Calboy’s “Wildboy” finds its strength in its features

Jeshua Glover

Chicago native 147Calboy released his third studio album over the weekend. “Wildboy” looks to be one of his best albums yet, with a spicy injection of features and consistent bars throughout.

The “Envy Me” rapper has been a rising star out of Chicago for the past two years. His addictive melodies and smooth-as-silk bars have helped him make his mark on the rap game. Calboy has been a popular figure in Chicago’s rap scene but has only recently become a nationwide talent.

His latest album sees Calboy become emotionally transparent with the listener. This is uncommon in the realm of Chicago rap and in rap’s modern-day sound. Calboy’s transparency with the listener shows a great deal of maturity.

The theme of the project is heartbreak as many songs pertain to the subject. “Wildboy” is in no way a gloomy album but does show a bit of vulnerability while Calboy raps about real-life situations. Calboy touches on the issue that no matter how tough we think we are or how put-together we appear to the public, everyone goes through tough times at one point or another.

For a rapper out of Chicago to be able to put his emotions on a national stage is very honorable. Chicago rap has held the stereotype of being angry, violent and popular only in that geographical area. This is far from the truth.

Artists like Juice Wrld have shed some light on the more emotional and human side of Chicago rappers underneath the tough exterior. The project utilizes the usual R&B beats that Calboy frequently raps over in his songs. “Wildboy” features some more exotic beats as well. He does rap about the streets, which has been a consistent theme amongst Chicago rappers. However, he does it in a very versatile way. He isn’t set out to prove that he’s really in the streets, but rather talking about what his day-to-day life is like. Calboy raps about the streets in a way that doesn’t feel like showboating.

For a 10-song project, “Wildboy” boasts an excellent group of features. Great verses from fellow Chicago natives Polo G & Lil Durk stand as highlights of the album. Polo G is a frequent collaborator of Calboy’s and Lil Durk has been a persistent player in the Chicago rap game for nearly a decade. “Wildboy” includes a great collaboration between Calboy and Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo in the form of “Unjudge Me.” Another Memphis legend,Yo Gotti, also appears on the album.

The biggest names on the album include Atlanta’s Young Thug and Philadelphia’s very own Meek Mill.

A few tracks to look out for:

“Envy Me” – “Envy Me” stands as one of Calboy’s best tracks overall andis the most recognizable songs in his discography. This song is instantly recognizable and is very popular amongst residents of the south side of Chicago. The chorus almost takes control of the listener’s nervous system, forcibly making one sway from left to right. “Envy Me” is truly an excellent track.

“Adam & Eve” – A track that stays perfectly in line with the theme of the album with a very relaxed chorus and harmonious bars. Calboy talks about having intense feelings for a lover that aren’t exactly reciprocated. He tells her that “securing his bag” is of great importance to him even if it means he doesn’t get to see her as often as she would like. The title of the song draws from the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

“Caroline (Ft. Polo G)” – “Caroline” frequents the topic of being involved with the street life mentioned previously. Calboy and Polo G rap about drugs and guns as they pertain to surviving in the streets. Polo G talks more about the violence that is utilized in the inner city for protection while Calboy talks about the distribution and production of drugs. The term “Caroline” may refer to cocaine or crack cocaine.

“Chariot (Ft. Meek Mill, Young Thug, & Lil Durk)” – This song is without a doubt the best on the album and the features make it even better. The track is laid over a Latin-style beat that utilizes a flamenco guitar and a classic trap-sounding percussion section. The song starts with Meek Mill spitting his usual fast-paced bars which make up the chorus for the entire song.

Calboy’s first verse is spectacular despite the speedy beat. He injects his trademark melody into his verse perfectly. After another repetition of the chorus from Meek Mill, Young Thug takes over and drives the song forward. Lil Durk steps in next with a great ending verse that details his new perspective on life after being released from prison. One more chorus from Meek Mill with Lil Durk lending ad-libs rounds out the song.