“This Is Who I Am”: Krizz Kaliko’s Diversity On Full Display On Dominion

Apr 18 2017

Water is wet, grass is green, and Krizz Kaliko is so damn talented.

I know it’s stating the obvious, but sometimes the obvious is so obvious, it goes without being acknowledged, so, sometimes you have to state the obvious.

With n9ne appearances on Dominion–more than any other artist (besides the ones who once had red hair)–Krizz serves as the backbone of the album, connecting and supporting the extremities and ensuring they all move in unison. What makes the n9ne appearances even more amazing, is how diverse they are and nowhere is that more clear than the album’s homestretch.

“Morning Til The Nightfall” showcases his smooth yet fleet flow, two tracks later on “Jesus and a Pill” Krizz has the power and command of any rock front man, and literally three minutes later, he is rounding out the album leading a powerful choir, emitting some serious gospel vibes.

When spread out through a long, successful career, that kind of range can go under appreciated, but when it’s as concentrated as it is on Dominion–when he’s going from a cypher, to a metal show, to church in minutes–it really brings to light just how amazing Krizz is.

Three different songs, three completely different vibes, each one sounding so organic.

How the hell does he do that?!

It’s all I could think about when listening to the back end of Dominion, so, I gave Krizz a call and asked him about those big three tunes in hopes of being able to wrap my mind around how someone can navigate such diverse terrain so easily.

“Morning Til The Night Fall”

It’s a rarity that I get a track sent to me that’s pretty much done. Usually I play more of a part in the origin of the song but sometimes it’s good to get a song and there’s already a hook on it, there’s already verses on it and all I gotta do is do my thing.

I didn’t have to take the reigns, which I generally prefer to do, so this one was easier because all I had to do was a verse. Still when you are rapping against Rittz and Wrek, of course it’s gonna be a challenge because they are great emcees.

When I’m on a song with someone that can rap, it makes me try to kill them on the song. I’ve been rapping alongside Tech for all the years so I try to dazzle him and the people who love him. That’s what I thought about when they sent me that track, but Rittz always has these smooth beats and it makes me wanna get real cool so I had to say some slick shit on there too.

“Jesus and a Pill”

That was a song I think Tech heard Prozak on first, then Prozak sent it to us and he had a different chorus on it. It’s not as much friendly competition if I’m doing the hook, because, instead, I’m trying compliment what they’ve already done.

When I hear beats, I hear a little bit of the chorus, maybe some of the words and sometimes all of the words immediately, so I heard exactly what I wanted to do for the chorus.

I was going through some stuff at the time and I thought, “dang I need so much help I need Jesus and a Pill.” I got that from a conversation Tech and I had a while ago where he was like, “man I feel like I’m going on a wing and a prayer I need two wings and a biscuit.” So, when I got that beat, I did what I like to do, sit in my truck at the grocery store and write it.

I always wanted to front a metal band, so I always put myself there mentally whenever we’re doing something that’s rock related, like writing the hook for “Starting To Turn,” I think, ‘if I had my band, what would I want this to feel like?’

“Angels in the Playground”

Stevie sent it to me and told me exactly what to do and again, he had the hook, verses and beat already there. Matter of fact, I think by the time I got it, Tech was already on it so it was another easy thing to do; to get a song that’s 75 percent completed and put the icing on the cake.

He said he wanted  me to “take it to church” which is where I originated from musically, so I put the church on there with that choir.

I didn’t hire a choir, I used my regular background singers, Delynia, Glennae, my wife Crystal, and me and Tech; I made Stevie sing on it too. We use who we got. Whoever is in the studio that day becomes part of the choir. Everything came out amazing.

Stevie actually wanted my part to go twice, but when you end the song with a home run you make ’em want to repeat the whole song.

Having the skills is one thing, but applying them seems like a whole different animal. He can’t just waltz into he studio and knock out completely different songs can he?  On top that, with so many styles, how does he keep them all fresh? Whats the formula behind being a jack and master of all trades?

Hearing how those songs came together was fascinating, but still, I couldn’t wrap my mind around it, so I asked him. Despite being a loaded, complicated question(s)–“Do you have trouble juggling theses styles? Do you practice them or be in the right mind stated?– his answer was simple. “No,” he responded, adding:

It sounds arrogant but I don’t practice. I feel the most comfortable doing music, performing music. This is who I am. I feel the most me when I’m recording or performing. That’s what I know what I’m doing most in life.

I was hoping for a scientific breakdown, almost a formula for Krizz’ magic, but, much like it reads on Dominion, it’s fluid. It’s natural.