By: Austin Prim
Put Some Respeck on K.R.I.T.’s Name!
Big K.R.I.T. came into the game at the same time as Big Sean, Drake, Kendrick, Wale, J. Cole, Mac Miller and a few others. For some reason however, I don’t feel like he’s reached the same type of mainstream success as his peers. Yes, he has a large and devoted fanbase, but it’s not as large as it could or should be. KRIT is in this weird limbo space between mainstream and underground. Like he’s too known to be considered an underground artist, but his music doesn’t get played on the radio enough to be a household name. There’s no reason that Big K.R.I.T. shouldn’t get the same type of offers, mentions or accolades that someone like J. Cole gets. I’m sure K.R.I.T. isn’t even concerned with these comparisons or with the lack of earned recognition. But as a fan, he deserves his roses.
Although I’ve known about KRIT since 2011, I’m not going to pretend like I was a huge fan from the jump. I honestly couldn’t even tell you the first time I heard of him. I might have seen his name as an XXL Freshman. This was around the time that I was listening to Big Sean, officially discovering Kendrick, and going back to listen to J. Cole’s mixtapes. I’m sure during this time of uncovering the new wave his name or one of his songs slipped through. What I do remember was watching the video for Boobie Miles. I remember enjoying the song so much that I had my dad, a jazz purist, watch the video. My dad surprisingly liked it.
Eventually I’d do a little more musical research into KRIT and a few friends started mentioning him a little more. I became a fan. After his Live from the Underground album, I thought he was going to get the same love that Wale, Big Sean & Cole got after their first albums. Personally, Live from the Underground was a better album than any of their major label debut albums. It surprised me that KRIT didn’t get the same looks that his peers did. After Kendrick’s infamous Control verse KRIT put out Mt. Olympus. The song was trending on twitter for a while and I assumed this was his breakthrough moment. I thought this would be the conduit to his mainstream notoriety. It wasn’t. Cadillactica dropped, Its Better This Way dropped, 12 for 12 dropped…still the same. His core fanbase grew, but no big media recognition.
I don’t know what it is. The talent is there. The fanbase is there. The support is there. He has a personality. The only knock that I can think of is that his music doesn’t get radio play. On one hand, radio isn’t necessary. Artists can get on without it. If the artist makes a song that gains enough traction on the internet and streaming services, radio will grab it. But radio shouldn’t be taking what’s already proven. The radio should grab songs that are good, play them and then that’s how they get big. I guaranty if more people heard Big K.R.I.T.’s music, they’d enjoy it more than most of what they hear on the radio right now. Not saying every song by KRIT is “radio friendly”, but he has more than enough club anthems, or joints for women that fit the radio profile. This radio/non-radio is a whole other conversation. The point is, if J. Cole can get traditionally non-radio friendly songs played on the radio, why can’t KRIT get his played?
KRIT can out rap 90% of these current rappers. He can make better songs and hooks than 95% of these artists. He produces most of his own tracks, writes his own stuff, has a personality, and has a loyal and growing fanbase. He’s an excellent live performer. KRIT was just at the Bomb Factory with his Heavy is the Crown Tour. I’m not sure what I expected, but every positive expectation was immediately exceeded. It just further confused me as to why he’s not as appreciated and celebrated as he could be. He has all the pieces to the puzzle, and it looks as if that puzzle is more than put together. Krizzle deserves the respect. He’s a rap King who has earned a coronation. The least that you can do is put some respect on Big K.R.I.T.’s name when it’s mentioned.