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Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop


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"BRKF$T Club; MTVU Freshmen"

Pick this week's best Freshmen Video.

***NOTE: Voting For This Round Of The Freshmen Will Close At 2pm Friday, July 6th***

Brkf$t Club, Family Of The Year, Krissy Krissy, Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles and Zulu Winter all fight for a spot in rotation on this round of The Freshmen. - MTVU

"Mixtape: Calez "Kid With Raps: Deluxe l Complex"

We got one hell of an introduction to Chicago rap crew BRKFST Club back in April when they dropped the visuals for "The Fellowship." Since then, members of the collective have dropped their fair share of solo material, including 19-year-old rapper-producer Calez.

And today, he brings us Kid With Raps: Deluxe Edition, which boasts 17 new tracks featuring members of BRKFST Club. It also boasts clever rhymes and heavy production from Calez himself, who's also joined behind the boards by Flosstradamus, UG, and Thelonious Martin. You can cop the tape below for free.
- Complex Mag

"Kid With Raps: Deluxe Edition(Mixtape)"

After dropping one of the most slept-on projects of the year thus far with Kids With Raps back in February, Chicago-bred, Jadakiss co-signed rapper Calez has teamed up with 2dopeboyz, DJ Booth, Ruby Hornet and GoWhereHipHop to present the deluxe edition of his mixtape.
With the the bulk of the original product, which includes in-house production from his 2008ighties crew, still in tact, with a few bonuses thrown in for good measure (one of those being “Rapaveli 2? crafted by the always-sublime Thelonious Martin), this revised copy should wake you up in case you hit the snooze button the first time round.
See below for the full tracklist and download link to Kids With Raps: Deluxe Edition. For those Twitter-ly inclined, you can follow Calez at @TheKidCalez.

Sourced From: - SoulCulture

"Calez: Kid With Raps Deluxe"

Chi-town emcee Calez has come together with 2DopeBoyz, RubyHornet, Gowhere Hip Hop and The DJBooth to bring fans his latest street release, Kid With Raps: Deluxe.

The project comprises 17 original cuts from the Jadakiss co-signee and underground rhymesayer, including reader-approved feature “Play First.”

Julian Malone, Legit and UG makes guest appearance on Kid With Raps: Deluxe Edition, which features production from UG, Flosstradamus, Coyote, Thelonious Martin and Calez himself. Artwork courtesy of ArtByShake. - DJ Booth

"Brkf$t Club- The Fellowship"

One fateful Saturday morning, five teenagers from diverse social circles came together for detention at Shermer High School. While their differences were stark, they discovered they had one thing in common: a knack for murdering microphones. Oh—what’s that? BRKF$T CLUB aren’t high school students? And there are seven of them? Well, f**k, so much for that origin story. Though Julian Malone, Calez, Fonz-E Mak, Johnny St. Cloud, Legit, UG and Sani don’t actually have all that much in common with the cast of John Hughes’ 1985 teen classic, they do have chemistry to rival The Brat Pack, as evidenced by newly-released promo single The Fellowship. Malone and Sani man the boards on this left-of-center ensemble banger, flipping a sax-laced sample into a bluesy backdrop for bars jam-packed with inventive braggadocio and allusive wit. The result is a little like sitting down for an impromptu cipher with seven of your most talented homies—a sensation which is heightened by the crew’s own That ‘70s Show-esque visuals. While BRKF$T CLUB have yet to announce plans for a project, those digging their debut can stay tuned for the latest from this promising posse. - DJ Booth

"Calez: ShooTim Up"

Fresh off making some serious waves in the Booth and beyond with BRKF$T CLUB video single The Fellowship (currently sitting at #1 on our Independent Chart for the second week running), Calez returns to his solo hustle with ShooTim Up, the latest leak off his forthcoming Kid With Raps re-release. Here, Hippie Sabotage crafts a low-key, string-laced beat to back the Chicago repper as he fires off his highest caliber lyrical ammunition. Craving more? Then make sure you’re following Calez on Twitter; Kid With Raps (Deluxe Ed.) is set to drop when the artist reaches the 2k milestone. - DJ Booth

