You Should Hear: Cal Scruby
Cal Scruby is an intellectual — a true hip-hop artist who offers his views on the world in a furry of witty concepts, brilliant turns of phrase and poignant cultural references.
Scruby’s debut mixtape Best Foot Forward draws inspiration from some of his favorite lyrical “word-players” in the rap game, Wale and Drake. And over the course of 13 tracks, Scruby showcases his own clever style, applying a strong use of the vernacular and relatable subject matter to beats made famous by the likes of Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa, Pretty Lights and Big K.R.I.T.
Scruby, a 21-year-old engineering student at Ohio State University, doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not. His rhymes are about his life — the trials and tribulations of young love, the college lifestyle, the art of growing up in the suburbs, facing the critics and his love of sports, hip-hop and pop-culture.
Fast forward (or rewind) to almost any part of Best Foot Forward and you will hear an ear-catching conceit. Here’s a quick, ecclectic sampling of Scruby’s favorite lyrics from BFF:
“I’m schizo to you but I’m bipo’ with my flow, I switch it in fifteen, it’s easier than Geico / You might know that I go serenity to psycho, In 4.16, that’s faster than Mike Vick, Or 4.54, still faster than Hines Ward, In that 525, the pedal to the floor” - From the track “Best Foot Forward”
“Slow and steady, easy does it, SB Dunks I don’t miss them easy buckets, Neighbors livin’ next to the hood in Columbus / Where I swear they better never try to teach me how to Douglas / And my swagger ain’t “pretty boy”, No fitted, really not far from the city but I’m far from a city boy” - From the track “The Burn Down”
“Live through the pain cuz to live is a pleasure, but the money buys happiness, milligram measured / If drugs are bad, why’s a “bad b***h” better? / I got good friends, what is bad peer pressure? / We all need water, why is rain bad weather?” - From the track “Adult Swim”
Perhaps the most endearing aspect of Scruby’s music is his love and respect for his hometown, Cincinnati OH. From shout-outs to Cincinnati Red stars Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto to a true story about an underpriveledged child growing up in a poor suburb outside of the city, Scruby’s is sure to stay true to his roots and promote the people and place he cares about most throughout the tape.
I’ve actually known Cal for as long as I can remember, and I have been a long time proponent of his music. So yes, you can call me biased. But I value my journalistic integrity far too much to just blog about any of my friends who can carry a tune. And I believe that upon close listen — a listen that may require you to rewind tracks in order to grasp their clever content — you too will find that Scruby has truly put his best foot forward on his first mixtape.
You can listen to the title track below. Best Foot Forward can be found in its entirety here via datpiff.com
WARNING: This audio contains explicit language and content that may not be suitable for some listeners.