It's easy to do a little time-traveling when listening to the music of Chicago's Caleb James. One of many buzzing artists from Hip Hop's midwest mecca, Caleb channels a previous sound and vibe that cleverly pays homage to rap's heyday of the 90's and early 2000's. It was a time when shiny suits, polished production, and slick wordplay captivated the world, and ushered in artists that to this day remain at the top of rap's throne.
"It's throwback shit, but it's turn up," Caleb says about his recently released sophomore mixtape, The Jones. Playing on the styles and aesthetics he observed as a fly on the wall and off hours producer at his father's studio, Caleb crafted a project that stands with one foot squarely planted in 2013, and the other somewhere around 1996.
The Jones his latest release has been hailed by many, including Chicago's
FakeShoreDrive, as one of the year's best. "I just like that sound," Caleb explains. "I just want my music to be everything that I saw on TV when I was a shorty."
Attempting to reinterpreting rap's golden era can be difficult, and in some cases, come off corny. Caleb James has earned the respect and props of older Hip Hop heads and young fans alike because he is able to come from an authentic space with well-executed music. So while his records may include throwback themes, it is clearly to see that Caleb is not an artist that has next, but an artist that has now.