Big K.R.I.T is a rapper that many don’t seem to appreciate because he’s from the South and he emulates the style of David Banner, UGK, and whatever other Southern sound you’d like to raw comparisons from. Whichever side you’re on the fence about, you have to give the dude his props where need be. He produced his own debut album (has produced basically all of his own songs), and he’s become successful although he isn’t as popular as he deserves to be. With Live From The Underground, he broke out from the depths of the unknown and made a name for himself in the commercial world. His feature on ASAP Rocky’s ‘1 Train’, in my opinion was the best verse because he showed confidence, style and great delivery. People should take him serious, because he’s determined to make sure that he’s truly a King Remembered In Time.
It’s been a while since we heard new music from K.R.I.T, but when it was announced that he was releasing a new mixtape, of course I got excited. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him live in concert 3 times, and he always brings a dynamic energy to his music, because the passion is reflected in his music – he continued to bring the evoking passion on this tape. Since it’s been a few months since his album dropped, and people still don’t take him serious, he has something to say about it. Coming from a humble Southern soul, he emphasized what his Purpose is not only for this mixtape, but in his career in general. He always conveys the themes of slavery & religion in his lyrics, and creates an image that many people seem to dismiss all the time.
Shine On is the initial track that was released before the mixtape, and having a Bun B feature wouldn’t be a big deal for many, but since he’s from the South, and he’s been so heralded throughout the years, many others would tell you otherwise that it is a big deal. When you deal with a lot of adversity, there’s not a lot of voices that will evoke a positive message that will put you in the right perspective. K.R.I.T does that, and this is a good example of that.
Another reason why I’m a fan of his is because although he comes from a different means of living, there’s a lot you can relate to when he talks about what it’s like to be a dreamer and someone who just thinks at another level. REM reminded me of ‘Dreamin‘ from Return of 4eva (he tends to relate back to his previous work, which is pretty neat – forces you to go back and listen, if you’re a new fan), and also King Without A Crown reminded me of the song ‘4EvaNADay’ (from the mixtape of the same name). In REM, KRIT addresses the fact although his album didn’t have the best commercial success, he still found success and he’s going to continue to deliver the music. And also, if you don’t know what REM sleep is (Rapid Eye Movement), it occurs when you’re in deep sleep and your eyes move so much that they produce images in your head, which in this case would be – dreams. It’s pretty clever how he had it all aligned.
Big K.R.I.T provides a consistent sound that you can trace back to K.R.I.T Wuz Here and from there forward, so you’ll pretty much always know what to look forward to. Meditate goes hand in hand with REM, with the theme of a deep thought process, and even telling the story of others from a different perspective
“I don’t wanna hear what I’ve done wrong
I’ll deal with my problems when I get home
I’m better off when I’m all alone
I know I said I’d stop but I’m not that strong
I just wanna meditate”
It’s a song about addiction, and one issue that a lot of people don’t bring up is alcohol addiction and it does ruin a lot of people. When people have an addiction, the last thing they want to hear is about their addiction – they’d rather deal with their own problems instead of getting help for it, because in their right minds, they don’t see anything wrong with it. That’s a real thing, and you have to give props for him opening up like that on this track. The simplest things carry a message that resonates deeper than most, but again, in a day in age where people don’t really consume lyrics that heavily, it’ll bypass many.
Women love K.R.I.T (listen to Insomnia & Temptation for examples why) because of the way that he can also draw a sex appeal and a certain romanticism to his music. Serve This Royalty & Good 2getha are good songs in that manner because he appeals to women and puts them in a positive light instead of the usual tone that many artists portray them in (but he does love the strippers, let’s not get that confused). Stepping away from the soft, soulful and melodic tunes that he provides, K.R.I.T also can get the party jumping and your speakers blasting with the hype tracks. Country Shit, My Sub, I Got This Here, My Sub Part 2, and Yeah Dat Me are the songs that you’ve most likely heard and were electrified by. My Trunk & How U Luv That aren’t as grand scale as them, but they definitely provide energy, and both Trinidad James & Big Sant (respectively) provide dope verses for each song. It’s good that he (KRIT) remains consistent on sticking with the Southern feel, features and beats alike.
Banana Clip Theory is probably one of the best songs that K.R.I.T has made, in my opinion, because the jazzy feel with the violent theme wrapped around it is one that KRIT doesn’t really emphasize, but he definitely delivered on this one and how it tied into Life Is A Gamble was pretty much spot on. With ‘Life’ however, I was happy to hear BJ The Chicago Kid on it, but I felt like he could have done a lot more than just a Hook and subtle adlibs in the background. The way that he contributed to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Kush & Corinthians’, I thought that he would have had the same impact. That’s not to go out and say that I didn’t like it, I just thought it could have done a lot more than what it was. Oddly enough, it was the only track that wasn’t produced by K.R.I.T, as it was produced by 9th Wonder (it’s impossible to not recognize the sound). The lyrical content made up for what I wasn’t all the way wowed at – it was deep and it’s definitely thought provocative in some cases, especially if you’ve had to deal with life situations live that.
Speaking of life situations, we always have those miserably trying times that have us saying “what the fuck?” On this poem that KRIT performed for WTF, it brought it down to a down-to-Earth, spoken word poetry slam level that really makes you want to snap your fingers in agreement. From being broke to accidental pregnancy, there’s always something right? I could listen to this over and over again because it’s humbling right down to the core. It’s just something that speaks to you if you’ve been or are currently in the situations that he talks about. The first verse alone got to me in many ways.
Bigger Picture is the song that I felt BJ The Chicago Kid would have done more justice, because the sound alone was just a perfect feel for it, and you can tell at this point of the mixtape, he was getting into the soul of it all, because the organs on the song put be back in Church – you just can’t help yourself. At the same time, a lot of people do look at life in a small perspective instead of the bigger picture that they should. Sometimes when you’ve been able to change what people are used to, they won’t understand what they see, but you can only hope that they can understand the interpretation you’re trying to get them to understand. The metaphorical rhymes that KRIT uses to symbolize a painting and his personal art (music) is the purpose of the song, and it’s well put together all throughout.
Multi Til The Sun Die was a great finish to the mixtape because it re-emphasizes his purpose of making music in the first place and that it all starts from home. The opera-esque singing, the violins in the 2nd half, and everything about the song overall made it feel cinematic and was an emotional sunset like finish. KRIT loves his fans; if you’ve ever been to a concert of his, you’d understand that he’s all about the people. It doesn’t matter what kind of accolades his gets or doesn’t get, he’s still about his music and the thing about him that I appreciate is that he’s humble and passionate about keeping to his roots and he’s been doing well for himself by doing that. The short piece while the song is ending are the basic fundamentals that people should live by.
Be just and justify your actions
Breathe deep and walk up right
We do never follow
Love the people, be of the people
Humble yourself and pray
History remembers kings
What I’ve been telling people about K.R.I.T hasn’t changed, and the fact that even after listening to this mixtape, people will still call him boring or trying to sound like the Southern greats, although the Southern greats like UGK and 8Ball & MJG have given their stamp of approval on him already. He’s able to diversify with his sound approach, and you can relate with what he’s saying if you choose to actually listen to what’s being said and not simply skim past it because it’s not a club knocking beat. I just feel like he doesn’t get the respect that he deserves, and if it’s ever the case that he eventually does, I’ll be here to say that I told you so. K.R.I.T fans of old can appreciate this, and if some new fans were made after listening to this mixtape, I commend them as well, as I’d definitely recommend this to someone new. This is my opinion, this is my review, but for now
That’s My Word & It STiXX