The recent spill of Krizz Kaliko’s “Game On”, an anthem dedicated to the Kansas Jayhawks and their legendary basketball program, has caused quite a stir across the Lawrence community and The University of Kansas. Already a reporter from The University Daily Kansan, the student newspaper at KU, has requested for Krizz to perform the anthem at “Late Night”, the annual kick-off to celebrate the start of basketball season. While he gears up for the release of his upcoming third album, Shock Treatment, as well as the upcoming nationwide Independent Grind Tour, we asked Krizz what motivated the song and how deep his love goes for KU basketball.
Despite his allegiance to Strange Music, a Missouri-based label and crew, Krizz has always been a die-hard KU fan: “I don’t dislike Mizzou, but I’ve never been a fan of them. I’ve always been a KU fan since back in the day when Danny Manning was playing, since Paul Pierce. Even on the PS3 when I play NBA Live, I always play with The Bulls and Kirk Hinrich because Hinrich was a big three-point shooter at KU.”
While nothing is guaranteed, from the looks of it, the students and faculty have shown a strong interest in getting Krizz to perform “Game On” at “Late Night At The Phog”. Krizz is highly receptive to a possible invitation, even going so far as to rearrange any possible conflics of schedule:
“Performing at Late Night would be so cool because I know that’s the kick-off party for their season. In order for that to happen–that is October 15–we have a show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We go on at about 9:30. I’m trying to get that slot pushed up. They haven’t officially asked me to do that but I have a feeling they will because that’s what all the talks are. If that happens I’m basically going to have to charter a private plane, come to Lawrence and do the show, and then take the jet to Springfield, Missouri which is where our next show is at.”
Make no mistake, Krizz Kaliko did this purely out of the love of KU:
“I really did that just out of the love for KU, and now it’s blossomed into something else at this point. People are reaching out to me left and right.” In response to these inquiries and support, Krizz is halfway expectant and surprised: “I didn’t expect all the support but I knew they were going to dig it. Just because they like it doesn’t mean they’ll get behind it as much but I really believe in everything I do. If I do a song, I really believe in it. We’re all perfectionists at Strange Music, so I know that I’m not going to put out anything out there that I don’t think is a huge song. I feel like every song I do is huge, so I expect people to respond positively to everything. My hopes and dreams for it were for them to play it at their season opener or for me to perform it, everything else is just icing on the cake.”
By chance occurance, Krizz was able to run into none other than Bill Self on a plane on the way back from Las Vegas, where he shot his video “Elevator”:
“I went up to him and said ‘Hey, I got this song, it’s possibly the best KU anthem you’ve ever heard, if not the best anthem. You need to hear this.’ So he said Hey, send it to me’ and gave me his e-mail. I didn’t get a response from him but I got a response from one of the journalists at KU that caught wind of the song. He’s really responsible for getting it out there.”
As it turns out, a performance of “Game On” at “Late Night” would not in fact be the song’s performance debut. That happened after the recent Strange Music show at Lawrence’s The Granada. Krizz went down to the end of Mass Street to visit Abe and Jake’s. Upon talking to one of the DJs, Krizz was able to perform the song for the raucous crowd and they loved it.
“There was about a thousand people strong that night. I told the manager ‘Hey, why don’t you just let me do this man?’ and a lot of the team were in there and everybody just went ape shit about it.”
Talks are being made between Krizz and members of the KU athletic department as to whether the song will be performed at “Late Night”. One thing is for sure though, if it happens, the recruits and spectators alike are bound to be dazzled by the performance of the only Strange Music artist that bleeds crimson and blue.