Krizz Kaliko Talks Friendship With T-Pain, “Weight,” and New Label Ear House

Krizz Kalliko talks about the impact of “Weight,” his label Ear House and the meaning behind it, why he’s a legend, hanging with T-Pain, and more!

“Who’s house? Ear House!”

Krizz Kaliko spent a solid 20 years as part of Tech N9ne’s Strange Music inprint, and now he steps into his own as the CEO of his own label titled Ear House.

Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, the recording artist prides himself in creating music with substance, music that listeners can relate to and confide in with messages that they can take, utilize, and apply to their own life.

Krizz is bound by no one genre, blending the worlds of hip-hop and metal into his own unique sound and style. With his previous releases such as 2016’s Go album or “Anxiety,” Krizz addresses his own personal journey with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Fast forward to 2021, he continues the momentum with the release of his newest visual for “Weight,” which sees Krizz stripped down butt naked as he brings the underlying meaning behind the record to life. Battles with weight, body image, and self-confidence are things we all deal with, and Krizz is here to remind you it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to love yourself for who you are.

AllHipHop: How is it over there in Kansas City?

Krizz Kaliko: It’s super hot. It’s 100 degrees today, it’s humid in Kansas City. I just got home from ATL last night and it wasn’t quite as hot, but it was way more humid. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the streets steamed up like that.

AllHipHop: What was in ATL?

Krizz Kaliko: I was shooting a video with a country artist. I was down there with T-Pain, that’s my boy.

AllHipHop: I saw that photo! What were y’all up to?

Krizz Kaliko: Man, we always up to something crazy. Something really, really crazy. I shot an episode for his podcast, Nappy Boy Radio. We’re working on something super secretive.

AllHipHop: A song, or something else?

Krizz Kaliko: I can’t say. We’ve done songs before. People have been wanting the two of us to do an album together for a long time. That’s my bro, we’ve done music together. We’ve done a few songs together. I’ve done a song with me, him, Tech, and Lil Wayne we did years ago, called “F### Food.”

AllHipHop: Why’s the song called “F### Food?”

Krizz Kaliko: It was talking to a girl like, “you are F### Food. You are the food to digest, you are what my appetite is craving.” T-Pain and I also have a song called “Dumb for You.” We were down there doing some other little secretive stuff, it may or may not be another song.

AllHipHop: Why not give your fans the exclusive here AllHipHop?

Krizz Kaliko: Because I can’t tell you yet, but I can tell you that we did do a podcast. He hit me yesterday like “dude, this is the best podcast I’ve done.” That’s a big statement being as though his last one was with Mike Tyson. He knows not to put me on podcasts and give me alcohol, that’s a mistake.

AllHipHop: What did you guys talk about?

Krizz Kaliko: Oh my god, everything. We talked about everything you can think of. I think T-Pain brings me in just to make him laugh. I laugh the whole time I’m there. My wife was with me, she said “He loves you so much. He doesn’t do anything but laugh the whole time you’re there.” I got to his house about 8pm and I left at 3 in the morning. That’s my bro right there though.

AllHipHop: The new music video for “Weight” is out now. How does it feel to make such an impactful song in a positive light, nothing negative or ignorant?

Krizz Kaliko: Yeah, that’s what I do. It was important to me. Tech’s been my mentor, that’s who gave me my career. When I first met him, he said “dude, you’re perfect,” because he was a different type of character. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to make it because I was a big dude, I had a big blond afro, vitiligo. I looked really crazy to me. Tech always told me “if you’re yourself all the time, you never have to turn it on and off. Just be yourself all the time.” I always was like that anyways, so I’ve been put here as a servant on this earth to the world with my music since the beginning.

Even in school, I was always bullied a lot as a kid. I turned into a person that protected people from bullies, I always wanted to help folks. Even if it’s the club bangers, don’t get it twisted. I make club bangers. I make aggressive rock songs. I have a song for every mood, for everybody. I’ve always helped people, so this was no different. This was me doing it in a different way. Even when I do the club bangers, everybody always goes back to these songs. I mean, I got songs like “Anxiety,” “Bipolar,” “Unstable.” The thing that we all have in common is that we all go through some s### sometimes. “Weight” really was me doing what I do man, passing this message off again about self-love. A lot of rappers don’t come off as vulnerable. You’re supposed to be tough with jewelry and grills. I got that. I got diamonds, I got Cuban links and all of that. You know that’s cool, it’s entertaining. It’s impressive, but it doesn’t really help people. I’d rather help folks. There’s a time and a place for everything, and this is the time. This is the place for it.

AllHipHop: Everyone’s saying “Who’s house?!”

Krizz Kaliko: Ear House! You know it.

AllHipHop: How did your label Ear House originate?

Krizz Kaliko: Ear House is everything you want to hear. I’ve written songs for Slipknot, Korn, System of a Down, Too Short, Luke Bryan, of course Tech N9ne, E40, Lil Wayne, T-Pain. I write every type of music. I write every style of music so everything you could possibly want to hear comes from this house, this is the Earhouse.

Right here, this house I’m in right now. I’ve always been a genre-bending artist. I’ve always done all types of music, which I’m sure made it harder for the label to ever know what to do with me. That’s why I formed Ear House, because I know what to do with me — which is to get me everywhere. Get me every single place there is to get. I decided to take matters into my own hands and form Ear House.

Plus with the way the environment is now in music, you don’t have necessarily need a label. I’d been with Strange Music for 20 years, Tech and I have toured all over the world. We got Gold albums, Gold records, Platinum records, which is great. But for me to do 100% me, I have to be the boss. I have to own the label. To put my 100% energy, I had to put into something I own.

That’s it, Ear House is the move. I always had chants. The way I bring everybody in as family, is I always have these chants. Strange even has a thing at the end of every album that every artist over there puts out, it goes “STRANGE! Music.” I made this chant up and pitched it to them, they use it for branding and to make the Strange Music family feel like a family.

AllHipHop: That’s you doing that voice?

Krizz Kaliko: Mmhmm. I didn’t even know if they’d like it. I pitched it to them, they liked it and used it for everything. We pay attention to negative comments on social media. The other day, somebody said “there’s a lot of similarities between Earhouse and Strange Music.” No s###, ‘cause that’s my DNA all on that label. I left my legacy. I built a legacy there. I put my footprint on that label so you’re gonna see some similarities. My DNA from there is the same DNA you see at Ear House. Who’s house? Ear House!

AllHipHop: You have a project called Legend which was released last year, why are you the Legend?

Krizz Kaliko: When you put out music and you think you’re good, other people have to agree. When you sell Gold and Platinum albums or songs, that means people agreed. You see people on here saying #KindLikeKali. When you see these shouts coming from all over the planet, it’s confirmation that people agree. That’s why I call my album Legend, because that’s what people think about me. It’s not me being self-proclaimed, people think that. There’s a legacy, there’s a legend of Kris Kaliko. When I pass on, all of this stuff will be left here for other people to enjoy. Sounds like a legend to me.

AllHipHop: You got any shows coming up?

Krizz Kaliko: Not yet. Well, I did one the other day, but it was a video I was shooting. We shot it out in Georgia with a country artist named Demun Jones. I told you I do all kinds of different stuff.

AllHipHop: You listen to country too?

Krizz Kaliko: Absolutely, wait til you hear this song me and Demun Jones got. We shot the video, it’s really dope. Called “Corn Field On Fire.” No matter what it is, I can talk that s###. I can speak everybody’s language as far as music goes. Show-wise, I’ve had a lot of meetings with several agencies. A lot of agencies have been reaching out. I feel like the new hot, single chick. “Ohh, come over here. Come do this.” I’ve been having conversations with a lot of touring agencies and different agents, we’ll make the best decision. Everything is now really opening up. I’m going to get shows where the bulk of my fans are. For the rest of the country, we gotta make the decision on who has the best situation. Whoever got the best situation is where we’re going.