Krizz Kaliko Rocks Front Stage at The Backspace

Jan 26 2011

For our final stop on the tour we visit my home town, Portland OR. I am excited to be rocking at home and ready for a great night with all my friends. I sent out a last minute reminder to all my friends via text message and await a huge line up of artists at the Portland POH-Hop. I had never been at the Backspace before. It’s located at 115 NW 5th Ave in downtown Portland. I decided this would be a great show to take my brother and sister to, so I stopped by and picked them up and off we went. I almost missed the whole first part of the show because we got lost. GPS sucks and can’t be relied on downtown and we ended up walking around a shady part of downtown Portland.

Finally we were on the right track and I could hear Tragedy’s songs playing as we got closer to the venue. We ran to the door and made it in about half way through the set. I was just glad to have caught some of it. I know this is my third time seeing him, but I just love “Fuck ‘Em All” and “Why So Serious”. Knothead finished off the set with Tragedy and the crowd went wild for a group that seemed out of place at first, but also seemed to be the most relaxed and welcomed so far in the night.

POH-Hop is a once a year Portland hip hop festival that showcases the most popular up-and-coming artists who have put in a great amount of work that year. The POH-Hop had many acts booked that night. My first impression was that the crowd was filled with 60 rappers and 4 fans. I had a good laugh about it, but in all seriousness there were a lot of artist, playing that night and not playing. There was a tension in the air that felt like at any moment something could pop off. I was surprised that there were no fights with so many separate camps in the same room. The show was something new for me, as I had not attended one previously due to having prior obligations or tour dates around the time this show usually takes place.

I went over to the bar to order a shot after Tragedy’s set and was told they didn’t sell liquor. I was quite confused at first being what kind of bar sells no liquor? They only sold strange beers that I had never heard of before that night. So it looked like I would not be rocking a buzz at this show. I went outside for a cigarette and watched the crowd and the artists. There were many artists outside free styling and networking together. It was awesome to see these people coming together from all areas and talking and sharing experiences.

DJ Chill, Cool Nutz, and DJ Fatboy were in the house that night as well as other favorites like Maniac Lok, Meezilini, and Mac Dub. I was growing more and more anxious for Krizz Kaliko and Irv Da Phenom as the night went on. I knew with the layout of this venue with the stage at floor level, the artwork, disco ball, and windows all along the front side would be a great layout for a very personal show. The venue also had a screen to watch for those who could not get a good look from the first few rows in front of the stage. This came in handy when the crowd got so rowdy that I had to take five. The music got lower and the room got louder because they all knew that meant Krizz and Irv Da Phenom were about to go on. I jumped outside and got my first photo with them. Krizz agreed to give me and interview after the show for the fans. Then they were off to get back on stage and give the best show of the tour.

Krizz Kaliko started off the night with an energy that cannot be tamed. Irv the Phenom brought a killer style that I can only say takes him out of the stereotypes of hype man and makes him a co-artist really. He has such talent that many may not have yet tapped into but that Krizz has obviously recognized. Krizz brought a funky vibe to the crowd with “Misunderstood”, got the crowd jumping with “Caribou Lou” , and brought the girls to their knees with “Rejection”. The boys had the crowd going out of control. Some girl in a cute white hat jumped up on the speakers in front of me and started dancing because she couldn’t contain her love for these talented guys. The disco ball in the middle of the room cast white spots around the room and the crowd almost seemed to be stuck in slow motion through the show in anticipation of each song to come.

Irv the Phenom got a chance to showcase his talent alone on stage and he amazed everyone. One guy outside after the show just kept pointing at him and said “Man this guy is talented.”

Krizz Kaliko and Irv Da Phenom brought out each song with more energy than the one before. DJ Chill spun behind them and was bobbin’ to the beat as well. Krizz bounced to Its Your Birthday, brought me to euphoria with “City 2 City”, my personal fav, and brought about his fake ending to the show with “Anxiety”. They ran off stage and the crowd was cheering and getting ready to filter out. Then Irv the Phenom jumped back on stage and asked if we really thought that was the end? The crowd cheered and Krizz joined him on stage for one last song, “Elevator” !

The show was an incredible experience and I awaited my interview. I watched as Krizz and Irv Da Phenom gave the fans time to say hello and take pics. Once they were all done I moved in and sat down for a great interview. See below for the full interview with Krizz and Irv Da Phenom.

Lette- “How do you feel Shock Treatment did?”
Krizz- “Did really good. It can always do better. I have big expectations.”
Lette- “What are your hopes for your independent projects?”
Krizz- “I wanna be the biggest fucking artists in the world. What we got is game changing material. A lot of people don’t have game changing material. This is for sure. The proof is in the pudding.”
Lette- “What do you have coming for us?”
Krizz- “I got a new album called S.I.C coming out. Tech named it. We are gonna have another contest to see if people can figure out what it stands for.”
Lette- “Which spot on the tour did you enjoy the most?”
Krizz- “Portland for sure. I enjoyed it the most. The crowd was loving it.”
Lette- “What do you have to say to your fans out there?”
Krizz- “Spread the word. Spread it like money. Like money you can’t keep me in your pocket. You gotta spread me, like money.”

Lette-“What do you have to say to the fans Irv?”
Irv Da Phenom- “Its been a blessing. Working with Strange Music and coming from being a fan before and now working with them. Its a blessing. Check out my new album too that can be downloaded free at the website.”

Spending time with Krizz and Irv was eye opening and seeing how excited they are for their independent ventures as well as their collaborations with the other artists from Strange Music makes me realize that Krizz Kaliko is truly a talented and enlightened person. He is laid back, honest, and can put on a show like no other. I await their return to Portland and hope to see them again very soon.