Rudy Kalma is a rapper from the Philippines, but his tonality and lyrical ability match that of most talented artists from the States. Maybe it’s because he takes after other rappers from Northern California, a place he now calls home.
But when we first met him he was performing a couple hundred miles south at a Sofar Sounds showcase in Los Angeles. It was a chilly evening in Downtown that night, but the weather paired well with Kalma’s cold flow on his opening song, “Pizza Man."
If you’ve seen the music video you can understand why the crowd bounced their heads to this track about Kalma’s time working as a pizza man. As the sea of heads nodded and BYOB bottles of wine were poured, members of the Rogue Wav Collectiv sent their homie good luck from stage right.
Then he continued performing more songs from his recent project, “Labor of Love” like “B4,” which boasts clever lines like “I don’t know why we focus on glory days when we can shine any given time.” They instill motivation into the masses and share Kalma’s story over boom bap beats. His Sofar Sounds set, the second of he evening, was intermixed with intimate moments Kalma shared with the crowd.
Although he performed without a microphone, he kept saying “Mic Check” and everyone laughed because of the ironic nature of the statement. Even though this MC didn’t have a mic, he still projected his voice and confidence filled every inch of the venue.
By the end of the last song, Kalma had captured the hearts of the audience. With their attention, he bared his soul for them with a freestyle. So in case you missed Kalma’s show, but want to check him out in Cali, you’re in luck! He has a few upcoming show dates:
Sofar Sounds San Francisco
Santa Cruz Music Festival
Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco