacramento, California / Berkeley, California / just the world. I don’t know what else they need to know. [laughs] He’s a real person.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe it as very eclectic. I listen to so much music. My music is like a really delicious soup.
You’re poppin’ in the Bay. How does being home compare to places like LA?
It’s just more unexplored territory, when I travel. There’s more things to do and more new people to meet. Just more openings and more things to achieve, because back home in the Bay, I’ve done a lot.
Do you feel it’s harder to convince people elsewhere?
Nah, not really. As long as the music is good, as long as the shit’s quality, as long as you’re bringing talent to the table, it should be pretty easy. Just gotta be on your A game all the time, you know?
Debut album ‘Real Person’ is out now. How you feeling?
I’m feeling good, I’m feeling good. It’s being received pretty well so I’m just waiting for it to really blow up like I know it can. So, just working on that: trying to blow it up.
I actually listened to this last night. You’re getting real personal. What do you want fans to get out of your story?
I just want them to hear that truth. I just want them to hear the music and… I really want them to just identify with it. That’s the hope, that’s the goal, and I think it’s pretty easy to do when you listen to the project. So, once they put it on: just give it a fair listen and let it work its magic.
You’ve had a crazy relationship with your father. Where do you guys stand now?
We’re cool. We need to talk and hang out more and shit like that. But it’s going to happen. The relationship’s got a bandaid over it.
That’s a beautiful way to put it. Has he heard the project?
I’m not sure yet, I haven’t sat down and played it for him or anything. But I plan on doing that soon.
You mention having a brand new spiritual outlook. What does that look like?
I don’t know — I just like to be woke and open to what is going on. And just be cool and peaceful in the world.
In “4 Willem,” you have a line that says “New sound, new wave.” What’s the old Caleborate compared to the new?
Well, I wasn’t so much talking about my new sound, I was talking about the sound that I implemented in the bay: the wave of very visceral… just Hip Hop that doesn’t have to be hyphy. Just opening the door for that. If anything, I was one of the first people to open that door. So, that’s a good thing.
(In “Down”) You say you’re tired of people saying you’re slept on, what do you say to the nonbelievers?
I just feel like I don’t know what button to press or what key needs to be turned to get the music out the masses. Because I know a lot of people would like it. So I guess I’m just waiting for that to happen. It’s kind of boring… not boring. Just more so like frustrating still being in the same spot. But it’ll come.
What’s it like opening for artists like Kehlani?
It’s really cool. It’s like an honor for that person to see to you as someone they want to have at their show, opening up. It’s not unlike opening any other show. It’s not like mad crazy or special because it’s like, “Omg I’m opening up for Kehlani.” It’s like, opening: coming out, trying to give a good show, you know? Bigger crowd — thats nice. [laughs].
You’re only 24, what’s your end goal?
I don’t know, to just to be as successful as possible. So do a whole bunch of stuff and do it as great as I possibly can. That’s my end goal. That’s the end game, fasho.
(In “Gemini’s Revenge”) I know in your lyrics you say you have no plan B, but what would you be doing if you weren’t rapping?
Probably writing. Not writing raps, but writing something. Maybe I would be like a journalist or something like that. But I like writing, for sure. Writing is good.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Aw, man. It just depends on what stage or phase I’m in my life. If I’m recording, then I write a lot. I don’t know… a normal day in my life? Changes so much right now. I couldn’t even tell you. I don’t know what a normal day of my life is anymore. It’s whatever the day calls for. Sometimes I’m up early, sometimes I sleep… I don’t know.
What are your thoughts on Lil B getting jumped?
It was pretty crazy. Pretty terrible. But he was the bigger person in the end and did the right thing. Word on the street is him and A Boogie spoke and everything, so that’s good.
Yeah, but for them to do it in the Bay…
It was pretty out of pocket. I think we all know it was pretty shady. But such is life when you’re in this industry. This industry, man.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Hmm it changes. Maybe this year, it might be Kendrick Lamar. That DAMN. album was really good.
It’s easy to say Cole. He’s a personal favorite, but there’s a lot: Kanye would be good, JAY-Z would be good, Kendrick would be good, Mary J.Blige would be good… there’s a lot. But I’ll say J. Cole for now.