Tech N9ne Feat. Krizz Kaliko: Tiny Desk Concert Two of Kansas City's finest — and indie hip-hop's trailblazers — deliver a dose of Strange Music.

Tiny Desk

Tech N9ne Feat. Krizz Kaliko

During a career nearly three decades in the making, Tech N9ne has dodged the fickle rap industry while surfing his own wave, stylistically and professionally. The Kansas City native has been a beast for years now, a musical misfit who laid a track record of underground success and struggle before building his own independent empire with Strange Music.

"This is how we laugh at all the other rappers," Strange Music comrade Krizz Kaliko says, letting out a belly laugh near the end of duo's Tiny Desk set. Kaliko is another K.C. native and kindred spirit of Tech N9ne's. Together, they've carved out an unorthodox niche: chopper-style speed rap that often plumbs dark, emotional depths.

Their playful banter between songs personifies that creative connection, as Krizz delivers backing vocals and guest verses from the soul. Backed by a guitar, drums and bass for their Tiny Desk, the trio brought out the rock-tinged hues of such definitive Tech N9ne songs as "Dysfunctional," "Aw Yeah? (interVENTion)" – dedicated to his mother who died from lupus in 2014 – and "Fragile," originally assisted by Kendrick Lamar, Mayday and Kendall Morgan.

To close the set, Tech and Krizz performed "Speedom (Worldwide Choppers 2)," a song inspired by folk rocker Richie Havens' original classic "Freedom." After years traveling his own path, it's a fitting way to define Tech N9ne's wildly independent approach.

Set List

  • "Dysfunctional"
  • "Aw Yeah? (interVENTion)"
  • "Fragile"
  • "Speedom (Worldwide Choppers 2)"

Credits

Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri, CJ Riculan, Maia Stern; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Eric Lee/NPR.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires play a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Jason Isbell And Amanda Shires (Home) Concert

Americana's most famous couple perform a Tiny Desk quarantine set in their barn, backed by gorgeous stain-glassed windows.

The Good Ones plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

The Good Ones (Home) Concert

The Rwandan duo perform a concert from a hilltop farm for one of our tiniest Tiny Desks.

Bright Eyes plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Bright Eyes (Home) Concert

Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott perform songs from their latest album, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, for our quarantine series.

Brandy Clark plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Brandy Clark (Home) Concert

The Nashville songwriter performs four songs from her picturesque loft apartment, including fan favorite "Hold My Hand."

Conway The Machine plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Conway The Machine (Home) Concert

The Griselda MC takes over a Queens diner to perform a quarantine concert for Tiny Desk.

Oddisee plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Oddisee (Home) Concert

The rapper convened a live band for his five-song Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

BTS plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

BTS (Home) Concert

The most popular band in the world performs three songs with a live band for Tiny Desk's quarantine series.

Nubya Garcia plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Nubya Garcia (Home) Concert

One of the British jazz scene's rising stars performs a quarantine concert on the River Thames.

Arlo Parks plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Arlo Parks (Home) Concert

Watch the young London pop artist perform four songs for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Declan McKenna plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Declan McKenna (Home) Concert

The 21-year-old McKenna performs a four-song quarantine concert with a full band.

Back To Top