REVIEW // CALEB FEMI - SLOG

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Caleb Femi, a poet and director was recently featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. The 29-year old Peckham native most notably taps into popular colloquialism throughout his work as an expression of young London vernacular. This particular writing style is heard in the opening lines of one of his earlier pieces FAM, a BBC commissioned ode to the slang term released in 2017

When we say FAM we don’t mean what we have in common with blood / We mean you are the brother I chose and the sister I keep
— FAM

Caleb’s authentic style to poetry and storytelling on the newly released album SLOG will make him feel like one of the homies. SLOG is a captivating and emotive sonic experience in which Caleb invites the listener to see life through his lens and offers them a chance to escape their own personal proverbial ‘ends’.


Nobody forgets kings when they die/ that’s just the rules/ I just wanna reign / End the drought / Flood the streets / Promise you a rainbow.
— A Drought ft. Manor The LateKid

Caleb begins a journey through conversation of an insatiable need to escape the block. In this case, the ‘block’ may either represent the physical confines of a council estate or a castle of the mind where freedom of expression/thoughts and feelings are often neglected. Throughout the project, Caleb is open and honest choosing not to shy away from topics like fear vs. dreams, a young working class black boy’s experience coping with trauma and seeking light within bleak situations.  

Over a summer ready lo-fi beat with visuals to match (produced by D.A) Caleb carefully narrates a request for himself and his mandem to reach new heights.

Take me away where the sunrise has a different accent/ Where there are more good mornings than good mournings.
— The Secret Life of Gs ft. AWrt

On Gentle|Youth, Caleb and collaborator Jordan FC challenge the narrative of moral panic and youth folk devils as commonly portrayed by some UK mainstream media outlets.  On the stand out track Survivors Guilt, Caleb speaks candidly of his cycle of grief and the pain of escaping death when others close to him haven’t been as fortunate.  Jamilah Barry’s soothing vocals act as words of comfort to him amidst a time of deep despair.  With this, Caleb plays around with religious liturgy such as prayer and angels, a powerful way to convey his conversations with God.  His attempt to make sense of loss is captivated through short rambles around the idea that a perfect relationship can numb his pain.

All I want to do is picnic with a peng ting / Lisp her on the grass/ But the daylight is so heavy / So crushing / Like six feet worth of soil over my body.
— Survivors Guilt ft. Jamilah Barry

SLOG is a delicately crafted thought piece infused with soul and sorrow and a great introduction to Caleb Femi’s artistry. It’s out now and available to stream on all major platforms.  For more details visit www.calebfemi.com

Words by @Dingsssx

Selective Hearing