If she gives him a chance, your mom will like CharlieTooBrown. Classic, mom-approved values are at the core of his work on the single “Dreamin’ (Caged Bird)”: hard work, sacrifice, persistence, gratitude. The Titusville, Florida artist positions himself as hip-hop’s poster-boy for all of these qualities, and in rapping about such unassailable ideas he comes away with interesting results. No doubt CharlieTooBrown has serious talent. He is capable of impressing anyone with his sing-song sixteen bar freestyle, and it’s not hard to see how. His delivery is varied and confident on the new single, showing a wide range of pace and flow that justifies his impressive resume of prestigious talents.
CharlieTooBrown’s introspection yields a commitment to the same virtues he seems to champion, and there’s no sense of change made or new insight won. When Kanye looks inward, he brings the craziest corners of his psyche to the fore. When Kendrick looks inward, he comes back with the world. When CharlieTooBrown’s looks inward, he comes back with healthy platitudes that could soundtrack a movie.
“Dreamin’ (Caged Bird)” is a perfect example. Produced by Ratz Beats, this banging track is a certifiable earworm and a solid anthem about being “Lost in my thoughts dreamin’, Trapped in my cage singing, Stuck in this town dreamin’.” He raps about his killer work ethic, shooting down the competition, and believing he’ll finally be getting out of that ‘cage’.
It’s good material for the locker room, where it’ll probably stay in rotation for years to come. It’s not new ground for CharlieTooBrown, and it’s not new ground for hip-hop. But it doesn’t pretend to be.
If there’s anything new on “Dreamin’ (Caged Bird)”, it’s a new level of confidence. Accordingly, CharlieTooBrown sounds deservedly self-assured on this track. And the song ends on a high note, as the clearest insight we get into CharlieTooBrown’s strong moral code is a powerful, sincere respect for his origins, his grind and an overwhelming drive to succeed.
And it’s the best explanation for why he will probably explore these same virtues moving forward in his career. Hard work, respect, and gratitude is not just the cornerstone of making successful music; they should be central to our lives, and that’s what transpires from this track, without the lyrics directly saying so.
CharlieTooBrown’s music isn’t just a celebration of diligence and endurance; it’s about knowing where you come from and loving your community no matter the limitations it may have, because if you’re strong-willed enough, you’ll supersede any restrictions. CharlieTooBrown is an artist of integrity, a positive force in the world, and as solid a role model as any. Your mother will love him, and so will your sister!