Calboy may have called up Music Choice from quarantine in Atlanta but don’t get it twisted, the rapper is Chicago through and through. “Everything I do, I do for Chicago,” the 21-year-old rising star told MC recently about his hometown.
He’s not just a rapper either. The artist seamlessly switches up flows and uses his powerful vocals on any given song. Plus, he paints, creates poetry, styles flowers, and is writing a book. He can truly do it all.
Check out the chat below where Calboy goes deep on all the “fine arts” he dabbles in, rocking fans, his artistic family, and that “flimsy” New York pizza. Also, make sure to bump his most recent EP Long Live the Kings (RCA/Polo Grounds) and look out for more Calboy hits on Music Choice’s Hip-Hop and R&B channel!
Music Choice: Have you been writing and recording while in quarantine?
Calboy: I have a little home studio set up. I can work non-stop. Some nights I’ll knock out 10 or 11 songs.
MC: Are producers sending you beats or collaborating via video chats? Making your own beats?
C: I definitely make my own beats. I also like to go online and just ask anyone to send me beats. I get a lot of them that way.
MC: Does that get overwhelming? Like, do people just flood you with submissions?
C: Oh, I get flooded but it’s not overwhelming. I need all the beats because I never stop working!
MC: Your style works and meshes with so many different types of artists. Have you been able to collaborate at all recently?
C: I’ve built so many relationships in music. Deep relationships. I can call anyone up and we get to work.
MC: Can you tell me about any stuff we may be able to hear soon?
C: I did something with Sada Baby. Me and King Von got some stuff coming. I also did a joint with DaniLeigh that is fire. I wish I could put that out right now!
MC: Being from Chicago always gets mentioned when you’re brought up. How important is your hometown to your identity as an artist?
C: It’s the most important thing to me, man. That’s where I was born and raised. Everything I do, I do for Chicago!
MC: Besides all the music you’re working on what else have you been up to?
C: I’ve been painting pictures. The most recent one is a picture of mother nature looking through the clouds. It’s turning out pretty dope. I’m getting pretty good with the acrylics.
MC: How long does one of those paintings take you to do?
C: A day or two. It depends on what mood I’m in. If the mood and vibes are right, I can finish a painting in a day.
MC: You’ve been drawing and painting for years, right?
C: All my life. My older brother is very nice with the sketching. My father is dope with it too. I carry it in my genes.
MC: Does inspiration strike you in different ways for painting as opposed to creating music?
C: I look at it all as fine arts. I write poetry too. I just put together some flowers for my mom. I dabble in everything. I write screenplays. I’m writing a book that I want to turn into a movie.
MC: Can you tell me more about the book you’re writing?
C: When I was 14, I was in the psychiatric ward at the hospital. We did these group sessions where everyone would explain why they were there. I met people there I still talk to. I took that part of my life and drug it through all the things I was fantasizing about while I was in there. Marvel comics. I’ve combined it all.
MC: Whoa, cool. So, it’s like a superhero thing or sci-fi?
C: It’s set in Chicago and goes through some fantasy elements. I’m not saying anymore, people will have to read it when it comes out!
For me, a young African American male from Chicago people think I’m just all about guns and violence. I’ve been around all of that. I was born in it! So, for a young guy like me to create a sci-fi book and go into that world could be a huge thing. I’m ready for it!
MC: You have a pretty big fish tank too, what kind of fish are in there now?
C: I have four cichlids. These things love blood. I usually feed them shrimp. They’re just little babies now.
MC: What do you miss the most from before the pandemic?
C: Hitting the road. I wanna jump in the crowd again! I miss interacting with my fans and seeing young black girls and boys be amazed when they see me. That gives me motivation.
But I’m doing fine at home. I’m part chef, painter, rapper, a veterinarian. I got fish, dogs, you name it. It’s a full house!
MC: Lastly, do you have a favorite deep-dish place in Chicago?
C: Man, I don’t really get down with the deep dish. I do love Home Run Inn pizza though. They say New York is the home of pizza but I don’t see it. I’m dissing that New York pizza! It’s that Ninja Turtle pizza, too flimsy!