"Calez: Kid With Raps"

The absolute worst part of the "Internet age" is the vast amount of clutter that appears daily on rap blogs. There are so many rappers posting so many songs, it's nearly impossible to distinguish what's good and what's wack. This often leads me to just ignore almost everything, which in the past has led me to being a little late on some of hip hop's best up and comers, most notably Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar. And yes, when I saw yet another rapper on 2DopeBoyz that I had never heard of outside of the blogger world, I kept it moving, but when I received the press release for Calez's "Kid With Raps" album, I was intrigued.

He addresses the same story on the album's intro track "Play First" when his 3rd grade teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up he put "rapper." After mistakenly pronouncing it as "raper," she advised Calez to have a plan B, which he replied "fuck that." As a 19 year-old Calez released his aptly titled LP "Kid With Raps" with the same kind of mentality.

Calez's vocal delivery is very similar to Stalley, and his production style reminds me a lot of Tyler, the Creator's. Lyrically Calez is solid, despite his lack of range on subject matter. But his self-production (along with help from UG and Flosstradamus on a couple tracks) is Calez's top skill. He dabbles in the Neptunes/Odd Future style of synths and hard drums on tracks like "Play First" and "Middle Finger" and uses smooth samples on tracks like "Love Text" and "Plenty of Love." UG comes through with some of the album's best productions on his two beats including the trippy, Kid Cudi-esque "Hot Box Special" which serves as an interlude, but also one of the album's best cuts. The hilariously named Flosstradamus' "Intermissions" is another one of "Kid With Raps" stand out tracks. The song initially sounds like a Bangladesh rip-off, until a pretty awesome break down during the hook.

Calez takes a page from Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" as a lot of the album's tracks have breakdowns or beat switch ups at the end. Sometimes this makes a fairly average song much more interesting like on "UltraSound," where the sample switches up slightly, and Calez channels his inner-Kid Cudi. But "Optimum" has the reverse effect, as he manages to spoil one of the album's best tracks with a pretty self-indulgent auto-tune rant to close out the song.

Like I had mentioned early, Calez holds his own on the mic, but he rarely brings anything all that innovative. He spends a majority of the album rapping about his crew ("Middle Finger"), trying to get more recognition as a rapper, and countless braggadocio. At 19, Calez certainly has a lot of potential, and a lot of room to develop more fully as a rapper. While he's not quite in the same league of Kendrick or K.R.I.T., Calez definitely is better than a majority of blogger rappers and deserves the space on your hard drive. - Rap Reviews

"Calez talks Kid With Raps"

Chicago's Calez graced the radar in final quarter of 2011 with "Caution", a track that made good on its word to inspire handouts for ass-kickings. "Caution" put the 19-year old's debut on our watch list. The week following the celebration of his 20th birthday, Calez dropped Kid With Raps, a 16-track debut almost entirely produced by the youngster. The album is the product of long hours logged at the weirdest hours. By day Calez has janitorial duties, but in the evening hours he is on his rapping shit.

We sent a few quick questions for Calez to answer, in order to shed further light on Kid With Raps. Check out the review below and be sure to download Kid With Raps courtesy of Ruby Hornet/ 2DopeBoyz.

why did you chose a photo of you at the laptop for you album cover? being a bit older, i never expected to see a laptop on a rap album's cover art.

Thats my room where all of the work was created to the beats, lyrics, and recording. Everyone's like bugged out about the laptop I felt like it was just me I wasn't trying to be cool and shit I was trying to capture the album in a picture. It's times when I'm sitting in that spot until 6am in the morning working on music. I felt like it was appropriate.

besides flosstradamus, ug and julian malone who did production on kid with raps?

I did the rest of the beats that aren't credited on the album.

the album strikes me as being deliberate in creating a mood and cohesion in the sound. going in did you have a concept or soundscape you wanted to achieve or did it come together over time that you saw the direction? what did you look for in a beat?

I looked for weird sounds and hip-hoppy ass drums mostly haha. I went in with the mind set of creating something I would listen to and I would enjoy and felt like my fans would too.

your 20th birthday was last week. what did you do to celebrate?

Had a listening party for the album, didn't really celebrate my birthday but it'll pay off soon.

what was the first track you wrote for kid with raps?

"Middle Finger".

was there a track in particular that after you made it, you started to see the album's direction more clearly?

After I made "Intermission" I knew that it wasn't the straight early hip-hop breaks I wanted. I knew I wanted to switch it up a little but at the same time keep it relatable with the other songs and flows. When I made that I kind of saw that it was almost complete

is the first verse of "optimum" completely autobiographical? it feels as though you go to a deeper place on that record.

Yes it is the sum of the album. It explains the cover also, Im so passionate about this and I won't give it up I'll do whatever it takes to make it. - Impose Magazine

"Calez and the Chicago Scene"

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. - Chicago Reader/ Leor Galil

"Calez: RubyHornet Freestyle"

On the heels of the release of his debut album, Kid With Raps, Calez stopped by SoundScape studio to speak on his new album, working a day job, and his aspirations in music. He also dropped a smooth RubyHornet Freestyle. Check out both on the next page, and don’t forget to hit Jugrnaut tomorrow for his Kid With Raps listening party. Kid With Raps drops February 6th presented by RubyHornet and 2Dopeboyz. - Ruby Hornet

"Calez Intermission"

Flosstradamus have been working with a bunch of MCs lately, including young Chicago rhymer Calez. Check out his video for the Floss-produced “Intermission” above. - Fools Gold Blog

"RH First Look: Calez"

I met Calez for the first time while shooting the video for “Natural High”. He showed up with the rest of his 2008ighties Crew. I didn’t really know how he got there, and had never heard his music. During a break in shooting the party scene, he approached me, introduced himself, and asked me about submitting to RubyHornet. I gave him my email address, and told him to send away. A few days later he emailed me some music. After that he texted me. Then he called me. This routine repeated itself several times in a short span. At this particular time, I was probably at my busiest and most burned out. I sincerely didn’t get a chance to listen to it, and then the rounds of emails, texts, etc… made it even easier to ignore. But, Calez stayed persistent, even making a song and video for “Middle Finger”, a song centered on his frustrations in getting exposure, and pretty much a direct response to not being featured on RH. The thing about it though, the song and the video were both really dope. I posted the video, helped it get on a few other spots, and reached out to Calez about his music and his persistence.

Calez and the rest of his 2008ighties crew are all talented. They run the gamut of activities, rapping, shooting videos, handling production, and more. And they’re only getting better and wiser. With one ear on the past sounds of Hip Hop’s golden era, and the other firmly in the present, the crew pays homage to Hip Hop’s past while working to shape it’s future. We put Calez under the First Look microscope as an artist to watch. Get to know him in the interview below. Also check out his new record, “Rapping Habits” of his forthcoming LP, Kid With Raps.

Calez: “Rapping Habits”

RubyHornet: Let’s start with your start? I understand you’re from Chicago, and about to start school at Columbia College. Introduce yourself to our readers.

Calez: I’m Calez, just a 19-year-old artist/musician that has a genuine love for music, and I love to make it with my team. Oh yeah, and the Columbia thing.. I’m going to start next year. I’m at a community college unfortunately.

RubyHornet: At what point did you start listening to music? Who were some of the artists/songs that made you want to start creating your own?

Calez: I started getting into Hip Hop seriously around 10 or 11. I always listened to the radio and heard rappers like Jay-Z and Mase, and I wanted to rap. I would write rhymes here and there, but for some reason, I always thought that you had to be older to become a rapper. It may sound corny as s**t, but when Lil’ Bow Wow came out, it kinda made me open my eyes and made me see that you can become one at an early age.

