Bay Area hip hop artist Caleborate is back with a new album, Light Hit My Skin out March 26 via TBKTR / AWAL. The semi-autobiographical project was announced today with a guitar-laden, crossover single and video for “What U Want”, as the rapper’s runaway love story comes to light in the California sun. Following December’s jazzy rap anthem “We Make” (feat. Samaria), Caleborate kicks off the year with cinematic visuals to this soulful, pop-laced release, explaining: “The language in it — ‘bandit’, ‘roadrunner’ — has a more dangerous undertone, and we wanted to explore that sense of rebelliousness, leaving the status quo to go into the unknown, how far we’re willing to go for love.”
On Light Hit My Skin, Caleborate’s sound matures into a sonically diverse, juxtaposed narrative of light and dark in his first full length album since 2017’s Real Person. Stepping off a well-tread hip-hop path into the full range of the LP’s styles — borrowing from 1990s alternative to classic 2000s rap to electro-pop and beyond — Caleborate remains locked in alongside collaborators including some of the most exciting contemporary lyricists and genre-bending artists.
About his forthcoming LP, Caleborate says, “This album is about feeling feelings that I haven’t been allowed to before, emotions that black men aren’t usually allowed to feel at the same time. It’s about pursuit, within the context of this sort of new American dream, being aware of how fragile the world is. It’s about how life can be this extremely grounding, halting experience, or fill you with air and make you feel weightless and free as you glide through the days.”
Caleborate first sprang onto the national scene with 2015’s Hella Good and quickly expanded his footprint with 1993 (2016) and Real Person (2017). The 27-year-old’s kaleidoscoping mosaics of love and heartbreak, weed smoke and college loans, family ties and simmering ambitions, triumph and loss have earned praise from several outlets. With over 75 million streams — including coveted playlists from Spotify’s ‘Most Necessary’ to Apple Music’s ‘BARS’ — he also saw “Caught Up” featured in the recent Shaft movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and “Only 4 Tha Real” on the FIFA ’21 soundtrack. His reputation as a not-to-be-missed live act is evident on the recent COLORS performance of “Clicquot Shower” and slots at Rolling Loud and Outside Lands.