Review Summary: Big K.R.I.T. has delivered his fellow man another memorable album that has “4eva” been cemented into the annals of Hip Hop history.
It’s artists like Big K.R.I.T. that give us hope for the genre we call Hip Hop and Rap. While the musical category hasn’t exactly seen a plethora of great acts since the early to late 90’s, there’s still no reason that we can’t reminisce on the idea that somebody will come along to pick up the torch that greats like 2Pac and Outkast left behind. While Big K.R.I.T.’s latest album, “Live From The Underground”, isn’t groundbreaking in terms of his previous projects, it still provides hope that the genre might indeed be moving away from commercial sounds for once in our contemporary times. Just take a look at the track “Praying Man”. How many rappers can honestly garner the respect of legendary blues musician BB King and actually convince him to get in the studio with you? Big K.R.I.T. is just the type of Southern emcee that commands that sort of attention. While “Live From The Underground” is his first official release, I’d still suggest that new listeners and potential fans go back to “Return of 4Eva” as you will find this material to be more accessible than what you find here. One must understand that K.R.I.T. is a man of experimentation, and like other great Hip Hop artists like Kanye West that often divulge themselves in powerful experimental instrumentation, K.R.I.T. almost seems to surpass his counterparts to certain degrees. I’m not saying that the Southern native is the best producer alive, but I am trying to give the listener a strong sense of what we’re dealing with here.
Here’s an artist that stays dedicated to his craft and it’s often difficult to say that Michael Jordan’s fourth championship ring was any worse than his other career triumphs. We face a difficult issue with K.R.I.T. and he’s certainly not alone with this issue. An artist creates a piece of work that is so mind blowing and innovative yet his or her later releases are often not up to par with what some would consider “The Classic Album”. It happens all the time and in this process the music fanatic often forgets that his or her favorite artist/band still has a repertoire of incredible albums that aren’t quite perfect yet still have the consistency that would tear apart some of its other competitors in the genre. For this, let’s consider that even though “Return of 4eva” might be K.R.I.T.’s best piece, he still has various other great albums that should still be applauded by the ears of Hip Hop listeners all over the world.
On a musical note, one really has to be satisfied with what K.R.I.T. has done with the instrumentation here. I really like the fact that K.R.I.T. uses his Def Jam associations to feature some really unique features that other artists would often neglect in the completion of their final product. The craftsmanship that goes into this collection of songs really is an “ear buster” in terms of the sample choices and the soulful Southern vibe that has always been a key factor to K.R.I.T.’s success. Lyrically, the man is as strong as ever and you never hear his voice ever become strained even during the most condensed portions of his rapping schemes. Big K.R.I.T. has delivered his fellow man another memorable album that has “4eva” been cemented into the annals of Hip Hop history.