Review: Big K.R.I.T.'s "Live From The Underground"

Mississippi Rapper, Big K.R.I.T., bears his soul in his first major release "Live From The Underground".

BYJon Godfrey
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Every so often an honest whisper echoes louder than lies. Hip Hop has experienced the truth of this as of late. Soul is again a subject of interest as artists like Big K.R.I.T. bear theirs on every outing. However, as the aforementioned rapper reveals, soul is not something preached but something confessed. Since 2010 the self-proclaimed “King Remembered in Time” has released a slew of well received mixtapes. From K.R.I.T. Wuz Here to 4eva N A Day he’s consistently appeared as an adept storyteller and talented producer. So it should come as no surprise that his first major release, Live from the Underground, is solid from cover to cover.

Equipped with excellent engineering, the album is divided into stylistic sections. The title track begins it all like a bookend. Thereafter the library opens up and bangs incessantly. On tracks like “Money on the Floor” and “My Sub (Pt. 2 The Jackin)” Krizzle channels the spirit of the late great Pimp C. Although it’s unquestionable that his sound is his own, his aura nevertheless honors his elder. On the first of the two tracks mentioned K.R.I.T. welcomes 8Ball, MJG, and 2 Chainz to the project. The latter offers what is arguably his best guest sixteen this year! Then on the “My Sub” sequel K.R.I.T. continues the tale of how his trunk keeps getting him into trouble.

Afterwards an eclectic set of songs about women and weed begin; though it must be said that they are not the simple-minded sort. The Anthony Hamilton assisted “Porchlight” is a soothing ballad about honoring the fact home is where the heart is. Krizzle also teams up with Devin the Dude again. The two reprise their love for Mary Jane on “Hydroplaning,” a song certain to keep the bud burning while the rain falls.

Finally the effort concludes with a set of introspective tales about life and death. Therein K.R.I.T. shows his inspiring diversity. Beginning it all with trunk music and finishing it with food for thought is something only he can do. The insight opens with “If I Fall,” which speaks to those that have influenced him. Next up is arguably the best song on the entire album, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” Reminiscent of 2-Pac’s “Blasphemy,” it’s about the wisdom a father relays to his son: “the media graffiti us with relishments. Money, Cars, and clothes I suppose what successful is. They say 'sow your oats, it’s natural to experiment.' But don’t suck and fuck and run amok, be celibate.” Last but not least is “Praying Man,” the recollections of three slaves when faced with death. Aided by the blues guitar of B.B. King it is a haunting canticle listeners won’t soon forget.

Then the title track is reprised, a parallel bookend to close the library’s doors. Once the dust settles it’s easy to see that soul is certainly back, and Big K.R.I.T’s multi-dimensional honesty echoes the fact with authority.

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