The emcee who goes by Fresh Caesar, is perhaps better known as Bay Area entrepreneur Courtney Smith. In 2004 Smith founded the successful YPA (Young Player’s Association) clothing brand, and in 2006 went on to co-found Mogul Media Group with Kaz Kyzah. Though it’s his business acumen that has made him the factor he is, it is art that has governed his vision. And given that hip-hop is the art form that has underlied everything he’s done, it’s no wonder that he’s finally stepped into the booth.
The fact that he’s not actually new to the scene makes Caesar’s recent lyrical emergence unique. He’s already got the connects and presence to make an impact in whatever he chooses to do, but not even his business partner Kaz Kyzah was aware he could spit till recently. It’s not surprising for some one to try their hand at rap, but it is surprising when someone really talented comes out of the woodwork and leaves a mark.
The Breakthrough Vol. 1 is laced with the hustler’s spirit that defines Caesar, but it champions his savvy business grind instead of trumped up d-boy tales. The figurehead behind Squareboy Ent. rightly sees nothing wrong with being himself– a grown and successful pretty boy, father, hustler, and now rapper. On “They Call Me Caesar,” he reintroduces himself in the third person via some of his local inspirations, by saying,
“He rose like a phoenix, CEO prefix
Learned from the Bobbys and the Hueys and the Felix
You are born Caesar, n***a be it!”
This Jay-Z sampled gem is a great introduction to the Oakland emcee, but doesn’t due him justice either. Caesar is just as comfortable rapping about his flyness as the next man, but he also takes several opportunities to spit subdued about the plight of young men in his city, his upbringing or lovely looking ladies. “Hey Love” is a beautiful laid back ode to the opposite sex featuring B. Anthony that has been in heavy rotation recently over at 38thNotes.
And just as a Cali bonus before yall go download the mixtape, here is a collaboration with Kaz Kyzah entitled “California Dreamin” that samples The Mamas and The Papas. Enjoi!
DL: The Breakthrough Vol. 1