Ahead of his K.R.I.T. IZ HERE fourth studio undertaking, Big K.R.I.T., Mississippi’s lyrical force to be reckoned with, released the domineering, era-awakening single to set the tone for the 2019-slated album: “K.R.I.T. Here.”
A sequel of sorts to his “Energy” visual, K.R.I.T. leads eras of hip-hop, Black empowerment, and African and Southern nativity into acute freedom of not only self, but expression and community as well. Arguably, the most gripping scene of the visual arrives in a slavery auction operated by the fictional record label house, “Plantation Records.” In the vain of actual slavery auctions of the Atlantic slave trade, the sell-off shows Black rap artists—including the former Def Jam artist himself—standing atop tree stumps on a plantation as an auctioneer advertises the best-selling qualities of each slave to prospective buyers. These bidders are white, business-suited men, presumably intended to mimic the predominate demographic of record label executives, who stroll around the plantation to inspect the men in hopes of making a purchase.
K.R.I.T. is sold as an “underrated, underground rapper,” the auctioneer describes of him. “He’s a lyricist. And he’s country. $100 bucks.” He’s eventually sold for $90 to an African tribe, a family and freedom of which he seamlessly blends into, as he spits the track’s chorus: “That was then, this is now/ this for sure, let 'em know/ Here I go, raise 'em up, raise 'em up /There I go, raise 'em up, raise 'em up/ That was them, this is me, this is king, you ain't know.”
Of the single, K.R.I.T. proclaims, "ain't nothing like celebrating my independence, shoutout to Camper for being able to match the energy on the production & bringing this full circle...K.R.I.T. HERE!"
A statement to the slave-like conditions of not only label signage for hip-hop artists, but the sacrificial surrendering of creative expression, self-worth, and independency, K.R.I.T. is establishing his artistry, rap sovereignty and industry outlook in an entirely new space for 2019.
Let “K.R.I.T. HERE” be a warning.
Listen to the official track and music video below.