This album was released on my 19th birthday—October 27th, 2017. This review was requested by Control the Artist. If you’d like to request an album for me to review, visit my Patreon page. Big K.R.I.T. is one of my favorite rappers of all time. I think the first song I ever heard from him was I Got This, which appeared on his first album, Live from the Underground. I’m more familiar with his mixtapes though. The last project I listened to from him was It’s Better This Way, which was pretty good. As far as I know, this project right here is supposed to be his magnum opus. I unfortunately didn’t check it out upon it’s release due to the fact that it’s a double album with over 20 tracks. I usually prefer shorter albums, but this album was met with a shit ton of praise when it dropped, so I’m sure it’s good despite it’s daunting length.
Big K.R.I.T. produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Confetti produced by Hey DJ
Big Bank featuring T.I. produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Subenstein (My Sub IV) produced by Mannie Fresh
1999 featuring Lloyd produced by Mannie Fresh
Ride wit Me featuring UGK produced by Organized Noize & Cory Mo
Get Up 2 Come Down featuring Cee-Lo Green & Sleepy Brown produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Layup produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Classic interlude produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Aux Cord produced by DJ Khalil
Get Away produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Justin Scott produced by DJ Khalil
Mixed Messages produced by Supah Mario
Keep the Devil Off produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Miss Georgia Fornia featuring Joi produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Everlasting produced by WLPWR
Higher Calling featuring Jill Scott produced by Supah Mario
Weekend Interlude produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Price of Fame produced by WLPWR
Drinking Sessions featuring Keyon Harrold produced by Big K.R.I.T.
The Light featuring Bilal, Robert Glasper Jr., Kenneth Whalum & Burniss Earl Travis II produced by Big K.R.I.T.
Bury Me in Gold produced by DJ Khalil
I’m just gonna go ahead and say it; this album is dope af. Big K.R.I.T. has always been a pretty consistent artist, but to me, this is the project where he really knocked it out of the park and put together a barrage of super polished Southern anthems. The first disc, Big K.R.I.T., contains the more commercialized, ignorant, mainstream, Trap-influenced trunk rattlers. I love the way the intro starts off with a Spoken Word-ish verse, and then transitions into a more traditional Hip Hop delivery and flow when the beat drops. One thing that’s made clear right from the start of this album is the fact that Big K.R.I.T. is a God fearing man. I like the way he went in about how his creator blessed him with the gift of being a creator. It’s a great way to introduce listeners to Big K.R.I.T. has an artist.
Confetti is fucking awesome. He goes in about wanting recognition as the best rapper in the game. I love when rappers flex their lyricism. The beat from Hey DJ is really dope. I love how it switches up halfway through the track. It kinda reminds me of Drake’s If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late mixtape. The second half of the beat has a lot of heavy bass.
Big Bank reminds me of K.R.I.T.’s old Country Shit remix just because it features another legendary Southern MC. I’m surprised these dude’s don’t work together more often. Their collaboration on T.I.’s Us or Else EP was pretty good. Anyway, K.R.I.T.’s flow on the first verse was great, and same goes for T.I. on the second verse. The hook is pretty typical, and I wasn’t blown away by the beat. It’s an entertaining enough track though. The fourth entry in K.R.I.T.’s dedication to subwoofers is fucking crazy. Boi, that beat… WOOOH. That shit is hard as FUCK. It’s impossible to not get that involuntary head nod when listening to Subenstein. I love the earworm of a hook too. The way the production evolves is so fucking awesome. I love the scratches too. It’s easily my favorite song in the My Sub series. Mannie Fresh put his ASS in that beat. I didn’t even mind the electric guitar at the end. The song just sounds epic. It’s dope af.
1999 is the only song that I can’t really see myself coming back to. It’s a throwback to Juvenile’s iconic Back That Azz Up single, which I’ve always hated. The song definitely isn’t bad. It’s well produced, and Lloyd’s voice is still really good. I just don’t really care for the radio friendly singer/rapper formula, nor was I enthused by the content. It’s a decent song. Just not my cup of tea. Ride wit Me is a pretty good track. The posthumous hook from Pimp C is cool, and Bun B’s verse was great. The production is really smooth too. It’s not really a standout track to me, but it’s not one I’d skip. Get Up 2 Come Down is awesome. That shit sounds like a modern day bonus track to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The vocals from Sleepy Brown are super smooth, and Big K.R.I.T.’s flow reminded me of early Outkast. Cee-Lo’s actually rapping on the third verse, which ended up being pretty dope. I like the weird vocal effects on the Spoken Word outro from K.R.I.T. It’s a fantastic song. Layup is definitely the smoothest song on the album. It’s a good track to kick back and smoke to. His vocals on the hook are really nice. It’s a really pleasant track, but it’s not one of my favorites. It’s dope though. There’s not really anything to dislike about it, unless you just aren’t into that smoother, more laidback sound.
Aux Cord is one of the best songs from the first disc. The beat from DJ Khalil is phenomenal, and the uncredited female vocals are really nice too. K.R.I.T.’s just goin’ in about some of his favorite old school artists. He names a lot of musicians that my dad listens to, such as Funkadelic & the Temptations. I hate when people are in my car and they ask for the aux cord. First of all, I have fucking bluetooth in my car; I don’t use a goddamn aux cord. Second of all, y’all KNOW how much of a snob I am when it comes to Hip Hop, so you should just assume right off the bat that I’m not fuckin’ with whatever bullshit you decide to play. That’s neither here nor there though. The song is dope af. Get Away was the perfect way to close the first album. One thing I’ve failed to mention up to this point is K.R.I.T.’s skills as a producer. This dude makes a lot of his own beats, and he’s really fuckin’ good at it. The beat on Get Away has a really lighthearted sound. It’s just a really pleasant vibe.
The instrumental, self titled intro to disc two is a super soulful gem of a beat. DJ Khalil did a great job crafting a grandiose intro to the more introspective side of this double album. As soon as I heard Mixed Messages I knew the second half was gonna be even more entertaining than the first. I love when Big K.R.I.T. is on his conscious tip, so it was cool to see a whole album worth of conscious material. The song is all about K.R.I.T. being self aware of the ignorance in a select portion of his catalogue. All the best rappers can do both kinds of music in my opinion. It reminds me of that somewhat cringe inducing internal struggle that Tech N9ne rapped about on Anghellic. The song has a fantastic beat, and a really good hook too. It’s definitely one of the best songs on the album.
Keep the Devil Off is one of the most southern songs I’ve ever heard in my life. I felt like I was in my Dad’s southern methodist church again. All of the services feel like miniature concerts. My mom doesn’t like it because they focus more on having a good time than actually focusing on scripture, and I have to agree. Every time I go there the services—which last WAY TOO FUCKING LONG BY THE WAY—can literally be boiled down to “GOD IS GREAT. THE DEVIL IS BAD.” Anyway, the song itself is great. I don’t like being taken to church, but it’s an extremely well produced song with old school Rock & Roll influences. The hook on Miss Georgia Fornia is extremely catchy, and I like the way he incorporated the acoustic guitar in the production. It sounds really good. His melodic flow on the latter half of his first verse sounds kinda shitty, but that’s a major nitpick. The vocals from Joi are really powerful. It’s a great duet. My one gripe is the song’s long length, but it’s not really that big of a deal. Everlasting is targeting K.R.I.T.’s female audience. He’s always been really great at making love songs, and this is coming from someone who usually hates love songs. He knows how to do romance. Higher Calling is the most underwhelming song on the second disc, but it’s still an entertaining song. I like the laidback production, and K.R.I.T.’s verses are really poetic. Price of Fame is one of the more relatable tracks. As someone who suffers from several severe mental illnesses, I really appreciated hearing one of my favorite artists rap in depth about his depression. The production is really great too. I absolutely adored the jazzy horns on Drinking Sessions. He has a really expressive delivery. He sounds genuinely frustrated about the shit he’s saying. He’s always been a really passionate artist. He sounds even more deppressed on this track than on Price of Fame. There were moments where his delivery was so passionate that it sounded like he was about to break down in tears. The Light is one of the most interesting songs on the album structurally. It sounds like it should be performed in an old jazz club. The vocals from Bilal are just as soul snatching as they were on To Pimp a Butterfly. The song kinda reminds me of The Vent, which appeared on Return of 4eva. It’s a really political, contemplative track.
Keep the lights on, front door locked
‘Cause the villains in the wilderness, lotta George Zimmermans
Damned with some innocence
So that mean he still out on the prowl for a black child
While the judge and jury crack smile
Bury Me in Gold is one of those songs that seems like it would be super powerful if performed live. It’s a perfect way to end an album, and it’d be even more perfect to close a concert. The vocal performance on the hook is incredibly soulful. Again, it sounds like church music. He even talks about reaching for a higher power on the Spoken Word outro. It’s basically the cherry on top of the album. The song is dope af.
This album is incredible. It’s easily the most consistent project Big K.R.I.T. has ever released, and it pretty much just re-solidifies his status as one of my favorite rappers. Even the damn skits were good. I didn’t think it was cool to be from the South of the United States until I heard Big K.R.I.T. rap about it, and as someone who struggles with severe self hate, I’ll take all the “pride” I can get. The first disc is a quintessential radio friendly Hip Hop album, and the second is a more personal look at Justin Scott as a person. There’s no way his fans could’ve been displeased with this project. It’s dope af.
Favorite Songs: Subenstein / Mixed Messages
Least Favorite Songs: 1999 / Higher Calling
Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.