On Friday, October 28, The Institute of Production and Recording welcomed hip-hop artist Kristoff Krane to DIY-360.
To intro the day, Host Adam Levy read Krane’s bio; it’s something he typically doesn’t do for DIY guests, but he found it compelling and wanted to share. Krane’s bio married his personhood to who he is as an artist. His life’s message focused on the importance of personal growth, awareness of self and helping others.
The way Krane began his session was impressive. Though his gear was on stage, he was deliberate about putting the audience at eye-level; it was clear he see’s performance as a way to intimately connect with others. Once he was comfortably off stage and closer to the people, he launched into his first song.
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, “Picking Flowers Next to Road Kill” is quite an emotional piece. After a close listen to Krane’s cd, the track appears to be about being open in our strengths and weaknesses, and approaching human brokenness with grace and understanding. Krane himself is true to the character of his material.
Krane spoke intimately about his life throughout the course of DIY. He had a pretty normal childhood; he went to church, raked leaves for neighbors and was polite to his parents. From a young age he had a desire and a dream to work with and help kids. Even so, by the time he was twenty, he’d made some bad decisions that landed him in jail for five long months and changed his life’s plans. While incarcerated, he began to write, and discovered he was pretty good at it. This coupled well with his enjoyment of music and seeded a strong creative passion and a direction for the future.
Upon his release, Krane surrounded himself with those of similar passion. He was drawn to his friend Michael Larsen (aka Eyedea). Together, they created music and toured the world until less than a year ago when tragedy struck; along with Krane, the hip-hop world mourned the unexpected death of Larsen. In the heart of his DIY interview, Krane picked up a guitar to perform “Wild West”, in remembrance of his lost friend.
Larsen was a well-known freestyle beat battle champion and Krane is no slouch to a good freestyle match himself. So one audience member wanted to know if Krane preferred to freestyle or simply stick to his standard set when he performs. Krane proceeded to invite the audience member to the stage for a freestyle rap battle between them. In the next several-minutes, the two improvised back and forth within a set of idea boundaries. It was clear both were accomplished rappers as they created a complex conversation and bounced rhymes effortlessly between each other: a no brainer for a DIY high light reel.
Without question Krane offered this DIY audience a distinctive look into his art and unique personhood.
Because of his legal history, Krane is unable to work directly with children, but he did plug his after school “Wanna be a Rapper” writing program where he puts his focus of helping others to work. Learn more about it via this Youtube link.