Big Krit

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

Rating: 8.5 / 10

Big K.R.I.T’s been one of the shining examples in recent history on how to go about reinventing yourself for the masses. Although several projects and mixtapes served as precursors to this point, it’s safe to say that most of his fans jumped on board after the publicity he received for the cohesiveness of Krit Wuz Here, which he maintained through Return Of 4Eva, and solidified with 4Eva N A Day. The reviews mostly praised the Mississippi native for being able to cater to both ears and hearts through his content; listeners enjoyed the Southern production throughout, and those looking for more than just beats were pleased with songs that truly made you think (“Children of the World”, “Red Eye”). K.R.I.T. established himself as a threat from almost every possible angle, and it’s been fun to watch.

With that being said, there were questions that went along with his debut. Would the quality decrease? Would it be a watered-down version of his projects? Would it sound completely different than what we expect? Although most of those questions are legit, one playthrough of Live From The Underground will assure you that it’s still jamming, and it’s still the same ol’ K.R.I.T. that made you a fan.

Taking on yet another theme, the intro to Live (“LFU300MA”) has the listener stumbling upon a pre-recording that advises you to adjust your volume and enjoy. K.R.I.T.’s said in many interviews that he wanted it to feel like an underground record “crash-landed” in the mainstream mold, and the loose theme of the project sets that up. The familiar bass-heavy melodies are back and soulful, and K.R.I.T. goes into a spoken word delivery that slowly eases you into the vibe for the following songs. Background harmonies make the verses and hooks fun to listen to as well, enhancing it with a close attention to detail that’s scarcely seen in Southern projects since the days when OutKast used to drop projects together.

A seemingly lost art in music is the gift of sequencing, and K.R.I.T. has that gift. He’s fine-tuned it with each release leading up to his debut and has it all but mastered here. The album flows together almost flawlessly, with slower tempo songs like “Money On The Floor” (with 8Ball, MJG, and 2 Chainz) and “Don’t Let Me Down” being used to hinge the different styles together. The pacing makes it that much easier for K.R.I.T. to dive into incredible songs, such as the Devin The Dude-assisted slacker anthem “Hydroplaning”, the introspective flow on “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and the soulful B.B. King collaboration on “Praying Man”.

Even though the album flows remarkably well, it’s still of note to notice that a few of the songs here have extremely repetitive hooks (“Yeah Dats Me”, “Pull Up”). However, even those songs have other more dominant factors that make it worth listening to; “Yeah Dats Me” is a high-energy track in spirit, and “Pull Up” has a couple of solid verses from UGK-representative Bun B and Big Sant, who’s been a staple on almost every Big K.R.I.T. project (if not all).  It’s also of note to point out that a couple of the songs from 4Eva N A Day might’ve served a better purpose being here instead of there (“Temptation” comes to mind).

As it stands, Live From The Underground is a great LP with some incredible high points. It’s rare when an artist can actually have his “underground” sound translate so well to his debut project, but Big K.R.I.T. has somehow done just that. Regardless of if you think it matches up with his mixtapes or not, the music’s just good all around and is permeated with that Southern flair. If you’re a fan of K.R.I.T., you’re going to want to support this one, and if you’re not… Live From The Underground might just make you one.

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  • Can’t wait to get it.  Krizzle!

  • Listened to the full stream the other day. Love it. I will definitely be buying a copy this week

  • Stankylegs

     This
    album is a letdown, both in production and lyrics. While I dig a few of
    the old-school, laid back production — reminiscent of early ’90s
    southern rap — it gets stale. The album was touted as a game-changer,
    but it’s just another southern rap album. To boot, K.R.I.T. doesn’t
    deliver a dynamite flow on any tracks. Diverse production and some
    ghost-writing could have helped this album. Thanks, K.R.I.T., for
    repping The Sip. But I’ll stick to TI and Phonte for my southern rap.

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  • Nick

    I just got the album without much knowledge at all about Big K.R.I.T. After one listen through, I like the album. I feel like I’ll like it more the more I listen to it. Great production and I can’t believe BB King is on here! Now that’s one hell of a collaboration. What other rappers have worked with BB King? It’s great to hear a rapper that’s able to be more expressive and introspective on a major label. If you’re riding waves and trends, it just means the masses will probably like a single or few, but it won’t be long before the people get tired of you BECAUSE YOU’RE JUST SELLING OUT to make popular records like others! This kind of music with heart and soul will win you REAL fans. There’s a difference between someone liking a song or two of yours and someone liking you as an artist. I think this album will win KRIT some fans. I may just become one. What are those other mixtapes/albums of his?? lol

  • Roberto Patuelli

    Big congrats to 8Ball for the weight loss. He looks like another person (actually looks identical to Cee-Lo)

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  • Abrasive Angel

    This album would remind you of a UGK/Dungeon Family/David Banner. I play Return of 4eva and Live From The Underground at the gig at least 2 times a week at the gig.