Something remarkable has taken place within the ranks of Strange Music. The independent label, which has long served as the throne of Tech N9ne, is slowly seeing a shift in it’s landscape. In a year that saw the controversial reception to Tech N9ne’s The Gates Mixed Plate, it seems as though fans’ hopes have fallen on the shoulders of Kutt Calhoun. In recent months, the support for Kutt Calhoun has been overwhelming. From the pages of Twitter to YouTube videos, fans have rallied behind the Kansas City Chief. His knack for murdering guest spots has no doubt elevated his status among fans as well as his incredible appearances on Tech N9ne’s Bad Season. Now as 2011 opens with the promise of new material from Kutt, all eyes fall upon the new face of Strange Music.
In all the years Kutt Calhoun has been with Strange Music, it has always seemed like the MC has been extremely underrated. With Tech N9ne at the forefront, the food chain followed with Krizz Kaliko in second and Kutt Calhoun as the third man waiting to break out. Tour after tour saw Tech N9ne with Krizz and Kutt at his side. Unfortunately, for some time, fans regarded Kutt as nothing more than Tech’s “other “ hype man. That never seemed to faze Kutt though. He continued on, pushing through the apprehension from casual Strange fans. The tide began to change for Kutt around the same time Strange started the promotional push for his second album, Feature Presentation. Kutt dropped hit singles with “Whip It” and then followed it with “Bunk Rock Bitch”. Slowly, Kutt’s demographic changed from the typical male audience to more females. Kutt’s reputation as a ladies man began to take form. For the first time, Kutt was in a position to be pushed as a mainstream force. He had all the right aspects of a star in the making.
Since Feature Presentation, Strange Music has shown more confidence in Kutt Calhoun. With every tour, he has been given increasingly longer solo sets. He has held down the stage on his own, as the only act of the “big three” to do it without a hype man. Kutt has even been given solo spots on tours with acts like Hed P.E. and Big B. In 2010, it became perfectly clear that Kutt wasn’t just the “other” hype man. It could be a number of factors that have led to Kutt’s revival of sorts. It very well could be his well documented frustration with fans that has given Kutt the fuel to reignite the flames. In no way should credit be taken away from Kutt’s past work, but something about Raw And Un-Kutt just screams superstar. Specifically, “Somethings Gotta Give” is lyrically one of Kutt’s strongest tracks. Long before the album was released, fans were clamoring for Kutt based solely on the single. Following the release of Raw And Un-Kutt, there has been no shortage of Kutt Calhoun features. Everyone from unknown rappers to people like DJ Whoo Kid can’t get enough of Kutt’s unique delivery style. Kutt has adopted a new rapid fire flow with quick wit and perfect enunciation. In many ways, Kutt’s flow has reached and perhaps surpassed Tech’s similar style. This is exactly why fans are beginning to open their eyes to Bloody Kutty Cal. The Strange Music trio of Kutt, Tech, and Krizz have all publicly admitted to friendly competition. It’s fair to say though, that while Krizz and Tech may be in the running, Kutt is racing to the finish line.
As things begin to pick up for Strange in 2011, Kutt Calhoun has confirmed work on two separate mixtapes. Kutt’s past work on his Flamez mixtape has long been acclaimed by fans as some of his best. If Kutt’s verses on Bad Season are any indication of where his mind is, then there is no doubt that Kutt is as hungry as ever. Now that the fans have spoken, it is yet to be seen how Strange Music will rise to the occasion and whether or not Kutt Calhoun will be pushed to a wider audience.
-Victor Sandoval, Strange Music Blogs Contributor