Calvin “ConSCious” Reed is a talented Emcee from South Carolina. His album, Spectrum was released on March 13 of this year (2018). Prior to the release of his album, ConSCious released three tracks via SoundCloud all in the same month: Flu Season, Window and Xan Song.
If you’re a genuine hip-hop lover or simply appreciate quality music, he’s worth checking out. ConSCious describes his sound as nostalgic and it is reminiscent of late 90’s rap with great lyricism and creative approaches to his storytelling.
T: I’ve had the pleasure of working with you and getting to know you and your music, but for those who don’t know, who is ConSCious?
C: I’m an average Joe from South Carolina that’s just tryna progress the minds of those who are looked at as underdogs.
T: When did you know that music was your thing?
C: When I was a kid I was always fascinated by bio films of legendary artists and I had an obsession with movie soundtracks and wanted to create something that felt like my favorite movies.
T: Who are some of those legendary artists you were so fascinated by? Any artists today that also have that same effect on you?
C: Like Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Kid N Play, all of Motown and Biggie. As for today… J.Cole, Drake, Kendrick and Kanye.
T: That’s a good mix! When it comes to your own music, how would you describe your sound? What message if any are you going for?
You can make it from anything and anywhere if you believe.
C: My sound is nostalgic of the golden era, but with futuristic elements. As far as the message just believing that you can make it from anything and anywhere if you believe.
T: Wonderful message! You’re definitely living that. You’ve been very motivated with your music and recently released an album, “Spectrum”. Walk me through this project.
C: “Spectrum” is a culmination of songs with vast colors and feels. Each song reminded me of a certain color while recording it. Not only that but the thesis of the project was to let people know no matter what color or race you are we all share the same struggles and emotions and that we are all one color in God’s eye hence the song “God’s Spectrum” which is track five on the album.
T: I’ve listened to the album multiple times and each time it gets better. Your lyricism and storytelling is impeccable. Your flow is creative. You’re definitely talented! When it comes to storytelling. Are you speaking on personal situations or the things you see others go through?
C: Thank you. Thats an honor! Both. Im very in tact with my emotions and surroundings. I’m well aware of a lot of things that people go through because I go through them myself, so I just try my best to paint that picture for the next man as well as myself so we can both heal. Healing comes from talking about it first.
T: Do you have a favorite track from Spectrum?
C: Umm, Id say “If I Had A Dollar” and “Sunshine”.
T: And why those two?
C: “If I Had A Dollar” came so easy because of what I was going through with my job at the time. And “Sunshine” because it’s vulnerable and also lets the listener know everything will be okay. Something we all need to hear from time to time.
T: “If I Had A Dollar” is one of my favorites, too. The flow in particular from the way you emphasize certain things, to the rapping and harmonizing. My ears have different elements to enjoy. The message is very relatable as well. Let’s talk production, though. Did you team up with anyone to bring the project to life or was this all you?
C: I teamed up with a few producers. Couple guys send me tracks here and there. I’m completely hands on. Mixing, recording, etc.
T: What’s it like growing up in South Carolina?
C: It’s alright, lol. A lot of hospitality, but you can feel trapped and get trapped easily and we have a hard time being supportive for whatever reason.
T: With everyone I’ve interviewed, the majority of artists have faced the same problem with the lack of support from their own cities. We have to do better as a people. When you think of hip-hop today, what comes to mind?
I just want the elements, substance and feel of the golden era back.
C: I agree. Umm, missing the elements. Not to diss anyone or nothing like that but artists today just rap for popularity. Only a hand full do it for the people and for the love of the culture. Though there are some mainstream artists that make good music. I just want the elements, substance and feel of the golden era back.
T: Keep doing you! What can we expect from you in the future?
C: More good music and More of me.. expect to see me everywhere cause im bout to take off!
T: Keep that same energy! Do you plan to stay in South Carolina or do you have your sights set on a new location?
C: Well once I get up enough to, I would like to get some of that California sun if not New York’s blizzards, lol. But L.A. really has my attention. I’ll still have a spot in South Carolina though. Even though I have a love hate relationship with it, home is where the heart is.
T: I hope you get the opportunity to experience something new! Thanks for taking the time to link for this interview. You know I’ll be looking forward to your future projects.
C: Thank you! It was a pleasure.