When Kansas City hip-hop artist Krizz Kaliko looks at a bus, he sees an American melting pot.
He sees a single place where the community congregates as one, each rider facing their own unique set of challenges.
That’s why he chose a RideKC bus as a rolling soundstage for filming a new music video for the new song, “Stop the World.” The video debuted March 29.
“The bus represents the world,” said video director Jason Cantu. “We’re just really trying to have a good message that you’re not alone.”
The video features Kansas City rap artist Tech N9ne playing a homeless man. At one point during the video shoot at the Crown Center stop, a real bus rider mistook Tech N9ne for a homeless person and dropped a couple coins into his cup. The famous Kansas City rapper returned the favor, giving the rider a $100.
“She cried when I gave her the $100 bill,” Tech N9ne related on Instagram. “She thought I was really homeless! I had to show her the cameras across the street! She looked at the hundred and said is this real?” (more below)
The song’s title, “Stop the World,” was originally part of a phrase Kaliko used when life would get incredibly hectic. “Oh my God, stop the world and let me get off,” he would sometimes tell his mom.
The song reflects some of the very tough emotions experienced by everyone.
I got the nerve to smile
Ain’t been happy in a while
I only laugh to hide my pain
I got nothin’ left to give
There is no way for me to live
To get to the sun
Gotta go through the rain
The presence of people from so many walks of life made the bus a natural setting for his message, according to Kalico.
“You are not alone,” Cantu said, “and ultimately that’s the voice of the video and the song.”
So we were shooting a video today for one of @krizzkaliko new songs and they had me PLAYING a homeless person. We rode around Kc all day on a bus provided by Kcs own Metro bus station. Throughout the day we got on and off the bus to get shots of me on several bus stops. While PLAYING a homeless man with dirty damaged clothes, some people wouldn't look my way like usual as T9 but those who got close enough were elated that they caught me in the heart of the city PLAYING homeless. I reached a bus stop right near the corner of 39th and Broadway getting ready for the director to yell action when this elderly lady came and sat beside me carrying a beat up bag and clothes to match. She was deep in like a catatonic state but still slightly coherent while waiting on a bus to arrive. She had to be in her late 60s, pale skin, brown haired Caucasian woman. At that moment sitting at the bus stop with her, I noticed she was NOT PLAYING to be unfortunate, she was the real thing! I had this sadness come over me cause while I'm PLAYING to be unfortunate, she had pain in her beautiful light brown right eye that was visible to me and I'm going to my mansion after we are done with this video. After my video director shot the scene, he asked her nicely, are you ok? Cause she was in the shot. She nodded yes and he shot some more footage. As we loaded on to our bus leaving the lady on the bus stop waiting on the real bus, the look in her eye kept PLAYING over and over inside my head thinkin, what was she thinkin? Where was she going? Why was she by herself when it looked as if she could barely move? As the day was coming to a close and we were on our last bus stop right across from Crown Center, I sat still on the stop with the elderly lady situation PLAYING in my head. All of a sudden this other elderly lady probably early 50s sits beside me and puts 50 cents in my money cup. I sat there for a sec then said, no, I'm PLAYING homeless in this video baby I'm not really homeless. I reached into my pocket and gave her 100 dollars and said thank you so much! She cried and said is this real? I said yes, I'm not PLAYING! This part is real! All this to say, Homelessness aint a PLAYING matter