“I am my music, and my music is me.” – Cali J
Nashae Kimbrough was born and bred in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Aliquippa is a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, PA where survival isn’t just taught, it’s a natural born instinct. This mindset enabled Nashae to succeed in many aspects of his life such as taking care of his family by any means necessary. However, this need to survive also caused him to get into some legal issues that took him away from his family via incarceration in the prison system for over 10 years. Though deeply saddened to be away from experiencing first hand his family growth, the time away from his family gave him time to think about how he will never put himself in the same situation or anything like it again. Nashae finally paroled out of prison in Houston, Texas which was a long way away from his hometown of Aliquippa. Even though he was a long way from home, he was thankful to be a free man. Little did he know, he was about to be hit with yet another jab that could possibly take away his freedom for a second time.
About a year after his prison release, Nashae caught wind that there was a shooting that took place all the way in Aliquippa, and somehow someway, his name was involved as a suspect in the crime. He had already promised himself that he would never be in prison again, so as a result, he immediately fled and went on the run for over 3 years. In the early stages of his fleeing, he realized he couldn’t go by Nashae anymore. He needed a name, an alias, something that had no link to him or his past. While sitting with some friends he met in Houston, one of his friends that was aware of his current situation, a man named Shice came up with a perfect name, Cali J. Originally this name was selected because he was going to tell people he was from California in order to throw the authorities off as far as possible. But after 3 years utilizing it as his name with no one even knowing him as Nashae, Cali J became a part of him.
Being on the run was in some ways like prison. He hated the fact that he couldn’t pick up the phone and call family due to the risk of his location being compromised. As a result, music became his only way of communication. Rather than having phone conversations with friends and family back home in Aliquippa, Cali J would write and record songs that included his feelings and messages to let his family know what he was going through and his state of mind. This lack of being able to have normal open communication and only being able to communicate through music allowed him to perfect his craft.
Unfortunately, Cali J was eventually apprehended in Georgia for the allegations of his involvement in the shooting crime that happened in Aliquippa. However, he still had an opportunity to prove his innocence, which he did. With his past behind him, Cali J decided to take his fast paced life experiences and put them on paper. He now no longer had to use his music for secret communication, he was a free and innocent man. Music now became something he wanted as a career.
Many artists speak on topics that the audience desires to hear just to sell records, Cali J is speaking on real life experiences. He takes pride in the fact that every word he raps over every beat is REAL. There’s no fabrication and his music allows his fans to take a look into the life he really lives. His musical influences are Tupac, Yo Gotti, and Jeezy just to name a few. Like his musical influences, Cali J speaks about his hometown, family, and his past in a way that catches the attention of an audience that respects his realness and desire to connect with people in all different areas and walks of life.
The reality and broadness of Cali J’s ability to reach people has enable him to create the STS Movement. The STS Movement, highlights this music’s ability to go State to State and eventually worldwide! Cali J is currently in the studio and on the road non-stop preparing for the release of his highly anticipated mixtape project entitled “Now Or Never” that will be blasted on every digital music outlet for FREE!! This EP is set to release in May 2016 and will introduce the world to the real life of Cali J. Not only will this EP get the audience moving, it will also allow the audience a glimpse into the world of Cali J, a world that has been sitting in notebooks patiently awaiting its release. It’s Now or Never!