What’s next in music: HappyBirthdayCalvin’s imaginative hip-hop

What’s next in music: HappyBirthdayCalvin’s imaginative hip-hop

Whether it’s the first downbeat that seizes your eardrums or the chord progression that sweeps you off your feet, the expansion of “First on SoundCloud” is celebrating that rush of music discovery by surfacing new artists that you need to know.

First up was OSHUN’s intergalactic hip-hop, and then last week we peeled away the layers of DNMO’s multi-faceted EDM, and today we’re continuing the genre-bending adventure with HappyBirthdayCalvin’s inventive approach to indie hip-hop.

The Chicago-born rapper first started writing down his dreams and penning poems in middle school. Inspired by Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator, he took his love of words to the hip-hop world and before long he was racking up millions of plays on SoundCloud. He says his tag “HappyBirthdayCalvin” represents the rebirth that happens daily when he wakes up and gets a chance to keep creating. “Every day can be the best day of your life. I’m reborn, regenerated every day. I die and come back to life in a way. That’s all sleep is.” And having released two three-track EPs in 2019, it’s clear the 17-year-old is living his mantra.

If you want to know how he does it, the clues are in his music. His artfully autotuned single, “No Friends” is an ode to his laser-focused work ethic ft. clever bars and a catchy chorus. Stream it now to get motivated by association, and check back here next week for more of what’s next in music, first on SoundCloud.

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