KUTT CALHOUN
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KUTT CALHOUN

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | INDIE

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2001
Solo Hip Hop

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"Kutt Calhoun - Kuttin Loose (EP)"

For someone who essentially helped build Strange Music, Kutt Calhoun seemed totally fine playing background to Tech N9ne while slowly growing his own dedicated following. The Kansas City representative released several solid albums on the label ranging from debut B.L.E.V.E. to fan favorite Raw and Un-Kutt. By the time he dropped his last full-length project Black Gold in 2013, label frustrations led to Kutt leaving Strange Music nearly a year later. Starting his own imprint symbolically named Black Gold Entertainment, many wondered how the Red-Headed Stepchild would fare outside the safety net he called home for over a decade. From the sounds of his first project as a free man, Kuttin Loose, he’s doing just fine. The eight-track EP can only be described as one helluva warm-up; allowing Kutt to become personal and slightly more poignant.

Kuttin Loose has Kutt exhausting every single aspect of his character into 34 minutes of one wild yet, sometimes uneven ride. Opening track “Guillotine” is a warcry that serves as a grand first impression to his reinvention: “Yeah back from the dead, what became was new to me, left a crack in my head, my nigga ain’t the same as he use to be, escaped capture and fled, left behind the pain and the jewelry, now it’s off with they head, for trying to talk down at the eulogy.” That new found level of confidence continues on following track “Shooting Gallery” featuring Tali Blanco. Immediately kicking things into fifth gear, the EP’s second track is clearly the album highlight as Kutt’s delivery is as aggressive and explosive as ever.



Kutt wisely uses his new level of freedom for some unfiltered moments, making Kuttin Loose more than just a handful of tracks. “Handz Up (Shut Sh*t Down)” has him giving his view on today’s hot topic of police brutality. Socially, Kutt speaks his mind on the emasculation of Hip Hop on “State Ov Emerge N See.” In fact, though no names aren’t mentioned, this line may lend itself to an obvious target: “Damn, is this what Biggie and Pac died to look forward to, a bunch of you niggas swagged out dressing like whores do, calling niggaz yo hubby, rappin' high pitch like girls do?” It’s effectively vicious, comical and all around serious. Agree with Kutt’s ideas and methods to combat the issue or not, the emotions are real; therefore, believable.

That doesn’t mean Kuttin Loose doesn’t have a few blemishes. Blending one of Hip Hop’s go-to samples, The Fearless Four’s “Rockin’ It” with DJ Mustard’s "Rack City" sounds like an intriguing generational blend on paper with “F*ck WIth You The Long Way” featuring Ava Mercedes. However, the production gets into the way as if Kutt is fighting it. “On Fleek” just sounds like a failed attempt at radio play with its usage of today’s most used internet term.

Thankfully, Kutt is at his most honest and focused on Kuttin Loose closer “On My Own (I Got You)" where he fully reveals his human thoughts on leaving Strange Music. Leaving such a giant was a bold move, trying to operate one’s own label was even bolder. Those risks pay off quite well in a solid first effort from a newly regenerated Kutt. - HipHopDX


"Kutt Calhoun On Leaving Strange Music: "Time For Me To Fly On My Own""

Kutt Calhoun also explains his current relationship with Tech N9ne.

Kutt Calhoun recently sat down with Chuck Dizzle of Home Grown Radio and discussed why he decided to break away from his former label, Strange Music, late last year to start his own company, Black Gold Entertainment.

"I decided to get out and go ahead and do my own thing," Kutt Calhoun says." I started my own label and do what I do best and do what I know how to do best and look out for my well being better than anybody else can."

"There was differences felt. There was unspoken differences," Kutt adds. "Aside from that I just felt like from me doing my previous stuff solo, stuff since like 2012, I felt like I can get out there and I'll be able to handle my situation by myself and still be doing good.

"It was just time for me to fly on my own," he continues and assures that there's no bad blood between himself and former label mate, Tech N9ne.

