Strange Music’s resident hook-master had quite the year in 2012. With Kickin’ & Screamin’ out-selling all of his previous albums and NEH-MIND proving to be a fan-favorite EP, his solo endeavors have taken a step forward into solidfying himself as one of the most eclectic and creative artists working in hip hop and R&B. Not to mention his innumerable guest appearances on other Strange Music albums and EPs including Tech N9ne’s Klusterfuk, Stevie Stone’s Rollin’ Stone, Prozak’s Paranormal and CES Cru’s 13, it would be a deadly sin to discount Krizz Kaliko as a creative whirlwind to be reckoned with.
Here’s our attempt at the near-impossible task of ranking Krizz Kaliko’s Most Memorable Hooks of 2012…
Undoubtedly one of Krizz Kaliko’s best songs ever made (arguably his most personal), he gets the point across in a short matter of time with the hook for “Created A Monster”. What matters more than the words themselves in this song is the haunting quality of Krizz’s vocals, echoing into thin air to resonate across the world. His final declaration that he’s a “beautiful monster” is a statement of triumph amidst hardship, inspiring many to hold on to self-belief despite what the world wants us to think.
9. Krizz Kaliko – “Can’t Be The Only One” – Kickin’ & Screamin’
Over Seven’s throwback R&B-tinged funk, Krizz Kaliko his feelings of doubt and insecurity in “Can’t Be The Only One”. It’s a ballsy song, in which Krizz admits “If I’m not there for you, I’m no good for you, and if that’s the case, and since everyone these days is fooling around, you must be too.” A hard pill for anyone to swallow, but Krizz lays it out without hesitation.
Solitude in a crowd full of people: a hard concept for most to swallow, but Krizz Kaliko encapsulates that feeling perfectly in his hook for “Alone”. With Tech and Krizz so dedicated to the business that their in, there’s little room for family and “real” friends. When the lights go out, the only ones they have are themselves. You wouldn’t think it’d be so lonely as a superstar, but think again.
One of the shorter hooks on the list, Krizz spends 4 bars capping off the choral set up from Tech N9ne: “These are the people who can’t stand me: your mama, your daddy, your greasy-ass granny. Who be calling me uncanny? Your mama, your daddy, your greasy-ass granny.” Krizz’s short-but-sweet hook combines a suave melody and earnest delivery to punctuate Tech N9ne’s stories of angst in the face of intolerance.
6. Krizz Kaliko – “Wannabe” – Kickin’ & Screamin’
If nothing else, Krizz Kaliko laid out one of his most outrageous harmonies to date with “Wannabe”. When Krizz screams “Wiiiiiiiiild out”, you can’t help but scream along with him, bellowing elongated syllables of pain and angst over one of Krizz Kaliko’s biggest-sounding hooks of his career.
One of the most overlooked songs of the year due to its less-than-profound subject matter (the “D” in “KJOMD”), Krizz Kaliko sings a hook that would make a listener think that Rick James walked into Tech N9ne’s studio session and laid down a classic vocal (before or after fucking up the couch in the lobby). Krizz Kaliko sings about his unit with a passion and yearning normally reserved for the love of one’s life, and leaves listeners with an undeniable sly grin.
4. Krizz Kaliko – “Kali Baby” – Kickin’ & Screamin’
Move over Frankie Avalon. Krizz Kaliko busts one of the most original throwback efforts that hip hop has seen in quite some time with his hook for Kali Baby. Over a beat that’s half trap and half 50s surf music, Krizz creates one of the most summery and feel-good statements of the year: Kali Baby! Proving once again that he’s a chameleon with a different voice for every song, Krizz Kaliko busts a falsetto with supreme authority.
With a voice that soars to the heavens, Krizz Kaliko asks the question that has begged an answer since the beginning of civilization: how can there be a God in a world of lies, deceit and hurt? A devoutly religious man with unwavering faith, Krizz put a lot of courage into this track, and it shows. In the days of mindless school shootings, economic uncertainty and constant political unrest, this is a song for everyone.
2. Krizz Kaliko – “Kill Shit” – Kickin’ & Screamin’
Menace doesn’t get any more sly than this. Krizz Kaliko combines opposing postures to form a hook that makes anyone feel like the ultimate bad ass: he’s sitting back and yet he’s standing over you, he’s makes a suggestion yet he demands your attention, he’s cocky as hell but he’s barely even trying. Combine that with the up to date dustup production by Seven and killer verses by Twista and Tech N9ne and you have yourself another classic.
1. Krizz Kaliko – “Hello Walls” – Kickin’ & Screamin’
For Hello Walls, Krizz Kaliko combined all of his best tricks into what is arguably his greatest song to date and even introduced some new ones: harmonies, an underlying foundation of deep bass vocals and a trippy echo to form a huge sound that expresses a profound expression of paranoia and solitude. Over Seven’s smooth yet psychedelic production, Krizz crafted an eternal classic.
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