Over a dramatic Johnny Juliano production, Stevie Stone and Krizz Kaliko use their mastery of rap and singing to convey the game of life and the various phases and stages that it contains. The end result is one of Stevie Stone’s most touching and soulful records.
We talked to the two Swiss Army Knives of Strange Music to get their perspective on the song, how it was made and what it means to them.
STEVIE STONE From “808 Bendin” me and Johnny Juliano got a rapport. I was working on 2 Birds 1 Stone and I hit him up, let him know, and he sent me clusters of beats. That’s one of the ones I chose. When I first heard it, the first thirty seconds I knew it was going to go on 2 Birds 1 Stone. The feel of it – the mood and the feel. Everything about it. His beat told a story to me. It put me in a feeling and a mode.
He production covers sides of the spectrum. His drums for one is my type of thing. His drums be hitting. The different sounds that he’s using, he has his own style. We just fit like a glove when it comes to that. 8O8 Bendin was one type of record, Phases is a total opposite type of record. That goes to show both of our ranges in making music. He’s got a really wide range.
“KALI-STONE” & THE SONG
STEVIE STONE Kaliko is a musical genius and if you work with him in the studio, you’ll see. He just knows notes. He sings, he raps. I do both things as well and I wanted to showcase that on this. It turned out beautiful. It was just what I felt.
We vibe real well together. It’s just a good match. We feed off of each other and we feel it. It’s just something you can’t explain. It’s a musical vibe. We both feel that same vibe.
KRIZZ KALIKO I think Stevie’s voice is the best voice on Strange. He’s got the best voice on the whole label, to me, including Tech’s and mine. And I think he can be a superstar, if we do the right thing with him.
When we collaborate, we kinda feel like “Kali Stone.” Stevie’s like my little brother, man. I’m really close to Stone, that’s my buddy. We kinda have our kindred spirits: both raised as church boys, for real. He had this idea he played me the beat. He had his verse and the hook and everything on it. I was like “wow!” I really loved the song and I just jumped on it.
STEVIE STONE When I’m saying entering into new phases, I’m talking about entering into a new mode of understanding –understanding obstacles that I have to overcome, it’s up to me keep it moving, beat that obstacle and keep going.
KRIZZ KALIKO You know, it’s really what I write about: an imitation of my life, because even music is an imitation of life. I think mine is an extreme imitation of life, because I show what I’m going through. I said, “What comes outta my pen / is what I think then” and I mean it! I tell everybody all the time “I mean it. I mean that,” I really mean it. I think “Phases” was just another example of that, basically, on that song.
“RIGHT HAND ON THE BIBLE, OTHER ONE ON THE MIC, THIS IS MY SURVIVAL” – KRIZZ KALIKO
KRIZZ ON MAINTAING RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE MUSIC GAME
KRIZZ KALIKO It’s hard man, I feel conflicted a lot, but sometimes I just have to tell myself that God created this entire world and everything in it. So, if I’m part of this, I’m still part of God’s creation. I’m still God’s child – operating in this and that, you know? I have to tell myself that, otherwise I’d go crazy.
Because I am operating in a world, that, my religion, Christianity – a lot of things that are involving this world, a lot of the things here, Christianity would say, “you can’t do that – you’ll go to Hell for that”, you know? But this is what I was born to do – I wasn’t born to go to a Hell. It’s really hard to answer that question, because, I puzzle about it a lot of times.
STEVIE ON WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES
STEVIE STONE It’s about painting pictures and the message is overcoming, from both of our verses. That’s what it is, it’s motivation. It’s for the people. Somebody’s going to feel that record. It’s going to get somebody through something.
When we were on the last tour, this young girl came up and she literally started crying. She was there with her mom. We were outside just kicking it and she started quoting lyrics from “My Remedy”. She was a drug addict and she said “Your music helped me get over that. Your music is my remedy.” I was like “Whoa.” I’ve had people tell me that before but with her, I really felt it. That lets me know to keep writing from my heart and to keep motivating people.
That’s what I feel that I’m doing and that’s what I feel that I’ve done all my life. I feel like I’ve overcome obstacles. That’s just how I feel. I have an ambition and a determination about myself and I want to feed it to somebody else. That ambition and determination is something I was just born with. Nobody can’t tell me that I can’t get accomplished what I want to get accomplished in life. The only person that can stop me is me. I believe that. I’m going to go for it. That’s what it is.
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- What do you think about the song “Phases”?
- Should Krizz and Stevie do a project together?
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