The "Red Rags" rapper also explains why he chose to name his company Black Gold Entertainment, stating that it was a spin off from his 2013 album, Black Gold. "Black Gold. Everybody knows what that is. That's one of the world's richest resources, oil," Kutt says.

"That's the most sought after thing in the planet," he says, "Wars get started over it.

"What would be a better name than a metaphor to have a company that stands for the most sought-out thing in the world?" he continues.

When it came to starting Black Gold Entertainment, Kutt Calhoun acknowledges that it hasn't be easy. However, his new project, Kuttin Loose EP, will formulate the blueprint for the new label.

The Kuttin Loose EP, features unknown producers and will be the start of a new sound for the rapper. Once the EP drops, he has plans of creating a team of producers for Black Gold Entertainment.

"From there I'll go ahead formulate a producer team or do what I do what I need to do necessary in order to get certain producers around me to make the type of music that fits the Kutt Calhoun brand," he says.

The Raw and Un-Kutt rapper didn't always don the name Kutt Calhoun. "When I first ran into that man [Tech N9ne] it was Cutt Dawg because I was driving an old school '71-'72 Cutlass Supreme and people was calling me Cutt Dawg," he says.

"As I started progressing and the shit was getting serious, I was like okay, you got a Short Dawg, a Snoop Dogg, a Tim Dog, all these dogs," he continues, "So I went with Kutt Calhoun because not only is it the initials of my hometown but it just flew."

Kuttin Loose EP is set be in stores Friday, July 10 and is currently available for pre-order. - HipHopDX


"Track Review | Kutt Calhoun’s “Handz Up” Stands for Something"

“Conscious rap” has a needlessly bad reputation. “Message rap” hasn’t garnered much mainstream success since Public Enemy; too often, hip-hop fans and the general public disregard rap that makes political statements and stands for something. Maybe because so many “message rappers” have had a hard time making their music as much about the rap as the message, or maybe because many artists rap about politics without knowing exactly what they stand for as activists. In his new video “Handz Up,” Kutt Calhoun makes neither of these mistakes, delivering a unique set of visuals over a bangin track that makes one thing brutally clear: the new Kutt Calhoun has something to say, and real hip-hop fans should be listening. If you haven’t seen it yet, peep the new video for “Handz Up” below.

“I’m a man who believed that I died twenty years ago, and I live like a man who is dead already.” Malcolm X opens Kutt’s new video with these chilling lines. I’ve got goose bumps already; this video and song means something big to Kutt, trys to say something big about the world. “I have no fear whatsoever about anybody or anything,” Malcolm continues. There is no feel good, saccharine positivity here; no “it’s going to be ok” happy go lucky vibes of harmony and peace. From the first seconds, this video is on some real shit, and makes a statement very different from what we hear in most politically conscious rap these days.
And when the beat hits. My god, that beat. Sonically, this sounds like everything Kutt Calhoun has always wanted from a lead single. The chorus rings with a melody that sounds modern and forward thinking, while sticking true to Kutt’s Kansas City midwest roots. And hearing Wanz, of “Thrift Shop” fame, flashing his street side with that growling “shut shit down” is pure magic. “Handz Up” rumbles with a hood aesthetic, capturing a modern and midwestern sound that is perfectly catered to Kutt’s style and cadence.
With the track’s first verse, Kutt’s knack for hard-hitting lyrics and well-crafted narratives is on full display. Bloody Kutty sets the scene with some conscious and direct lines, rapping “Hands up, don’t shoot / cops gonna do what they want to.” If the Malcolm X intro, first chorus, and “Handz Up” title didn’t clue you off, Kutt makes it obvious here what’s on his mind. This track is about the world according to a young black man; about a system that hears “hands up” and pulls the trigger. #Blacklivesmatter. #Ferguson. Kutt is speaking on the state of the world today; “Handz Up” is fueled by tragedy.
At its root, this is an angry song. Kutt’s letter to the establishment, written by a hand channeling Malcolm X and Huey Newton and Marcus Garvey and a long history of black leaders that are fed up with peaceful protest. But it’s a sad song too. Kutt gets characteristically narrative, telling the story of an anonymous black victim of police violence with his lines:
A young mother got a chill up her spine, make the hairs on her neck stand up/
The spiritual connection that she had to her son make her feel the last breath that he took/
She collapsed to her knees, in the middle of the kitchen calling out “lord please/”
He’s only 16, taken by the very same person who would vow to protect by any means
The young boy in Kutt’s lyrics has no name. He could be Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Emmett Till. Kutty isn’t rhyming about one story, or one victim; he’s crafting the tale of his people, preaching the perspective of an entire race victimized by police harassment and marginalization based on something as meaningless as skin color. There is a sublime tragedy in the “matter of fact” nature of Kutt’s narrative. This sounds too familiar. And for Kutt, it’s time the victimization comes to an end.
In the track’s chorus, Calhoun lays out his vision for the future of black protest. Like Huey before him, Kutt sees his people pushed to the breaking point. What kind of difference does peaceful protest make when young men and women are getting shot down by violent oppressors? What can black leaders and youth do to prove to the rest of America that, for real, #Blacklivesmatter? Kutt answers these questions, and gets overtly political in the track’s chorus:
“Hands up,” somebody better tell these kids it ain’t safe out here in the streets no more/
It’s a war outside with police, but it ain’t about peace no more/
Young black men losing they lives, whole city wanna riot/
I don’t know about ya’ll, but shit about to get violent.
“Handz Up” is a call to arms. “It ain’t about peace no more.” For decades, mainstream black protest has followed in the footsteps of the immortal Martin Luther King, Jr. Kutt isn’t setting that legacy aside; instead, he hopes to incorporate a wider narrative. Malcolm next to King, Huey next to Jessie Jackson. “Young black men losing they lives.” Why the hell shouldn’t their city want to riot? Why shouldn’t things get a little violent?
If that message sounds unfamiliar, it’s because it rarely gets promoted in conscious rap. Or in music in general. Kendrick almost got there on “Blacker the Berry;” Public Enemy foreshadowed Kutt and Kendrick both with “Fuck tha Police.” But the way that Kutt portrays his frustration, from the street chorus that unapologetically threatens the establishment to the well-crafted lyrics which convey the deeply troubling reality facing black youth, is unique and powerful. “Handz Up” fits into the legacy of the Black Panthers well, but it makes its own statements too. This is conscious rap that is as much rap as it is conscious; a straight street banger that aims to address the troubles of the streets. “Handz Up” is a risky choice for a lead single; it’s sure to gain Kutt a bit of attention, for the controversy it will spawn as much as for the many dope aspects of the track. But in “Handz Up,” Kutt proves he isn’t afraid to say something different. And to stand for something. If this is the direction that Kutt’s “Black Gold Entertainment” is headed, hip-hop heads better pay attention. - TeamBackPack


"Kutt Calhoun Confesses Not Being Bitter About Leaving Strange Music & Hopes To Work With Tech N9ne Again"

Strange Music has billed itself as the prime example of possibilities within independent Hip Hop. For the past decade, the Kansas City-based label home to Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko has become a multi-million dollar empire. However, things weren’t always what they seemed if Kutt Calhoun has anything to say about it. He shocked fans of the label last year when he decided to part ways with the storied crew. Months later, Calhoun dropped a YouTube video providing insight into his decision along with an accompanying freestyle.

Shifting focus, Calhoun has found inspiration in his own upstart, Black Gold. Named after his last release on Strange Music in 2013, the emcee hopes to take all the lessons learned there while making a way for himself.

