Bay Area rapper Caleborate presents himself as a whole individual on Real Person | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

Bay Area rapper Caleborate presents himself as a whole individual on Real Person



If you ever use Twitter to express your fandom of a famous rapper and have the “good” fortune of said rapper retweeting you, you’ll likely experience the bad fortune of receiving replies meant for the superstar from aspiring MCs thirsty for any inkling of attention. Rap spam is as common and easy to ignore as the ads that eat up space on your favorite website, so it takes a little something special to find your audience by plastering your work in online spaces where it’s generally seen as unwelcome—and 24-year-old Berkley MC Caleb Parker, aka Caleborate, has “it.” A few years ago, Parker began plugging his music in the YouTube comments section for songs and videos by hyperpopular rappers who share his proclivity for emotional vulnerability, including Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino, and effectively built a following. Parker raps with a conversational friendliness. On October’s Real Person (TBKTR) his lines feel like they’ve been lifted from eye-opening late-night chats with friends and set to sumptuous, easygoing soul songs. Older heads may say—and some have said—that Parker harkens back to hip-hop’s golden age, but Real Person reminds me of what it’s like to explore the world in one’s early 20s, with all its joy and anxiety.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →