Krizz Kaliko – “Wrapped Up” review

This is the 3rd EP from Kansas City recording artist Krizz Kaliko. Coming up as one of the first acts to sign to Strange Music alongside Kutt Calhoun, he would go on to work very closely with the local independent powerhouse’s founder Tech N9ne for nearly 2 decades whether it be providing featured rap verses or simply providing background vocals for a number of albums & EPs that Tech has put out. As far as his own output goes, Krizz dropped a total 7 full-length albums & 2 EPs through the Snake & Bat before amicably departing over the spring to form his very own label Ear House Inc. alongside his wife Shoo Shoo. They’ve dropped a handful of singles throughout the year since & are now combining them into Wrapped Up.

“Gifted” is an energizing opener to the EP with Krizz & Shoo Shoo hopping on an aggressive trap beat from 7 to spit some hardcore braggadocio raps whereas “Snowfall” switches it up into a lighthearted Christmas ballad with some warm piano melodies throughout. “Somewhere” takes things into a more glossier route singing his ass off providing motivation for those who’re in a dark place this holiday season just before “Weight” comes through with an ode to body positivity fusing elements of gospel & trap pretty well.

The song “Feelin’ Good” is a decent summertime bop with an “All Night”-esque instrumental from Wyshmaster that’s all fine & dandy until Futuristic comes in sounding like a blatant Chance the Rapper clone while the penultimate track ”Pressure” goes into a darker direction talking about moving forward despite the struggles of everyday life. Then there’s “B.B. (Birthday Bitch)”, where Krizz & T-Pain deliver a hyphy-tinged banger for all the ladies out there that want to celebrate their special day.

Krizz has always been a man of many talents with Wrapped Up, we got a respectable kickoff to this new chapter of his career. Much like his Strange swan song L.I.F.E. (Legend Immortal Forever Eternal), the EP is a healthy mix of his lethal MCing skills & powerful singing voice except he’s proving that he can hold it all down without Tech N9ne.

Score: 3.5/5

Krizz Kaliko – “L.I.F.E. (Legend Immortal Forever Eternal)” review

Krizz Kaliko is a 46 year old rapper, singer & songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri known for being a Day 1 signing to Strange Music along with Kutt Calhoun. He’s put out a total of 6 albums & 2 EPs through the label since, with the latest prior to this being G.O. (God’s Order) in 2016. And even though that record was predominantly R&B, it was still damn-near perfect. However after a nearly 5-year hiatus, Krizz is returning with his 7th full-length album.

Things start off with “21, where Krizz & Tech N9ne talk about celebrating their birthday over a lively beat from Wyshmaster. The next song “Little” with Stevie Stone sees the 2 talking about having trouble on their minds over a nocturnal trap instrumental while “The Recipe” tries to seek answers from God over a suspenseful beat. The track “S.O.B.” calls out the frauds over a druggy instrumental while the song “Get Chose” talks about him freaking out.

The track “Borrowed Time” talks about how life is catching up to him over a moody N4 instrumental while the song “Bitches I Know” talks about how he be popping over a beat with some plinky keyboards. The track “Follow the Drip” links back up with Tech talk about how to find them over a monstrous trap instrumental while the song “What Do You Mean?” with King Iso finds the 2 talking about their grind over a skeletal beat.

The track “You” talks about being bottled up over a forlorn instrumental while the song “Drunk White Girls” with CJ Hicks is a humorous club banger backed by an off-the-wall beat from 7. The track “Let You Tell It” talks about how he’ll never leave the rap game over a druggy beat while the song “Amen” talks about being 95% here over a beat with some tavern sounding piano chords.

The track “Didn’t Need Woes” looks back on his childhood over an instrumental that kinda has a jazzy feel to it while the song “Foolish” with Rittz sees the 2 getting reckless over a cavernous trap beat. The track “Avoiding Mirrors” with Jelly Roll & Merkules finds the trio talking about being all fucked up over a chaotic instrumental while the song “Mad” with JL sees the 2 clapping back at people talking shit behind their backs over a trap beat with some keys & a rubbery bass-line. The closer “Coloring Book” talks about how they can never get him right over a dim instrumental & then the bonus cut “Understood” with Tech finds the duo talking about how they don’t sleep over a violin-inflicted beat.

Been a long-time coming but at the end of the day, this is a great comeback effort for Krizz. It’s got everything you love about him: Great rapping, even greater singing, well-written verses/hooks, banging’ ass production suiting the tone of each song & some well-incorporated features. Legend definitely solidifies Krizz as an OG of the culture & here’s to more albums from him in the near future. Welcome back, Kali!

Score: 4/5