“The toughest among us tend to be the most vulnerable.
If you can show your true self to the world without fear, you can do anything. “
Neno Calvin pulls no punches in his self-patented, “Emotional gangsta music.” Instead, the New Orleans-born and Atlanta-based rapper strikes a delicate balance between magnetic melodies and hard-hitting bars. That combination powered up a string of independent projects—such as the Calvinism series, Gimme That IV, I for I, Cvlvino, and Nenola 2—past 10 million cumulative streams across platforms. It also incited high praise with The Fader crowning him, “Best rapper in New Orleans,” in 2019.
Signed to Cash Money Records, his visceral vulnerability defines a new style altogether.
“I make emotional gangsta music,” he affirms. “I’m speaking on my story, life, the people around me, what I’ve seen, everything I came up under, and all I’ve done. I mix it up with feelings and fun. It’s diverse. It also comes naturally.”
Born and bred in the hip-hop hotbed of the Magnolia Projects, he immediately gravitated towards rap. Inspired by everyone from hometown heroes such as Juvenile, Solja Slim, and Lil Wayne to DMX and Eve, he can vividly recall rapping in third grade during lunch. By 12-years-old, he recorded his first song and joined a local group who regularly performed around the neighborhood.
During 2015, he quietly started uploading tracks and freestyles online. His “Tuesday Freestyle” eclipsed half-a-million total plays and caught the attention of Cash Money Records Co-Founder and hip-hop legend Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams. The icon personally signed Neno Calvin and immediately got to work.
Kicking off a creative partnership, the budding talent teamed up with Birdman on the acclaimed 2016 single “Ms. Gladys” and follow-up “Fuk Em”. He also graced the track listings of high-profile 2018 releases such as the Before Anythang Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and the collaborative Lost At Sea II by Birdman and Jacquees on “GWSC.” He reached a new creative and critical plateau on 2019’s Neeny Wonder. Paying homage to Stevie Wonder with his alter ego and smoky take on the Hotter Than July album artwork, his storytelling and style flourished across the ten tracks, especially on “Never Knew”—noted by The Fader among “The 10 best new rap songs right now.”
About his rise, Cash Money Records Co-Founder and Chief Executive Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams commented, “Neno Calvin is next level. He strikes an emotional nerve that few artists do, because he goes all-in. There’s nothing held back. He embodies integrity as an artist.”
By holding nothing back, Neno Calvin will leave a big mark on the culture with his upcoming debut for Cash Money Records.
“I’m making music for each type of emotion,” he leaves off. “As long somebody feels where I’m coming from, I feel like I did my job.”