Following an incredible year of touring, solo releases, and red hot collaborations, Kutt Calhoun stepped to the front of the line and became the first Strange Music MVP in 2010. On a roster full of MCs all competing to be at the top, Kutt Calhoun managed to stand out and build an unbelievable amount of support from the fans. 2010 was easily Kutt Calhoun’s year, and no one was going to take it from him. Fast forward, and the beginning of 2011 was already showing signs of another busy year for Kutt. Partnered with Krizz Kaliko, Kutt hit the road on the Strange Noize Tour 2011 and represented Strange Music on stages around the country. Not long after, Kutt joined Tech N9ne for the All 6’s And 7’s Tour which lasted most of the summer and saw Kutt return to a solo set every night. Then of course, Kutt recently struck fans with his first 2011 release, Red-Headed Stepchild. The short, but powerful EP saw Kutt return to his roots and quickly broke through as one of his best releases. With time still left in 2011, and a revitalized drive to reach the top, could Kutt Calhoun be seeking another year as Strange Music’s MVP?
Beginning in the Spring of 2011, Strange Music and Suburban Noize once again joined forces for the Strange Noize Tour. With Suburban Noize Records artists dominating the bill, Kutt Calhoun and Krizz Kaliko took the honors of standing in for the snake and bat. Yet again, Kutt Calhoun was given the opportunity to showcase his potential as a solo star with lone performances every night. The smaller and more intimate venues let fans see a different side of Kutt, who exuded confidence and charisma without a hype man. Taking command of stages night after night, Kutt ran through his biggest hits and even gave fans a sneak peek of his upcoming mixtapes. The tour was perhaps the best outlet for Kutt’s live performance as he never looked so at home. Kutt wouldn’t be away from the stage for long though, as he soon joined the entire Strange Music roster for a lengthy trek on the All 6’s And 7’s Tour. Just like he did for the Strange Noize Tour, Kutt took to the stage on his own, only this time he switched up his set list and gave old school fans a great surprise. Reaching back into his catalog, Kutt performed a solo set full of songs almost entirely from B.L.E.V.E. and the Flamez mixtape. Thanks to the throwback performance, Kutt’s live show was held as one of the more memorable moments from the tour. Kutt had found his own way to push past the crowded tour and stand in his own lane.
The release of Kutt’s Red-Headed Stepchild EP finds him in a brand new and yet, all too familiar place. Fueled by a theme of rejection and feeling like an outcast, Kutt dug deep into the emotions he expressed on songs like “Calling My Name” and “Something’s Gotta Give”. With that in mind, Kutt comes off as hungrier than ever and displays a drive or motivation that most would only associate with a brand new artist. The EP allowed Kutt to concentrate all efforts on a direct hit with fans, as the EP was only twenty minutes in length. Still, the EP leaves listeners with a true sense of who Kutt Calhoun is. He is a vibrant MC who never seems to be satisfied and isn’t afraid to be real with the world. Kutt’s brightest moment on the EP comes in the form of “I’m Forever”, a career defining track that bring together every bit of Kutt’s pain, success, aspirations, and complete certainty that he is the best. Short and sweet, Red-Headed Stepchild was a wake up call to listeners everywhere.
2011 is far from over if Kutt Calhoun has any say. With two mixtapes on deck and rumors of another tour in the fall, Kutt is working for his spot on everyone’s list. The Kansas City Chief already ran with the title of MVP once, but can he do it again?
-Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music
Follow Victor on Twitter: @VicMSandoval
Click here to purchase Red-Headed Stepchild on iTunes.
Do you think Kutt can repeat his success and become the 2011 Strange Music MVP? Let us know in the comments below!