Caleborate – The Real Person Tour

This past Saturday, I was with a number of friends brewery and bar hopping around the Charlotte area. We started at NoDa Brewing Company in the late afternoon because they were releasing their Girl Scout cookie inspired beers, of which the Somoan Blonde is AMAZING. (insert all fire emojis). Naturally, they were sold out of those, although their Tagging-a-long brown ale was quite tasty. After a few of those, our group made its way over to the Davidson Street Public House where we all had some tapas style dishes – lamb mac & cheese, pork belly sliders, bruschetta, etc. Great food, (more) good beers and a great environment. Saturday was off to really nice start. As we were wrapping things up at the table, one of the girls with us had a really stong urge to see some live music (What up BetSQUAD!). A few of the other folks were calling it a night, but Amanda and I weren’t quite ready to go home yet, so we more or less said, “why not?” Nobody had any idea of what live music was actually being played that night, we just walked over to The Neighborhood Theatre and sure enough, they had a concert lined up for 8:00pm. Tickets were $12, so we more or less said YOLO and bought ourselves some. The headlining artist was Caleborate. I consider myself a pretty big hip-hop head, yet I had never heard of this artist prior to buying my ticket at the door. Nevertheless, our group makes its way inside and we wait for the show to begin. I’ll go to my grave preferring small venues to large ones, and this night spoke volumes to that preference. There were maybe 50-75 people inside having some drinks, small talking, etc. There was plenty of space, we had easy access to the bar, and we had a great view of the stage. After a few minutes, Caleborate walks out and onto the stage to some casual applause. There was nothing extravagant, no grand entrance. He gets on the mic and tells us who he is (Caleb Parker hence Caleborate), where he’s from (Berkeley, CA) and from that point he began to run through his most recent album, Real Person. To be completely forthcoming, my expectations were pretty low. And I don’t mean any offense by saying that. I’ve been to a lot of hip-hop/rap shows throughout the years, and I’ve seen a lot of what you might call struggle rappers open for different artists trying to get their name out. I had never heard of Caleborate prior to this show, so I wasn’t expecting much. Let me tell you how absolutely wrong I was. In today’s music scene where the rising stars are artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, Lil Xan, Lil Skies and XXXtentacion, Caleborate is a breath of fresh air.

He’s got lyrical ability, storytelling ability, and a genuine feel to his music. Caleborate played his entire Real Person album front to back. To say the least, I was impressed. The soulful samples that he used on the album brought a J. Cole and Big K.R.I.T. sound forward. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m pretty sure the song “Fine” somehow made use of “Forbidden Fruit” by J. Cole, which in turn sampled “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest. It just sounded very familiar. Regardless, after the set concluded and Caleborate exited the stage, our group made its way to the merch table. We had a chance to meet Caleborate and get some photos with him. I purchased a Real Person CD for $10 that he autographed for me.

Autographed Real Person album

Caleborate!

He was extremely humble, very thankful and in general just a nice guy. (I’ve since listened to the album about 3 times front to back and I’m amazed at how good it is). After we parted ways, Caleborate went on to speak to some other fans and I had a chance to speak with one of his boys who was selling merch. We talked about the tour, and I asked where they were going next, to which he replied “D.C”. I asked how they were getting there and he told me that they were all riding in a minivan. And it just hit me. Like, damn. These guys are really out here giving it everything they have, grinding day in and day out to go from city to city to support their friend. I think that made me appreciate the music even more. It speaks volumes to have a crew like that with you, and it says a lot about who you are as well.

The following day, I got online and started searching Caleborate to find out more about his music. Lo and behold he’s got a feature from KRIT on his “Soul” remix and he’s a got a song produced by J. Cole, aplty called “Produced by J. Cole”. I know Caleborate is probably sick of hearing how people are sleeping on him, but I was figuratively in a coma. I strongly encourage anyone to check this guy out. Give him some streams on whatever music app you have or if he’s coming to your city, spend the $10-$12 to get out there and see him perform. Talk to him after the show, get a picture with him. He might just be the next guy to blow. Don’t wind up kicking yourself years from now by passing up the opportunity to check him out. Here are the remaining tour dates. You know what to do.

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Young Jeezy – The Cold Summer Tour

Cold Summer Tour Poster

This past December, Young Jeezy announced that he would be touring in the Spring of 2018 on the Cold Summer Tour, aptly named for one of the better songs on his most recent album, Pressure. Admittedly, I hesitated to immediately buy tickets for the show….because they were $48.00 after taxes and fees. I mean….c’mon Livenation. However, my patience paid off because roughly a month prior to the show date, the tickets made their way to Groupon. Let’s get it!

Instant cop. One of my boys had already let me know he was going (what up Nick!), so after I had tickets we agreed to link up for the show.

We got to The Fillmore right around the time that doors were opening and didn’t have any trouble getting inside. We got a spot located near the center of the stage, maybe 10 feet back from the stage – prime location. We got a couple cans of rocky mountain refreshment and at that point just had to wait for the show to start.

The first act up was Boston George. I can honestly say that I had heard of him, although it was only for one song – “Rich Off Lean” ft. Future. And I honestly only got the song because I was really on the Future wave when that song dropped. Aside from that, I didn’t know much about the guy. The internet tells me that his most recent mixtape is Blow Talk and it has a feature from, you guessed it, Young Jeezy. Regardless, I thought he did a decent job kicking things off. His style of rap is most definitely trap/street anthem type stuff and even if you couldn’t make out some of the words to a song you didn’t know at a live concert, the beat was there to pick up the slack.

Following George was Detroit native and rising star, Tee Grizzley.

Tee Grizzley

Tee Grizzley started getting some buzz in hip-hop circles following the release of his 2017 mixtape, My Moment – notably the single “First Day Out”. Since that point he’s collaborated with artists such as Young Jeezy, Moneybagg Yo and Meek Mill.

Tee Grizzley upped the energy level considerably as he went through a number of songs from My Moment, before ending his set with “First Day Out”, which was pretty hype. And fortunately, this wouldn’t be the last time we saw Tee Grizzley.

And then it was time for the Snowman. Mr. Seventeen Five.

His trademark angry snowman and the words “JEEZY” were alternating back and forth on the screen that was the front of the DJ booth, the lights dimmed down and snow began shooting out into the crowd as Jizzle entered the stage to “Standing Ovation” The crowd was feeling it. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m much more of a fan of Jeezy’s older material than his newer material. It’s not that I dislike the newer stuff, but the older stuff is timeless. It just has that classic Young Jeezy sound and feel to it – especially TM 101. The snowman must have been telepathic that night, because he he gave me exactly what I was hoping to hear. Check the set list:

1. Standing Ovation
2. Bottom of the Map
3. Peace Up
4. Get Ya Mind Right
5. Trap or Die
6. Go Crazy
7. Trapstar
8. And Then What
9. J.E.E.Z.Y.
10. Dem Boyz (Boyz N Da Hood cover)
11. Spyder
12. Cold Summer w/ Tee Grizzly
13. Geeked Up
14. Who Dat
15. Lose My Mind
16. All There
17. SupaFreak
18. Tear It Up
19. All We Do
20. Leave You Alone
21. I Do
22. Get Allot
23. My N*gga (YG cover)
24. RIP
25. Way Too Gone
26. I Luv It
27. Soul Survivor
28. Put On

The tour is still going strong, and I would recommend trying to make it to a show for any long time Young Jeezy fans. He’s been making music for so long now that you sometimes might not realize how many hits he’s made through the years until you start to hear one after another after another. It’s a testament to his dedication, and he puts on a helluva show. You won’t be disappointed.