Multi-platinum Chicago Singer/Rapper Calboy returns to the scene independently and Unchained with the release of the new single “On My Own”.
Hailing from Chicago’s historically troubled Southside, rapper-singer-songwriter Calvin “Calboy” Woods used to keep a million things locked in his head & in his heart. The remarkable and unparalleled young talent grew up in an impoverished neighborhood that was often referred to as a war-zone, a landscape of gangs, crime and violence, where anything could happen at any time. Daily threats or elements of danger were a way of life. Music became Calboy’s outlet; his therapy. For over a decade, the 24 year-old modern rap celebrity has been digging deep into his soul taking listeners on a sonic ride and re-defining the soundtrack of the streets in the process.
With over 2 billion global streams the Chicago MC has multiple accomplishments under his belt like the coveted XXL Freshman Class Cover of 2020, landing on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, reaching triple platinum, touring with Kodak Black and collaborating with Lil Wayne on “Miseducation” a track paying homage to Lauryn Hill. Now Calboy is ready for a new independent musical era with Unchained, his first album project under his own label, Loyalty & Company, representing his independence and emancipation from the shackles of RCA Records. The 12-song collection chronicles the soldier’s life following his public and private battles, be it for artistic freedom, lingering grief or industry feuds. On his resurgence track “On My Own,” the multi-gifted artist raps about balancing his demons and divinity in a rapid-fire flow over booming 808s. The cinematic visuals for the single brazenly reaffirm Calboy’s allegiance to his crew as well as emphasize his visionary and revolutionary spirit outside the major label machine.
Calboy’s million + followers have come to love and respect his extraordinary strength as well as the lyrical heat and heart he rhymes with harmonious vigor. He’s endured the pain of several lifetimes yet he knows his impact is amplified as a result of it; his innermost thoughts connecting cross-cultural communities spanning the globe. Rising above the drama with a refined game plan, Calboy is focused on two things: feeding the streets and building an empire. “Since I was a kid, I told my family I was the golden one. I recognized my gift early and I figured out the rest despite my circumstances. I’m truly chosen for this. I’m a warrior.”
During his early childhood, Calboy lived with his mother and siblings in an area of the city that was a breeding ground for disaster. Instead of applying his brainpower to do schoolwork, he spent his time watching YouTube videos on whatever topic he needed to figure out at the moment to push his music career ambitions forward, from the creative to the business side. As a strategic teenage businessman, Calboy decided to put their collective resources towards marketing assets. He harnessed the support of his classmates who eagerly wore the branded merch and decorated their lockers with posters and stickers bearing his logo. Calboy was not only the wave, but also the wave maker. The grassroots promo quickly paid off. While it was tempting for the burgeoning rapper to drop out of school to work on music full-time, Calboy graduated to appease his mother.
Before the ink dried on his diploma, Calboy released his debut mixtape, The Chosen One. He quickly capitalized on its success by dropping Anxiety soon after. On each project, the music reflected the harsh realities of his upbringing that added emotions to a culture who shared a lived experience. The making of Anxiety in particular, proved to be art imitating life where Calboy poetically details his issues with depression, PTSD and other mental health traumas.
Calboy delivered his third mixtape, Calboy, the Wildboy in 2018, which spawned the single “Unjudge Me” featuring Moneybagg Yo. He unloaded another record the same year titled “Envy Me,” that peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in addition to being certified triple platinum. The single’s popularity, coupled with the fact that Calboy consistently fed his audience with content like Wildboy Fridays, attracted the attention of major record companies. Calboy ultimately signed a deal with Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records and set off on an international tour with Kodak Black. In the midst of his professional triumph came personal tragedy. The newly minted artist suffered the devastating loss of 10 friends within the span of 12 months. Calboy has wrestled with chronic trauma for years; where just outside his front door, a war was constantly being waged both externally and internally. In 2020, the EP Long Live the Kings was released and the same year he solidified his rising hip-hop status by landing a spot on XXL’s coveted Freshman Class cover. The next year, Calboy aligned with Lil Wayne on the record “Miseducation,” paying homage to Lauryn Hill’s masterpiece album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.