McCallaman is a 24-year-old producer & DJ from Toronto, Canada.You might be familiar with him because of his work with 2015 XXL freshman Goldlink on “When I Die” from the DMV rapper’s God Complex tape. He’s also appeared with local T.Dot rapper Redway. BlogTO features him as one of “Toronto’s Top 10 Toronto Beatmakers You Never Heard Of”. As a DJ, performed with HW&W producer Elaquent, Bizzarh, & has opened for artists including River Tiber. He describes Black Pop as “being a compilation of modern Hymns, Negro Spirituals & Lullabies”.
“Now more than ever we need to come together & own our stuff. Own the means of production & distribution. Own the messages we want to put out & see them all the way thru, untainted by what the current gatekeepers want to hear from us. We need to be responsible to our people & culture & not sellout. We need to keep each other in check, & do it in love.”
- McCallaman on his motive behind his music.
The five track debut EP features Toronto artists including Clairmont the Second, Sydanie & Tika Simone. “Tenfold” allows McCallaman and Tika to collaborate on a neo-soul track. At some points in the song, her vocals reminded me of Erykah Badu as they work off one another’s spirit. There is a smooth transition to “Birds x Bees”, a calming interlude where Clairmont preaches his frustrations about a relationship. It has a spoken-word feel to it, where he attempts to touch listeners’ senses. “Shui” (Japanese for water), relaxes your senses as the Toronto producer prepares to set the tone in “Home Tonite”. This song originally won me over for his decision to shape it as an R&B ballad, similarly to Michael Jackson‘s “You Are Not Alone“. The project ends as Sydanie attempts to paint a picture over his eclectic instrumental in “Lullaby”.
McCallaman’s additional vocals take Black Pop to another level. I found his voice to be soothing, as he provides lyrical emphasis in the right places. His clean transitions create a solid foundation for a concrete storyline. Black Pop is only about`10 minutes long. I found it hard to wrap my head around the project length; Each track was amazing, despite a short duration.
I’ll be waiting for his future projects. He is someone worth a listen. Download Black Pop here.