Mississippi–bred rapper BIG K.R.I.T. is back with his fourth studio album K.R.I.T. IZ HERE. K.R.I.T. announced the release last month, confirming it was a sequel to his 2010 breakout mixtape, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. K.R.I.T. hosted a listening party for fans at the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta on Wednesday, July 10. V.I.P. guests included the producer on the album, Rico Love; and Deanté Hitchcock, the breakout star from J. Cole’s latest Revenge of The Dreamers album.
K.R.I.T. opened up the listening party by thanking everyone for coming and supporting him at a time when record labels aren’t paying attention and radio play isn’t the highest. “I had a true realization when it comes to my music, man,” K.R.I.T. says, “and at the point now where everything I put out there, the energy I put out there, the subject matter I talk about and all these things I need to be able to at least talk about what I’ve been through.”
K.R.I.T. IZ HERE feels like an ode to all of the dreamers and what it feels like to “make it.”
K.R.I.T. has certainly had his share of ups and downs in his career and this album takes listeners through that journey. The sound is a return to his earlier days with a more straightforward rap sound. “Blue Flame Ballet” is a stripper joint that’s not for the strip club but more of a ballad dedicated to the ladies. “M.I.S.S.I.S.S.I.P.P.I.” is a horn-filled bounce that can be played at every HBCU tailgate for generations to come. Halfway through the album, K.R.I.T. IZ HERE starts to feel like a different album. After “Family Matters” we enter a new universe. The next couple of tracks are smooth, easy, late-night vibes. Tracks like “Learned From Texas” and “Outer Space” offer inventive ways to approach the album that could pop with remixes by Travis Scott, Vince Staples and Ari Lennox.
The project spans 19 tracks including singles “Energy,” “Addiction,” “Prove It” and “K.R.I.T. HERE” and a special nod to the Blue Flame Lounge in Atlanta with the song “Blue Flame Ballet.” The album includes appearances by Saweetie, Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Yella Beezy and Rico Love.
You can stream K.R.I.T. IZ HERE on Apple Music and Spotify and catch K.R.I.T. at the From The South With Love Tour kicking off in Tampa, Florida, on Sept. 19.
Highlights: “Addiction” is a single for a reason. Saweetie kills the hook and Wayne is unstoppable. “Believe” has a shoutout to the late Nipsey Hussle, who was supposed to have a feature on the album.
Cons: The project feels four or five songs too long; it’s easy to find your favorites.
Smart picks: “Addiction,” “Prove It,” “Believe,” “I Made It” and “Blue Flame Ballet”