Following in the footsteps of rapper Drake, who repackaged and sold an EP comprised of his songs he'd previously given away for free (2009's So Far Gone), Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. released his commercial debut R4: The Prequel EP on Def Jam yesterday [June 7].
The songs on the EP, taken from his previous free mixtapes, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (2010) and Returnof4Eva (2011), represent fan favorites as observed by K.R.I.T. during the R4 tour, which wrapped last month. The songs include: "Sookie Now" feat. David Banner, "Time Machine" feat. Chamillionaire, "Country S--- (Remix)" feat. Ludacris and Bun B, "The Vent," and "Moon & Stars" feat. Devin The Dude, Curren$y and Killa Kyleon.
Although all eyes will be on K.R.I.T. next week when the first week sales numbers come in, the southern up-and-comer says he's not worried about it at all. "I've still built up a fan base," K.R.I.T tells BET.com. "You pray that people support but I'm still gon' continue to put out music regardless. It's kind of like testing the waters a little bit but I'm still going to put out another project after this one.… It gives me time to work on a full body album. A lot of time I be out on tour and I don't get in the studio that much so this gives me the opportunity to still give the people something in stores and go back on the album and work a little bit longer."
K.R.I.T. traveled down to his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, to shoot a video for the lead single "Country S--- (Remix)," which debuted yesterday. The song features Bun B, who filmed scenes for the video in his hometown of Houston, and Ludacris, who did the same in Atlanta. K.R.I.T. says that he has another track with Jackie Chain and Yelawolf that's coming out soon but wants to keep the rest of his projects in the works under wraps, although he does assure fans that he'll release another project in addition to the Prequel before the year is out.
The southern rapper also assures that he will continue to produce his own songs even though it's been difficult for him to juggle the duel roles of artist and producer, especially while out on tour. When asked which role he prefers, K.R.I.T. says, "the producer gets more time to just chill. It's like a time for me to just reflect on everything that's going on. But I also like performing and going out on the road letting people know that about the country s--t. It's just the response you get when I do an event. It's overwhelming. I can't explain it. So, probably the artist."
For now R4: The Prequel is available for sale on iTunes.
(Photo: David Blake Hutchinson)