Posts Tagged ‘Live From the Underground’

Its tough to think of another rapper to come out the gate so fully encompassing the range of his great Southern predecessors.  Very few rap artists can draw comparisons from such varied rappers with their music.  His music is at times has the ability to fill the spiritual void left by the absence of Andre 3000 and at other times able to recall the legacy of Pimp C.  While artists from that generation, like Big Boi and Bun B occasionally, or maybe even David Banner when he was at the top of his game, have the ability to express that type of range in their music, K.R.I.T.’s ability to summon those powerful voices is impressive given that most of his contemporaries tend to be focused in a very specific lane conceptually and compounded by the fact that he was a child when that type of Southern rap was most prevalent.    But if there’s anything that comes through above all else in Krit’s music it’s his sense of history, tradition, faith, and all things Southern.

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There will seemingly always be a market for legitimate Country Rap Tunes, but as that musical methodology has fallen further and further from vogue – as the rap production selected by southern artists has been influenced by the glossiness of the DJ Khaleds, Rick Rosses, and Young Jeezies of the world – soulful dirty south sample based beats have become harder and harder to find.  It hasn’t helped that court decisions and technology continue to eat away the profitability, and delay the timeliness with legal paperwork, of sample-heavy records.  That said, it’s important to acknowledge that the distance from the heyday of Organized Noize, Pimp C, DJ Paul & Juicy J, N.O. Joe, Mr. DJ, and Mike Dean leaves a gaping void in rap’s sonic landscape that’s craving to be filled.  Equally rare in today’s rap world are lyricists who are more concerned with honesty than image.  While the merits of honesty in art can be debated against the value of fiction, fantasy, exploration, innovation, and imagery, there is no doubt that it is refreshing to have at least a subsection of artists in any field who speak from their own authentic point of view.  Enter Big K.R.I.T., Mississippi producer and rapper, signed to Def Jam, and responsible for the critically acclaimed K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, R4: The Prequel, and Return of 4Eva along with several other mixtapes and a multitude of guest production and features.  Unlike some of the other artists highlighted in the Best of the 1st Quarter album review series, K.R.I.T. seemingly is on eve of doing very big things on a mainstream level with a deal from Def Jam, and the co-sign of XXL, but fortunately he hasn’t let go of his desire to keep giving the fans what they need, while we wait for his major label debut, Live From the Underground to hit shelves.

Big K.R.I.T.’s latest, 4Eva N a Day, is an album based on the simple concept of long day, twenty one waking hours to be exact, with songs based on the moods or themes of certain times of day and night throughout the album.  Certainly there is nothing particularly groundbreaking about the concept, but it’s solidly realized and for a free album, it’s hard to complain about the depth of an album’s conceptual framework, especially when the music is overwhelmingly solid throughout and the product is cohesively developed.

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