Today we’re featuring a Chico-based rapper that goes by the name Calex, who skillfully infuses elements of trap with other hip-hop elements. Some more notable artists he draws inspiration from include Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, and J.I.D.
Not only is the beat killer, but his voice is what really sells the whole experience for me. He’s never trying too hard to fit too many words into a phrase, or being uncreative and rhyming the same words over line after line. Not being a rap aficionado, there’s only so much I can really speak on without sounding clueless. His lyrical flow isn’t the most technical, but he manages to keep it interesting with every stanza by switching up the rhythm and rhymes. The instrumental itself is very laid back, making it the perfect music to put on during a night out.
If you didn’t already know, Carlo Rossi is the infamous wine that is sold in jugs. It actually makes a couple appearances in the video, mostly towards the end when you can see him holding the jug. This is hinted at by the lines “Carlo Rossi got me dizzy” that Calex repeats during the refrain a number of times. The refrain is actually really catchy even though it isn’t sung like a traditional one may be, adding even more to the uniqueness of the song. Another minuscule thing I noticed was the little breaths after most lines that Calex does, which is a little quirk that adds to his lyrical style.
The video itself is extremely well crafted, having been directed by Elias Denny and Houndbeats, which consists of Calex venturing out near some scenic areas. My favorite aspect was the visuals done with the smoke, bring something interesting to an otherwise minimalist music video. His EP “Nothing 2 Lose” was produced by Los Angeles based LastLvL and engineered by another Chico State alumni, Alec Beretz.
You can also stream his whole EP “Nothing 2 Lose” on SoundCloud.