One listen through Big K.R.I.T.’s recent mixtape/album K.R.I.T. Wuz Here and it’s evident that the Mississippi-native is destined for greatness. From his polished yet practical lyricism to his sampled bass-booming production, the 23-year-old shows off a complete package of artistry that is seldom seen on the underground circuit.
While his Southern style of beats, rhymes, and life may draw similarities to that of the late-great Pimp C, Big K.R.I.T. stands confidently on his own two as he embraces new opportunities that have fallen into place. Speaking with DXnext, K.R.I.T. explained his excitement in collaborating with a southern legend, the importance of family, and how his legacy in music will be remembered.
The Lowdown: “I’m a cat from Meridian, Mississippi, representing for the third coast. My name stands for ‘King Remembered In Time.’ It’s a humble way of saying I’m on top of what I do in the game. I’m in my lane, and I’m gonna be remembered. I’m bringing quality music back to the game—subject matter, lyrical content within southern Hip Hop and Soul.”
The Formula: “I try to spend as much time with [the music] as I can, as well as trying to create relationships as far as live instrumentation. If I can get a bass guitarist on a record or holler at some singer, really whatever it takes to make the record perfect. It’s quality over quantity in my eyes, so I’m just trying to make the dopest music that I can possibly make. As a rapper, I feel like I want my cadence to be right and my lyrical content to be there. I want to be in the pocket when I’m spitting, with the hook matching up with the verses.”
Choosing The Right Sample: “There has to be a powerful feeling. Like with Soul records when you hear them, it just makes you feel a certain way and it grabs you. I just want to build on and compliment to the record that they did. They obviously created something that was perfect, but I just wanna add my twist of Hip Hop and my Southern swang to it. With Adele’s record, it sounded extremely old from a soulful aspect. And I know she just dropped it like two years ago and it got a Grammy, but I was like, ‘man I gotta sample this anyway.’ It spoke to me from my ‘Hometown Hero’ perspective, being where I’m from and trying to make it in the rap game and being in this situation I felt like it was perfect.”
On K.R.I.T. Wuz Here: “I’ve been working on this project for a year. My main goal was not just getting exposure, but to kind of show people where I come from. If you’ve heard my previous mixtapes you can hear the growth in my voice and the sound and my comfort level as far as producing and as an artist. I let people know what lane I’m gonna be in, and branded my sound. That’s really what the goal was as far as this mixtape aside from putting people onto my music and building a fan base.”
Breaking Through: “The radio only plays the same twelve records; same with MTV and BET. Coming from [Meridian], there is no specific sound. And when you go to places like Atlanta, they have their own sound and culture as far as Hip Hop is concerned, so you’re definitely battling the odds because you’re trying to show them your sound and get them into what you’re doing. It’s just a competitive being, you know, because Atlanta is like the mecca of southern Hip Hop right now so everybody is going there and trying to make it pop. Mississippi is one of those places where you really don’t hear that much of as far as being on the radio radar. When you dealing with somebody from Mississippi, like if someone were given my CD, they might not listen to it. But I’m trying to change that and let the world know don’t count out the South, we got something to say.”
Family Business: “Family is one of the most important things, because these are people that are behind you no matter what you do as far as your career is concerned. ‘I Gotta Stay’ is definitely one of those records that touched me and moved me even as I listen to it. Even when I was writing and recording it, you can hear it in my voice, because I dedicated the record to my grandmother that passed in January. I felt like I needed to express that on my album because there are a lot of people that can relate to what I was going through, and it was just something I had to get off my chest. My family has really encouraged me and regardless of where my career goes from here, they’ll still be proud of me and what I’ve accomplished.”
On Devin The Dude: “To be real, Devin jumped on ‘Moon & Stars,’ but being a man that tours a lot, he really just heard the record and finished it when he had time. I didn’t really get an opportunity to really speak with him like that, but for him to bless the record, and for me to just jump a whole bunch of steps to get a legend on one of my records was amazing. The response that people are giving me for the record is crazy. At the end of the day, I feel blessed to work with people that I looked up to when I was younger listening to southern Hip Hop.”
The Legacy of K.R.I.T.: “Man, just the fact that my soul is living in my music, and at the end of the day it’s timeless. It’s not the type of music you release, and then two months later you won’t listen to ever again. I wanna put out projects that are timeless and give you that same feeling like the 60’s and 70’s music where it never gets old and every time you hear it...it takes you back to that first time. And people in everyday life just knowing there’s somebody else out there that relates to them and what they’re going through whether its poverty, relationships, and just life in general.”