Campus Life | March 4th, 2024

Building Dreams: The Journey of CantGoCaleb

By: Ashton Johnson | Staff Writer
Building Dreams: The Journey of CantGoCaleb

Busy building his foundation in the present, third-year Florida A&M University student and artist Caleb Wilkerson, or CantGoCaleb to the music world, puts his future into his own hands.  

His stage name alone emphasizes his yearning to follow his dreams.  

“To me, as CantGoCaleb, it means refusing to back down, which I’ve never done when facing adversity.  

Learning to read, write and record music in high school led to Wilkerson’s passion for music, which has been non-stop. From getting inspired by artists like Tyler the Creator, Lil Wayne, Mary J. Blige and Kayne West, Wilkerson strives to carve out his own lane.  

While the Detroit native but Chicago-raised rapper works hard to balance the two worlds of schoolwork and his music career, he originally set out to get his business degree at Indiana University.  

“At the beginning of college, I aspired to pursue a business degree and emulate my family’s entrepreneurial legacy instead of following music.”

But after spending the 2020 pandemic writing and recording music, Wilkerson questioned which path he wanted to take next.  

“It wasn’t long before I found myself at a crossroads between my propensity towards music and my determination to follow in my family’s footsteps.”  

After thinking about what was next, Wilkerson transferred to FAMU as a business administration major and finally mixed in his love for music by adding a music industry minor. The move to FAMU opened many doors for him, such as applying for and winning the “Your Future is Now” scholarship and having the opportunity to share how pursuing business and music has benefited him with the FAMU School of Business & Industry summer orientation session. 

After winning the “Your Future is Now” scholarship from The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective in 2023, Wilkerson was awarded $10,000 and attended the 2024 Grammys to share his music in high places and experience the music industry.

“The opportunity was a blessing for sure,” he told CBS News Chicago. “I had the opportunity to really network and share my talent… had a chance to see where I fit in in the context of the industry.” 

Since his first mixtape, “Shakeback Szn,” Wilkerson has developed a more creative flow and writing skills. He uses his experiences growing up to reflect in his style of music.  

Throughout his life, he was introduced to different genres and artists by family and friends, causing all the influences to be combined into his sound.  

Though it is hard for him to choose, Kanye West, Tyler the Creator and Chief Keef are his top three creative artists who inspire him the most.  

“They all have explored the unknown boundaries of rap and had a heavy influence on culture as a result,” he explained.  

With a clear vision of where life might take him after graduation, Wilkerson plans to pursue his master’s in business administration, continue to build his team and work towards a tour.  

You can let his “music speak for itself” by listening to his lyrical vibe at CantGoCaleb on all music platforms and follow him on Instagram with the same name.  

And to everyone wanting to get into music, the on-the-rise artist suggests to keep kicking if you are trying to get your foot in the door.  

 “There are going to be obstacles before each success, and succeeding at the highest level in this industry is a long road, so be confident in the route you take and never settle for less than what you know you’re capable of.”