Source: Salim Garcia / Rostrum Records
A little more than a year ago, Caleb Brown paced the carpeted floor of Atlanta’s Uptown Studios, directly next door to the city’s historic Stankonia compound. He was 18 years old then, just in from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, fresh out of high school and hosting a room full of journalists he’d never met.
Outside it had been raining off and on for hours. He paced, back and forth, but he didn’t seem nervous. Maybe a little anxious to get this chapter of his life started. In his pre-pubescence, Brown decided that rap would be his career choice, cynics be damned. But here’s the thing: the youth have always been paying attention. The kids will be alright. Hip-Hop is effectively growing up.
Four projects in, Brown decided that he wanted to go in a different direction and with Lil’ Wayne as a longtime creative influence and Nipsey Hustle’s business acumen serving as the ultimate, all encompassing chin check, the now 19-year-old has a solid contract with Wiz Khalifa’s Rostrum Records and his new Brown EP with producer Sonny Digital is the rebirth. He’s learning the necessary lessons and applying the theories to his burgeoning career.
After all, Atlanta rap isn’t as communal as outsiders think. It’s not as simple as a willingness to work together because you stay down the street. Knowledge is power and power is sovereign, and Caleb Brown is a young man with the worldly interests of a young man, trying to know it all.
HipHopWired: Who was your greatest influence in rap?
Caleb Brown: [Lil’] Wayne. There’s only one really. “Me and My Drink,” it was kinda like a rendition of the “Barre Baby” record by Big Moe but he ripped it and it’s been one of my favorite songs since I was young.
It was all around that same time, I was in fourth grade and my homie was rapping. I thought it sounded good and it looked fun, it looked cool. I always liked Wayne but this was the time period where the seed was planted.
“I’d rather do all this with the people I need to do this with, rather than the rap n*ggas.”—Caleb Brown
HHW: When you’re young, you romanticize your passion and it’s not until you get into it all when you realize, like…
Caleb Brown: It’s been heartbreaking man. It’s been heartbreaking being like… When I was younger I had this expectation of what I thought rap would be like and what it would be to actually be in the industry. Then you get into it and it’s way, way… Just a total different ballgame. You f*cking with different demons over here. But I’ve been adapting to it, I was born for this.
Photos: Courtesy of Rostrum
The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired