I still remember the first time I heard anything from Big K.R.I.T.
October 8, 2010. The scene was the parking lot of Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County. My boy Trey, a fellow sports writer working for what my employer considered their competition said to me on Twitter earlier in the day “You GOTTA hear this Big K.R.I.T ‘Krit wuz here’ joint!”
I had seen people Tweeting the lyrics to “Country Shit” for weeks leading up to that Friday evening and I hadn’t heard it yet. So I said “I’m down, see you at the game.”
I sat in Trey’s ride and the first joint he played me was “No Wheaties,” and I dug the beat and KRIT’s athlete punchlines. Then Trey played the next song, which was “Something” and that soul sample grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, as well his honesty about everything from his place in the rap game to a relationship sans trust. Then he skipped back to the beginning and finally played “Country Shit.” I was GONE.
Since then, I’ve been a KRIT fan, downloaded EACH of his three free albums and just finished buying and downloading his major label debut Live From The Underground from iTunes.
I listened to the free stream on NPR Memorial Day so I knew what to expect and was ready to buy. Still need to put this to the test in the ride, but my early impressions after listening to it for a second time is that while it doesn’t have the EXACT same elements that made Krit Wuz Here, Return of 4Eva and 4Eva and a day such great albums, it doesn’t deviate too far from KRIT’s trademarks of top notch production and sampling, macking the ladies, riding in the finest of old school rides and honest introspection without whining. If anything, it sounds more disciplined to me.
There’s no shortage of trunk rattling heaters on the album (“Cool to be Southern,” “Money on the floor,” “My Sub Pt.2“ and “I got this” to name a few) but KRIT also gets deep on “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Praying Man” and is at his Southern boy charming best on the Anthony Hamilton-assisted “Porchlight”.
The album is full of guest appearances (The legendary B.B. King, Bun B, Ludacris, Melanie Fiona, KRIT’s artist and friend Big Sant, Devin The Dude, 8-ball and MJG and 2chainz) but not so much that it doesn’t take away from KRIT has to say, which is an awful lot.
While many fans of the free albums might not be as crazy about this record, it’s still a very solid national introduction to a Mississippi MC/producer whose style harkens back to the Southern Rap era that everyone from Atlanta to Texas speaks of with so much love and respect.