Long before the Def Jam deal, Meridian, Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T. was staking his claim as one of the most promising new emcees in the industry. Sure, there were hoards of trap fans and critics that brushed him off. But a man that can back up his promises with raw product are destined to win.
Well, fast-forward to 2015 and Big K.R.I.T., the self-proclaimed King of the South, still screams that he’s one of the illest to grip the mic. Two studio albums and a host of mixtapes later, and K.R.I.T. has consistently delivered music that captivates the soul.
In rap, hood stories don’t always sound as compelling without the tales of travelling the worn out path of obstacles and frustrations. But K.R.I.T. has his fair share of testimonies to wax poetically about. Even though Krizzle’s underground fame is enough to keep him on the road 24/7, he’s also one of the most overlooked.
On the ‘Sip native’s latest mixtape, It’s Better This Way, K.R.I.T rolls out a high grade of hip-hop blues about his tattered journey of turning hip-hop dreams into reality in the face of hardships. In retrospect, every roadblock that K.R.I.T encountered has made him into the man and MC that he is today.
One almost feels sorry for K.R.I.T. as he tells stories about Def Jam cutting his budget and even going without a budget at times in his career. But feeling sorry for KR.I.T. is far from his aim. Instead, It’s Better This Way serves as a lesson of trekking that rugged path enroute to ones destiny. It’s the individual stories that add unique patches to the quilt of life. And K.R.I.T. embraces every stitch, bleach stain, rip and tear on his quilt.
One of his latest verses, alongside Logic on “Top Ten,” K.R.I.T. tells the story of his oft unappreciated mic skills. Hosted by DJ Drama, It’s Better This Way commences with a clever intro, which is one of his fortes, about Lucile (K.R.I.T.’s ’86 old school whip) refusing to crank; K.R.I.T then has to embark on a long harduous path of sleeping on couches, days with hunger pains, — all on his road to garner respect as a spitter. With the champion’s spirit, it’s clear the rapper won’t let anything block his way.
Standout tracks include “King Pt. 4,” “Got Me Thru,” featuring DeLorean, Big SANT and Scar, “Can’t Be Still,” featuring BJ The Chicago Kid. “Keep It Boomin’” finds K.R.I.T. delivering moving, vivid and inspiring stories about his grueling days of chasing a record deal — and the setbacks in the process. And of course he flexes for the Crooked Letta state.
Even when K.R.I.T. vents about being underrated, he doesn’t come off as the ‘mad rapper.’ Instead, his POV and intensity on the mic is that of a starving underdog that makes you want to root for him. He scores a plus one with the Warren G-assisted “No Static,” “Piece on Chain,” and his ode to ’86 Monte Carlos on “86.”
The 14-track project concludes with the self-produced and most gripping track, “It’s Better This Way.” Here, K.R.I.T. addresses not having a radio jam, which is partly the reason why he feels that he’s overlooked in “hottest rapper’ convos. But that’s ok. He’d rather be overlooked than make a B.S. track about celebrating futile daily activities. Basically, it was meant for K.R.I.T.’s music to serve a greater purpose. That’s his story and he’s sticking with it.