Kalvonix and I have been making music together since way back when I started rapping. Back in high school when I was first starting out I was just making my own music by myself, but when I heard of a school group about rapping I was interested to see what it was about. To be honest, as a young kid with a wild imagination I imagined a full recording studio with a recording booth and all the equipment needed, but that wasn’t the case. I’m not complaining, I just mention that because it’s funny how kids’ imaginations are. The group was Access Denied, and it was made up of a few different people, mainly Calvin, aka Kalvonix, and his cousins Ohwell and Nizzl. In those days he was called “the rapper of the school” since he loved showing everyone his passion for rapping. I guess at some point he and Mr. Begg, the school English teacher, had come to an agreement to work on a school rap group, and so Access Denied was born. I joined later, but we quickly made a few mixtapes together. We usually recorded right in the classroom, after school hours so no one would be there, and our music was educational and touched on lots of different subjects, without getting too serious about them, but just getting the main message across. Those were fun times for sure, and we even did a show for the Olympics here in Vancouver, and also ended up on the newspaper front cover. “Rapping for a reason” was the title of the newspaper story. They also did an interview with us which was on TV. Of course, all of this wasn’t because we were incredible rappers, it was mostly because it was a school project and we were rapping about positive things. I didn’t mind it at all because I was writing and rapping, which is what I loved doing, but outside of Access Denied I was always working on my own music as well, which wasn’t always the most positive, but it was real to me, since I wasn’t living through the most positive times in my life either. Kalvonix was also doing music on his own, of course, and after he graduated from high school a year before me, we kept meeting up at his house to record song remixes here and there. We eventually had an idea, to release a mixtape together, since we were starting to make more and more songs together. We titled this mixtape “The Come Up.” Back then we weren’t the most professional, we were young and we were really making music kind of in a rush, to be honest. We were having fun though, so we just wanted to move on to the next track and complete it. I spent a lot of nights at Calvin’s house, rapping all through the night up in his room. The good thing is his house was pretty big so I think his parents couldn’t really hear us rapping the night away. Since we were making so much music, we eventually made the Come Up 2, and at some point we decided to turn in into a recurring thing. By the time we recorded The Come Up 3, we had decided that we were getting better and we had to get our music out to more people. That’s when we decided to go around his neighborhood knocking door to door selling CDs of The Come Up 3. I definitely don’t regret it, but the music isn’t really as good as we thought it was in the moment. Over the years we recorded the Come Up 4, 5 and 6, before lots of things in my life changed and I ended up moving away to Honduras, my home country, and eventually meeting my wife Maria, then waiting three years for her residence papers to be approved, and eventually returning here to Canada in February 2020, right before the whole COVID pandemic really started getting crazy. During all of those years we didn’t really make more music together, and maybe we didn’t even think about it. Calvin had success with his own music, always being super active with it and showcasing it to the world, and in my case, I was way into living a spiritual life, to the point that I had decided not to pursue music anymore because I didn’t want fame, because of the possibility of it corrupting me and the beautiful family I had formed with Maria. I remember actually telling Calvin I was quitting music, and he was questioning whether I was sure of my decision. In that moment I was one hundred percent sure. I never wanted fame, but I have always wanted to share my music with people, and to share inspirational messages through it. Fast forward some more time, spirituality-wise my thoughts changed in a way, and I basically decided to start pursuing music as a career again as I grew increasingly frustrated with 9-to-5 life, which I believe is corrupt, soulless and exploitative. I told Calvin I was back into music, so we put together The Come Up 8 and 9, mostly from a few of the last songs we had recorded together, as well as some songs from his albums that I was featured on. As I started getting serious with music again, and Calvin was getting more professional than ever and constantly releasing music on streaming platforms, we decided to make The Come Up 10 an album, with no remixes, just original tracks we could post for streaming. Since life is a lot busier now for both of us, it took us about to years to finally complete this album, but I’m really proud of it, and it’s really symbolic in a way. We’ve come a long way from our early days recording the first Come Up. Our flows have improved a lot, our writing is more impactful and our sound is overall more professional. It’s also been maybe a little over ten years since we started, so the number 10 is kind of symbolic in a way as well. We released The Come Up 10 this year on August 12th, a few days before his Calvin’s birthday. Kalvonix has always been a big inspiration for me, not only because we share the same passion for music and rhyming, but also because he was born with cerebral palsy and faced a lot of struggles growing up, yet he never let that get in the way of his passion and his dream, and nowadays he’s found a decent amount of success, and I’m super happy for him. I’ve always been all over the place, lacking the dedication to make my music thing happen in the way he has, but life is a learning experience, and I can say that now I’m more focused than I’ve ever been, so I’m excited about what the future holds. I’m constantly working on new beats and songs, and Kalvonix and I don’t plan on stopping our work together either, so The Come Up 11 is already in the works. For now though, give The Come Up 10 a listen, I’ve embedded the Spotify link below so you can listen right on here if interested. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to listen, since we put a lot of effort into this album.
~ rebel eye