Spring Semester 2010 was officially Wiz season on probably every college campus across the US. The critically acclaimed Kush & OJ dropped in April 2010, creating a wave of wannabe marijuana smokers and Wiz Khalifa fans across the globe. But I was slow to get on that bandwagon, although I loved his free spirited nature. At the time I was into lyrical artists so I brushed him off. I skimmed through the mixtape and only really listened to 3 or 4 songs on a regular basis. One day, my roommate walks in and tells me to listen to “Glass House” ft. Currensy and Big KRIT on the Kush & OJ mixtape. “Who is Big K.R.I.T.?” I asked. “He is an artist from Mississippi and he killed his verse,” my roommate said.
When Big K.R.I.T.’s verse starts I could immediately hear the Deep South in his tone. I remember thinking he sounded to me like Pimp C. Then he raps Mississippi Pimp!! / Mouth piece frigid /. I remember laughing about that line because it was so real. He sounded like Mississippi and his verse caught my attention. I had to hear more. I thought to myself, I like him but I hope he’s the real deal. Even Trinidad James can get lucky, but consistency is the key.
I got on my computer and downloaded K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. K.R.I.T. Wuz Here was a mixtape with album worthy material. It showed the consistency and capability of Big K.R.I.T. to make thought provoking music. The mixtape also introduced K.R.I.T. as a capable producer. Fast forward to 2014, now the Def Jam signee has produced four critically acclaimed mixtapes, two albums, and a bunch of collaborations. And in the hip-hop world he is widely regarded and respected as one of the great up and comers in the game. He always mentioned in the same circles as Drake, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. And throughout he has stayed true to his Mississippi roots even though the majority of his fans aren’t from his home state. I still meet people on a daily basis in Mississippi who don’t even know who Big K.R.I.T. is. It seems Mississippi consists of more die hard Boosie fans than of people who even know who Big K.R.I.T. is. This often makes me really ponder; do we deserve Big K.R.I.T.’s brilliance?
Earlier this year, Big K.R.I.T. went on the Pay Attention tour with no performances in Mississippi. Why do you think that is?
The reason Big K.R.I.T. didn’t have a tour stop in Mississippi is quite clear. He has more fans elsewhere. Not enough people come to support him when he comes.The few times he has performed in Mississippi the venue was small and the demand for tickets wasn’t very high. Those shows weren’t close to filling the house, let alone selling out. But Mississippians have no problem selling out the Coliseum for a Boosie concert. K.R.I.T. understands that and that’s why he tours where he could make the most show money.
While K.R.I.T. has certainly enjoyed a lot of commercial success, I believe he would have had substantially more if he wasn’t from Mississippi. Lyrically, Big K.R.I.T. is just as good as Kendrick, J. Cole, and Drake. He has created two critically acclaimed albums, but hasn’t quite had the commercial success as his peers although he gets somewhat close. It’s quite understandable that artists from bigger cities will have an opportunity for more commercial success. And Big K.R.I.T. hasn’t had the crossover single that has opened the eyes of the masses yet. But he won’t get there without our support. We are supposed to be his biggest support base. He represents us and does a great job at it. He breaks misconceptions about people in the south and southern rap in general. But most of us don’t know who he is. And that’s sad.
I think he will eventually make that single when he collaborates with bigger artists. Being from the deep south, it’s hard being a lyricist when Southern Hip-Hop is based off music with no content. If Big K.R.I.T. was from the East or West Coast, he would definitely be one of the more notable artists in the game. He seems to be a once in a generational artist born in the wrong region of the country.
I think Mississippi needs Big K.R.I.T. , but we definitely don’t deserve him. He has shouted us out on every album. He has tried to carry us on his back since the time he first stepped on the scene. And yet still, at least half of Mississippi still doesn’t know who he is or respects his intelligence as an artist. We, from little ole Mississippi, have an artist on par to be one of the greats and is actively competing with and holding his own with the hottest today. We have to support and respect him. We have to bring him back to perform. We have to pack the shows and most importantly, we have to buy the music. J. Cole just showed you can still be an artist of substance with no radio records and still sell. So it can be done.
So if he decided that he didn’t want to shout us out on anymore tracks, I wouldn’t and couldn’t even be upset. We have to start showing K.R.I.T. our appreciation folks.