Rapper, vocalist, philosopher, jester, and truth-teller: Krizz Kaliko is a profoundly significant and much-loved musical icon. Millions of online engagements and monumental social media metrics signify legions of devoted followers who are captivated by his ceaseless flow of videos, social media posts and tracks.
With the launch of Ear House Inc., his independent record label, his destiny is now transformed. Staging an online extravaganza titled “The Reveal,” Krizz ushered in this new era with a historic event hosted from his hometown, Kansas City, MO. Like everything that he does, the impact was colossal: Part live concert, part documentary, and all Krizz Kaliko.
For his Ear House Inc. debut single, “Weight,” the video promo opens with an image he duly describes as, “My fat nekkid body.” But this message conveys a serious message of body positivity. “Being comfortable. Taking the risk of being seen,” he explains. “If I can do it, you can definitely do it.” The word “weight” has multiple implications. “My battle with mental health, society looking at me like they do, being overweight, and also the weight of my life pressing on me,” he notes.While he writes and performs plenty of what he deems “Ass shaking music,” introspective themes are his trademark. His expansive artistry embraces hip-hop, R&B, indie-rock, metal and pop, with trace elements of gospel and opera embellishing the mix. Given his dizzying lyrical flow as a rapper, his emotionally expressive tone as a singer serves as a dramatic counterpoint. This mastery of musical genres corresponds to a fearlessly creative approach, as a complete collection of Billboard charting full-length and EP releases -- from his 2008 debut, Vitiligo through 2020’s Legend -- confirms.
An explosive live entertainer, Krizz emulates the grandiose entrances of Worldwide Wrestling stars. As a longtime member of the Strange Music family, he is a bravura performer, featured with the label’s founder, Tech N9ne at over 220 concerts per year. It all came to a halt in the lockdown months, as concert venues were shuttered.
After nearly two decades on the road, life was transformed. “When it first happened I was wondering: How can I be around my family everyday? But being my wife’s husband and my kid’s dad is the most important thing there is,” Krizz avows. “I don’t miss doing a million dates in a row. It’s a unique life: whether you are an athlete, a musician, a military person, a circus act or a stripper – we all live the same.”
Fans of Krizz Kaliko is a Facebook forum where Krizz’s followers -- “Kalikoholics” --correspond with him, with each other, and share photos of their emblematic Spider K tattoos, symbols that underscore the impact of his music on their lives. “Without those songs to get me through my dark times, and help me feel I was worth something, I don’t know where I’d be today,” testifies one post.
With disarming sincerity and a penchant for sharing the most ominous shards of his psyche, Krizz Kaliko extends an indelible thread, an embracing empathy that elevates his listeners as it befriends and comforts them with the assurance that they are not alone. And as his career advances to the next level with Ear House Inc., the message and the music confirm the magic - his songs save lives.