Mixtape Review: Big K.R.I.T., A King Remembered in Time

Another praiseworthy effort from the Southern king.

4star
Posted: 04/15/2013 12:58 PM EDT

(Photo: Def Jam)

Big K.R.I.T. doesn’t have much left to prove as an MC or producer. Still, the Mississippi-native never fails to deliver stellar projects for fans and doubters of his unique brand of country fried hip hop. His latest free mixtape is no exception, featuring a stacked line-up of guest features and a soundtrack that is perfect to cruise to. Aside from revealing the meaning behind the acronym that makes up his stage name, King Remembered in Time sends listeners a message about the kind of legacy the hometown hero would like to leave on the rap game.

Despite the thumping 808s and southern bounce that flavor his trademark sound, K.R.I.T.’s music has always been highlighted by introspective tales about his lifelong struggles and ambitions. As he reflects on topics ranging from his childhood to his views on the modern music industry on tracks like "King Without a Crown" and "Talkin Bout Nothing," it’s hard to determine the strongest element of his sound: his complex and clever bars or the rousing soul samples and rapid percussion he so effortlessly lays them over.

The somber "Bigger Picture" captures K.R.I.T. at his best, both lyrically and sonically. "If I make it, I’ll come back to get you/It’s clear as day but you don’t see the vision," he rhymes over subdued organs and a classic break beat. Though he paints his greatest pictures on his own, he shines just as brightly alongside his star-studded guest roster. From southern legend Bun B to new age stars Wiz Khalifa and Trinidad James, K.R.I.T.’s versatile skillset brings the best out of his diverse range of collaborators and challenges the mainstream conventions that currently rule hip hop’s airwaves.

From start to finish, King Remembered in Time is a compelling adventure in the passenger’s seat of one of hip hop’s fastest-rising young visionaries. Long past the stage of mastering his sound, K.R.I.T. is now free to cruise through the game at his own speed while his peers rush to reinvent themselves and try to keep up with the latest waves. While they follow the leaders, K.R.I.T. will continue to carve his own lane on the highway to becoming hip hop royalty.

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