Barring the deaf and the blind, most who follow rap music religiously are aware that the city of Chicago is going through a renaissance of sorts, spawning a second genre–stomping, bombastic Trap influenced beats matched with laid back, lo-fi verse I have categorized as Drill Music–to counterbalance the city’s traditionally strong backpack/hep cat scene and muscling its way to the forefront of the popular Hip-Hop consciousness.
The feeling here on the shores of Lake Michigan is tough to define, as Chiraq rappers garner attention while more and more citizens fall dead every weekend, the same neighborhoods that bred and breathe this music suffering immensely even as their fruits prosper, bodies falling as fast as singles and videos.
Chicago emcee Calez was on DJ Kay-Slay’s Shade45 show when he received a co-sign from Jadakiss. “Shouts Out To Jada” apparently was released in response. Appropriating the fantastic “What We Do”–which is perhaps the finest choice of beat for a freestyle ever, with its steady rhythm, epic instrumentation and stone cold flair–Calez proceeds to do damage. His flow is nimble and acute, solid and thin like a stiletto with a melodic characteristic that, on this track in particular, carries echoes of Freeway and Beans at their best, and his timbre shift at :39 makes him sound like a less mumble-mouthed Heems. That especially intriguing voice could carry entire songs on its own.
Listening to Calez wind over an East Coast classic, one is struck with the realization that a North Coast takeover of the mainstream seems inevitable; more a question of “when” than “if.” And while the beat may not deliver a taste of the new Chicago sound for the uninitiated, the freestyle leaves little doubt as to the caliber of rappers currently calling the Windy City home.
Download: “Shouts Out To Jada” here.
“Shouts Out To Jada” receives a PARL
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