The Break Presents: Caleb Brown
When a rap fan thinks of Baton Rouge, La., one usually is reminded of old-school, southern hip-hop made popular by acts like Boosie and Webbie. Now, however, there's a new wave coming from the Mississippi River's coastline, and they're giving the Louisiana capital's music scene an entirely new look.
Meet Caleb Brown, a Baton Rouge rapper certifiably next up. Caleb has already dropped four solo projects, and he's only six months fresh out of high school. Louisiana natives were heavily receptive to Fear, Empathy and All Dawgs Go to Heaven, but it was his standout single "W$Gt$" ("West Side Get the Money") that catapulted him into a deal with Rostrum Records. It has been no easy feat, either, especially seeing how his only form of a cosign came from Jarren Benton, who Caleb toured with this year. “They tip their hat to me cause there’s no public cosigns," he says of artists he's run into recently.
Rappers like YoungBoy Never Broke Again have brought the spotlight back to the city more recently, but Caleb believes his stomping grounds aren't getting the best chance they deserve to be a music hub. “And the fact that Baton Rouge hasn’t been rebranded yet [is] because people are so scared," he tells XXL, using a clever "new coat over chipped paint" analogy.
Luckily for those unafraid to stray against the norm, Caleb serves as Baton Rouge's new music gateway, as he's able to create country bangers lined with gospel tinges, staying true to his upbringing whilst in tune with his youth. He draws influence from Goodie Mob and OutKast, so no surprise there.
His latest mixtape, All Dawgs Go to Heaven 2, has continued to create a buzz for him like no other, but as of right now, Caleb Brown's focus is on Black Cypress, a collective based out of his hometown. The crew, inspired by Harlem's A$AP Mob, is comprised of Caleb, RyaN Jéy, QUADRY, BRANDØM, Blaze Jose, JIREH, T. Davis, DQ Rogers and xelA7th, along with producers Swiger and TyDidThi$Beat. They recently dropped their 12-track Swamp Tales project.
As far as his next solo project? “Gotta keep that to myself right now," Caleb shares. However, he does reveal there are a lot of side projects to look forward to in the meantime.
Learn more about Caleb Brown in XXL's The Break.
Name: Caleb Brown
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
I grew up listening to: "I grew up listening to a couple different artists. My mother was really into gospel. She was a religious mother, so I came up listening to a lot of gospel music. Of course [Lil] Wayne. Big Tymers. We had Kanye playin'. ’Pac was in the mix. It was just a mix of a couple of different artists. Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, Bebe and CeCe Winans..."
My style’s been compared to: "As of recently, I’ve gotten Tyler, The Creator because of my tone. I got ScHoolboy Q and Kendrick [Lamar] because of subject matter and content."
Most people don’t know: “I’m low-key a nerd. I like anime, video games, things of that nature. I'm into superheroes and shit like that real big."
My standout records to date have been: “'W$Gt$' of course, ‘Ghetto Religion’ and ‘RIP Chad Butler.’”
My standout moments to date have been: "The first would be the first day I put out 'W$GT$,' which was July 9 of last year , and the other standout moment would be the first time I heard my record on the radio at home, which was the same day as my high school graduation [May 23].
My goal in hip-hop is: “To touch as many souls as possible. A lot of people jump into it to be famous, and I feel like I should have that attitude but I don’t, because I don’t really care about that type of title. I care about being the people’s person, the people’s champ at the end of the day. If I can touch a 4-year-old’s soul, you know, touch his heart or whatever, that’s all I need, know what I’m sayin’?"
I’m going to be the next: “Black superhero."
Follow Caleb Brown on Twitter.
Standouts: All Dawgs Go to Heaven 2
"RIP Chad Butler"
See New Music Releases for November 2017