RubyHornet: Coming up in Chicago, who are some of the artists that have influenced your sound, as well as your grind?

Calez: Coming from Chicago it was hard trying to find a sound because the Midwest is so complex. We really don’t have a signature sound in my opinion. This is what makes us so unique. I went through southern style rap and more, yeah, pretty much took some loses. Though it helped me find myself and I started listening to the classics like Big L, Nas, Notorious B.I.G, and AZ, which are some of my favorite flow-ers. I like the way they use their words and just make it flow so nicely on the beat. I want to have a signature flow like that. Also, Pharrell is a HUGE inspiration in my music far as channeling emotion whether through his words, or production. His music helped me find my production sound and people like Kanye, J Dilla, Primo, Flying Lotus, and probably a couple more. Oh and far as grind, DJ Mano kicked my ass. At first he told me my music was wack and everything… But it helped me get better and want to prove him wrong. Now he’s like my big bro/mentor. He will be working with the team soon.

RubyHornet: You are a part of 2008ighties. Who makes up that crew? And what is the mission statement, or the philosoph - Ruby Hornet

"Brkf$t Club"

No this isn't the morning show crew rapping. BRKF$T Club consist of Julian Malone, Calez, Fonz-E Mak, U.G., and Legit, a group out of Chicago not yet known to the masses. Together they bring you Fellowship, a dope track produced by Sani and Julian Malone coupled with some dope visuals. - The Source/ Argenys Collado

"Brkf$t Club - "The Fellowship""

I got an e-mail from a rapper the other day, I opened and read it (Public Enemy reference, FYI), it said: "Hi my name is Calez and i'm not a struggle rapper."*
After laughing, I got to the part where Calez mentioned his crew Brkf$t Club; the formal collaboration of MCs out of Chicago that are part of a larger collective called 2008ighties. The name was already familiar and true to his words, Calez and the rest of his clique (Julian Malone, Fonz-E Mak, Legit, Johnny St. Cloud, UG and Sani) are NOT from struggle rappers (and producers). They possess clean flows and a taste for fresh beats while their youthful exuberance on the mic feels like they're spitting for the love, rather than a quick check. Peep Brkf$t Club's video for "The Fellowship," which samples Grizzly Bear (if you're into those sort of tunes), below or download it here. Peep 2008ighties' YouTube channel to hear more of their music now because with eyes on Chi-Town Hip-Hop, you certainly will hear more later.
Also, try to keep the inevitable Odd Future comparisons to yourself.

P.S. This tactic will not work again. The Brkf$t Club is nice, you struggle rappers, not so much. - Hip-Hop Wired/ Alvin Aqua Blanco

"BRKF$T Club "The Fellowship""

Andrew Martin
Complex Music

Chicago's younger hip-hop scene just keeps getting stronger by the day. Case in point: this latest set of visuals from the BRKF$T Club, who you might also know as being part of the 2008ighties Crew.

The Club just dropped the posse cut-tastic video for their brassy lyrical joint "The Fellowship," which features the following rappers as they appear on screen: Julian Malone, Calez, Fonz-E Mak, Johnny St. Cloud, Legit, and UG. Malone also co-produced the joint with Sani, who makes a cameo, too. Watch the video above and get hipped to what else is coming out of the Windy City. - Complex Mag

"Watch Chicago MCs Brkf$t Club Sample Grizzly Bear on 'The Fellowship'"

New kids on the block join Chief Keef and Young Durk in Chicago's rap moment

The national hip-hop spotlight is closing in on Chicago — Def Jam signed MCs Lil Reese and Lil Durk on Tuesday and Kanye's remix of "I Don't Like" by Gawker-approved rapper Chief Keef is expected to drop Friday. In turn, the city's rising young rap scene and its various players are getting a big boost. One of the newest groups to hit the scene is Brkf$t Club, an offshoot of an ambiguous collective called 2008ighties. Last week Brkf$t Club dropped its official debut song, "The Fellowship," a banger that samples the choral melodies of beloved Brooklyn indie rockers Grizzly Bear.

As SPIN reported in February, there's been a run of rappers who have cribbed some notes from Grizzly Bear, but those tunes have all made use of the first single off of 2009's Veckatimest, "Two Weeks." Brkf$t Club did something a little different when producer Hasan "Sani" Odom decided to sample another tune from that album, "I Live With You."

"I used a Grizzly Bear sample way, way back, like 2009, 2010. Sani he found out about them through me," says Brkf$t Club producer/rapper Julian Malone. "He was always like just sampling random bands that he found out through me." Odom used Fruity Loops Studio 8 to loop a clip of the track's vocal flourishes and gushing saxophone, and Malone layered the song's claps and 808 drum samples onto the track. The crew knocked out the vocals at rapper Marcale "Calez" Lewis' house at the end of February, and topped it off with a goofy, improvised homage to That '70s Show for the song's video.

Malone says part of the appeal of sampling Grizzly Bear came with not toeing the line to the still-in-vogue trap-rap sound. "We try to step up and get any type of genre, like alternative and chillwave," Malone says. "It was just the fact that it sounded different and it was a different genre."

The crew is slowly preparing to put out a full-length, which Malone says may come out in October. "We try to just go our own way and do what we feel," Malone says. "It's kind of anti-trap, but it's not thought of as anti-trap. It's just us being us." - SPIN Mag


The Bus Stop (2010)
Is Calez Famous Yet? (2011)
Kid With Raps (2012)



Calez is a 20 year -old gifted emcee, producer, and composer whose roots come from the south side of Chicago. His music speaks passion and dedication into the ears of its listeners. He is part of a Hip Hop crew called BRKF$T Club/2008ighties, all very unique and talented.

Calez started getting into Hip Hop seriously around 10 or 11. He would pen rhymes here and there and study his craft by listening to many legendary rap artists. He had a penchant for listening to the radio and would tune in to artists like Jay-Z and Mase that made him want to pursue hip-hop. Being from Chicago, Calez isn’t the average artist locked into one sound. Not having a signature sound is what makes him and his 2008ighties crew so unique. His inspiration in music stems from different types of artist such as Big L, Nas and Pharrell. “Pharrell, Kanye, J Dilla, Primo, and Flying Lotus helped me find my production flow.”?– Calez

Tony Touch dropped Calez songs Rapaveli and Ultrasound on Shade 45 in 2012. He’s also been featured on MTVU with his BRKF$T CLUB crew. During a radio run in NY, Calez got a co-sign from acclaimed emcee Jadakiss while visiting Shade 45. “Young heat from the Chi right here. Stay tuned, pay attention and recognize what’s going on, you heard it here first from ya boy Kiss.”

Calez released his debut solo mix-tape entitled The Bus Stop on May 12th, 2010 and its sequel entitled Is Calez Famous Yet? was released on May 12th, 2011.

In February of 2012, The Kid Calez dropped his debut album “A Kid With Raps.” Now with a larger following, he teamed up with major hip-hop sites 2 DopeBoyz, DJ Booth and Chicago staples Ruby Hornet and GoWhereHipHop in June to release “Kid With Raps: Deluxe”? that garnered attention from both a fan and press perspective (SPIN, Complex, The Source, Impose Magazine, Respect, Ruby Hornet, and UK’s Soul Culture amongst a myriad of trusted sites and magazines on hip-hop).

Calez’s music is a culmination of the past sounds of Hip Hop’s golden era and the present. Furthermore, him and his crew pay homage to the culture's past while working to shape it’s future. Calez is definitely an artist to watch.

Hometown: Chicago

Connect with Calez: Twitter | Facebook