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Calboy: Unchained

Through resilience and hustle, Calboy rose from the streets of Chicago’s Southside to modern hip-hop stardom.


Mar. 5 2024, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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In the heart of Chicago's historically troubled Southside, where the streets are echoed with the harsh realities of gangs, crime, and violence, a young artist named Calboy emerged from within, using music not only as a means of expression but as another chance at prosperity. Calvin "Calboy" Woods has navigated through the war zone of his impoverished neighborhood, weaving a narrative that resonates beyond the streets and reached global audiences with an impressive catalog that has garnered over 2 billion streams.

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Calboy's journey from a kid growing up in the troubled streets of Chicago to becoming a rap sensation is a testament to his resilience and unwavering commitment to his craft. His latest album, "Unchained," serves as both a reflection of his battles and a declaration of independence. After achieving several milestones, such as a spot on the coveted XXL Freshman Class Cover in 2020 and Billboard Hot 100 chart placements, Calboy steps into a new era as he has broken free from RCA Records and dropped his first independent project under Loyalty N Company.

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"Unchained," a 12-song collection, delves into the 24-year-old's life, chronicling his public and private struggles. It's a sonic journey that explores the multifaceted aspects of Calboy's existence, from artistic freedom to lingering grief and feuds within the music industry. The album's lead single, "On My Own," serves as a resurgence track, where Calboy reflects on his journey of balancing demons and embracing divinity in a rapid-fire flow over booming 808s. The cinematic visuals reinforce Calboy's allegiance to his crew and highlight his visionary spirit outside the major label machine.

Calboy’s decision to go independent is no surprise, as his entrepreneurial spirit was evident since the beginning of his journey. In high school, he strategically harnessed the support of his classmates by turning them into a marketing force for his music. Stickers and posters of Calboy’s logos filled the hallways of his school while he would watch countless minutes of YouTube University, learning creative and business skills that would help him further his career.

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With the release of "Unchained," Calboy is now standing as a symbol of unyielding resilience, breaking free from the chains that bound him and forging his path in the hip-hop landscape. As he continues to build his empire and feed the streets with his authenticity, Calboy's journey remains an inspiration for those who believe in the power of believing in oneself and never giving up, no matter the challenges that come their way.

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