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HIP-HOP | Leor Galil
Chicago is full of young rappers with great potential, and two of them are making big moves. Last week Donald Pullen (aka Rockie Fresh) dropped his third mix tape, Driving 88, and next week Marcale Lewis (aka Calez) of the 2008ighties crew will release his first official album, Kid With Raps.
Rockie Fresh has gotten plenty of buzz from outlets like XXL and URB since his previous mix tape, The Otherside, and on Driving 88 he sounds ready for the national spotlight. With its road-to-success lyrics and Back to the Future theme—88 miles per hour is the speed Doc Brown's DeLorean had to reach to travel through time—Driving 88 could hardly be clearer about Rockie's ambitions for the future. Its sleek production and smooth pop sound ought to help—and so will guest drops from the likes of Phil Ade and King Louie.
Calez is even younger than Rockie—he turns 20 on Saturday—but he's already released three mix tapes. He's dreamed of being a rapper for years: on album opener "Play First," he tells the story of his third-grade teacher's perplexed reaction to his career choice. "You're probably gonna have to have a plan B," she says.
Once Calez's mom got called to school for a parent-teacher conference because he'd been caught passing a note to a friend filled with rap lyrics—and he hadn't exactly skimped on the profanity. "I thought I was gonna get an ass whooping," he says. "I was praying and shit right before they went in. I was like, I'll never rap again . . . but I didn't get in trouble."
He didn't stop rapping either. Calez sounds confident on Kid With Raps, delivering rhymes about his grind with a drive that's just as impressive as Rockie's. Kid With Raps drops Mon 2/6, and Calez will celebrate its release on his birthday, Sat 2/4, with a 6 PM listening party at Jugrnaut, 427 S. Dearborn.