Caleborate Credit: courtesy the artist

If you ever use Twitter to express your fandom of a famous rapper and have the “good” fortune of said rapper retweeting you, you’ll likely experience the bad fortune of receiving replies meant for the superstar from aspiring MCs thirsty for any inkling of attention. Rap spam is as common and easy to ignore as the ads that eat up space on your favorite website, so it takes a little something special to find your audience by plastering your work in online spaces where it’s generally seen as unwelcome—and 24-year-old Berkley MC Caleb Parker, aka Caleborate, has “it.” A few years ago, Parker began plugging his music in the YouTube comments section for songs and videos by hyperpopular rappers who share his proclivity for emotional vulnerability, including Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino, and effectively built a following. Parker raps with a conversational friendliness. On October’s Real Person (TBKTR) his lines feel like they’ve been lifted from eye-opening late-night chats with friends and set to sumptuous, easygoing soul songs. Older heads may say—and some have said—that Parker harkens back to hip-hop’s golden age, but Real Person reminds me of what it’s like to explore the world in one’s early 20s, with all its joy and anxiety.   v