Speaking with DX, Calhoun discusses the process of leaving Strange Music, how much he made before and after his time with the label and his own venture Black Gold. - HipHopDX


"Kutt Calhoun Says "Handz Up (Shut Shit Down)” Is Bigger Than Rap"

Following the release of his anti-police brutality record “Handz Up (Shut Shit Down),” Kansas City, Missouri rapper Kutt Calhoun took time to speak on the song in a video uploaded to his YouTube account. He described "Handz Up (Shut Shit Down)” as being “bigger than me” and dubbed it “the most controversial song” he’s ever written.

The former Strange Music rapper also revealed that a lot of artists would have shied away from releasing a first single as political as "Handz Up (Shut Shit Down).”

“This is bigger than me,” Kutt Calhoun said. “This is bigger than anything I’ve ever done. The most controversial song I’ve made to date…This song is real near and dear to my heart as well because of what it stands for. The message in it…I haven’t really gotten any negative responses. It’s just so relevant with what’s going on today. I’m a strong believer in anti-police brutality and killings. It couldn’t have been a better song that’s out right now amongst the public. A lot of people are sketchy. A lot of people don’t wanna do something so serious and political as a first single.”

In his video, Kutt Calhoun also offered his condolences to the families who have lost loved ones to police brutality. And he again clarified that "Handz Up (Shut Shit Down)” is bigger than both himself and rap as a whole.

“My condolences to all the families out there who lost someone to police brutality,” he said. “Whether it was Black, White, Mexican, Asian, Native American. Whatever you are, if you lost anybody to police brutality especially in a wrongful manner then I send out my condolences to you. RIP to all the fallen people who’ve been killed behind this mess. I just wanna say again that this song is bigger than me and it’s bigger than just rap.”

"Handz Up (Shut Shit Down)” is featured on Kutt Calhoun’s Kuttin Loose EP, which is scheduled for release on July 10. - HipHopDX


Discography

B.L.E.V.E.

  • Released: August 10, 2004
  • Label: Strange Music/MSC Entertainment(MSC-1008 2)
  • Format: CD
Feature PresentationRaw and Un-Kutt
  • Released: June 8, 2010
  • Label: Strange Music
  • Format: CD
Black Gold
  • Released: February 26, 2013
  • Label: Strange Music
  • Format: CD

EPs

YearAlbum details2011Red-Headed Stepchild2012Kelvin2015Kuttin Loose

Mixtapes

YearAlbum details2007Flamez Mixtape
  • Released: September 18, 2007
  • Label: —
  • Format: CD


Photos

Bio

Kutt Calhoun’s Kuttin Loose EP In Stores July 10

The Kansas City Rapper Addresses His Strange Music Departure On “On My Own” Single & Addresses Police Brutality On “Handz Up [Shut Shit Down]”

June 10, 2015

(Kansas  City, MO) Kutt Calhoun is launching his Black Gold Entertainment with the July 10 release of his Kuttin Loose EP. The eight-song collection features “On My Own,” a song that addresses his departure from Tech N9ne’s Strange Music after nearly 15 years with the company.

“I stuck around because there was a bigger picture involved, bigger than me, supposedly bigger than Strange, bigger than Tech,” he reveals. "That keeps you around and that’s motivation to be like, ‘I’m not even going to trip on this. I’m just going to man up and play my position because later on, it’s going to be better.’ I did that for quite sometime to where it came to a point last year to where I felt like if I stayed there, it felt like it was going to continue to be like the way that it was, that I was going to be stagnant, sitting still and not progressing. That’s when I realized it was time for me to make my own move.”

One of Kutt Calhoun’s most recent moves was heading to Los Angeles to shoot the video for his Kuttin Loose single “Handz Up [Shut Shit Down].” “I’ve been holding on to that song and stuff continues to happen, unarmed kids are still getting killed by police,” he explains. “There’s the stuff in Baltimore and the situations in Los Angeles. There’s stuff that’s going on that’s going to keep my song relevant. It’s what was put on my heart to write.”




Band Members