“Plus I heard the angel wings is kinda heavy, Scared to put’em on my back so I threw’em on the Chevy…”
At the outset, the odds of Big K.R.I.T. being successful seem slim. Hailing from the Crooked-letter state, there haven’t been many preceding him and there are no coattails for him to use for entry into the limelight. Before SXSW, I’d heard a few of his tracks (specifically “No Wheaties“) and liked them. Still, I wasn’t completely sold on who he was as an artist.
I picked up K.R.I.T. Was Here with little to no expectations and a clean slate, aside from cosigns from Crew members asking that I listen. Without a doubt, this brother sounds unmistakeably like Pimp C. That’s likely to be any new listeners first reaction to hearing K.R.I.T. rap (See: his show-stealing verse on “Glass House“) and it’s a good thing. The similarity is part of what will endear him to you because there’s many a UGK fan who has missed the Port Arthur resident posthumously. Along the same lines, he lays his own beats just as Chad did. Full of both blues and bass, the sound is versatile to move between slowed tempos to upbeat, firestarters like “Country Shit.” As a region, the South is the old New York, taking a “me against the world” approach. The things outsiders hate seem to be the same characteristics Southern artists sometimes gravitate to and amplify with complete confidence. There’s no mistaking the artist’s roots when there’s lines like “Candy cars, superstars, rubberbands in my pockets…I was ridin’ my Screw shit, rims chop-choppin.’” The track is every bit a heralding call to announce his arrival and what exactly he’s about, triumphant bassline and synths leading the way.
“It’s something in my music that makes’em feel me, the sweetest melody sometimes can heal me, cuz…”
But it’s a bit deceiving because it’s only a small part of the larger whole. What sets him apart from Pimp & his other country kin is the youthful ambition & stark honesty. On K.R.I.T. Was Here, he may not display complete dexterity on the mic but he makes up for it with ample depth, digging within and sharing his insecurities. On “Viktorious,” K.R.I.T. throws his Mississippi on his back. His flow is coarse and rapid, the words reflective of his role as the longshot from a state whose Hip-Hop history virtually starts and stops with David Banner. Still, he takes the weight of the torch that Banner has carried for so long, lifting it with arms stretched forth. Sporting a surprising Adele sample, “Hometown Hero” follows the same concept, except it digs deeper as an examination of who the artist aspires to be even if it’s in spite of himself sometimes.
“When they advance me this check,
Could’ve bought my way to heaven
But I blow it on my neck.
Instead, what you expect when you ain’t had sh!t,
And they ain’t payin’ half of what you asking,
Couldn’t even see the p#ssy, even if it’s Cassie,
Now the hoes is down for taking pictures ’cause you flashy.”
Think of it as a 2010 version of Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and the majority of the tape plays with that mind state as its theme. It’s dark and grounded in Mississippi’s red clay. Still, it’s not so far removed away that listeners in other regions can’t listen and feel as if K.R.I.T.’s speaking their life’s struggle as well.
Download — Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. Wuz Here
Update: Remastered version thanks to Big Rome. My iPod thanks you bruddah!