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Over the last couple of years, Chicago rapper Calez has grown significantly. Both as an artist, and as a person, the original 2008ighties member has been leaning into his work throughout that evolutionary process, the result of which is his latest full-length, aptly titled Poppa EP.

A somewhat-new father, Calez’s priorities have been markedly more forward-thinking since taking on the moniker of his most recent project, and its shows in the work he’s putting out. Long a consistent face in the scene that rocketed forward alongside Chance and the SaveMoney movement back in 2013/14, he’s been on a journey of self-discovery that seems to be arriving full-circle. That being said, his releases throughout have long been some of my favorites year in and year out, any search through past posts would attest to everything from Ceito to Kid With Raps and beyond as some of the more memorable tracks I’ve come across in the scene. However, lately he seems to be speaking from an more informed stance, eager to make it and finding a bit of edge once again on his latest. The project itself is a short one, clocking in at five songs, but is led by his single “Boss Sh!t” that’s been making the rounds on Mild Sauce Radio and released his second single “Cool” featuring Mick Jenkins and Alex Wiley alongside the tape today. Get into it above and catch the songs playing in our 8 PM CST Best New Releases hour every night.

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