The southern-fried, candy paint ‘Lac-pushin,’ big backyard melodies Meridian, Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T. creates in his music always feed fans hungry for something with a little traditional southern twang. Four mixtapes and a debut album deep, the self-proclaimed “King Remembered In Time” is slated to release his sophomore studio album Cadillactica under Def Jam in 2014.
“With Cadillactica, I’ve grown to a point now that it’ll come out when it comes out and express to people why I’m taking so long on it,” Big K.R.I.T. said when reflecting on his past releases. “I’ve had an immense amount of time and I want to do the same with Cadillactica because it’s just as important as anything I’ve ever dropped.”
A recent album trailer revealed that K.R.I.T.’s sophomore album is slated to drop in the fourth quarter of this year. In an exclusive interview with Nah Right, the King Remembered In Time talks about his upcoming album and what we can expect on it, and also speaks about his recent studio time with Lil Boosie and Jeezy and what they mean to him as rap colleagues. In addition, he weighs in on the possibility of a new Outkast album, and expresses his love for an opportunity to—if nothing else—sit in on what the legendary Atlanta duo might create. He definitely has the beats on deck.
Hit the jump to read the full interview…
What’s been up with you non-musically recently?
As far as what I do now non-musically is I have a habit of just trying to get away from music and chill man. I’ve been playing Titanfall a lot and Call Of Duty: Black Ops, NBA 2K. And aside from that, just roll around the city and just chilling in my car, listening to music that inspires me from back in the day. Not even really stopping no where, just driving and trying to get the vibe of what it feels like to just have an “against the nation” mentality and just how music make you feel, getting there and just creating it from that perspective. Also man, just enjoying the fact that I put out so much music that we can go to clubs and just kick it. I’m relaxing a lot in between doing music but you know how I am, I’m always just ready.
And speaking of music, Cadillactica will be your sophomore studio album. I think the bigger news surrounding this one obviously is that you’re not doing much of the production on it, but how much are you producing it from a standpoint of a director–maybe not on the boards but saying like, “Yo, I want it like this or I want this sound here,” or whatever?
Well, you know. I’m still involved. The beautiful thing is that I’m able to work with the type of musicians that I’m still able to give them my ideas. It could be a title or just the understanding of what I physically heard for the song that they can create or already have something in that manner. And then, we sit down and brainstorm the best possible idea for the record, because it’s one of those things that if I know that I went and somebody sent me a beat, and I just went crazy on it, I’m going to do what I would naturally do with my own records. I’m trying to take myself clean out my comfort zone, and if I’m going to do a riding song or a song about cars, not do it necessarily in the same realm that most people know of me doing it. I’m going to try to take if further and even with production—with the instrumentals and the beats that people give me—I try not to tell people so much what I want on the track. But even then, I can influence the record to semi-sound like something I would have made by myself. And I want to stay far away from that man, and just get to be an artist and vibe. It’s a blessing to be able to work with so many talented people.
I remember in an interview a while back, around the time you announced that Cadillactica was the title of your next album, you said it would be done when you could ride from Atlanta to Meridian and back and the whole album is smooth and perfect. Are we at or close to that point now?
Yeah, definitely. I would say at this very moment, with the content I have created, I can ride from Atlanta to Birmingham. It ain’t all the way there where I can get from Atlanta to Meridian, Mississippi, but I think I’m close, man. And for me, I feel like I still have a lot of time to create and record and go to different places and see new things that I can kind of implement in my music, but I want to take people on a journey. I always have with a lot of my projects, and they all kind of tie into each other. So this is just another chapter of my journey and my own life.
I know many have been asking you about the pressure of this second album. A lot of people didn’t like the first one as much as say, your mixtapes. I think that’s partly because of your ability to sample without clearing on free projects. Do you feel Def Jam was holding back a full budget for your first one, and is that the same case this time around if that was the case?
I mean nah, I don’t think they were holding me back. I think there was, as far as me doing free content for so long, and then have a turn-around. And it’s retail, and you having a set budget, and that’s what you have to clear a sample to make things happen. I was unfamiliar with a portion of how long it takes to clear samples. And some samples you just can’t clear, so having to deal with that. And then, having the time frame for songs to come out, and promoting the album, and so that’s what I dealt with the first album.
If you look at my first single, “Money On The Floor” came out in September of 2011, but my album didn’t drop until June, so that’s a lot of time to kind of be in limbo with a release date with finishing the album. And then I dropped a mixtape in between, and I devoted so much time to that content as well, but it was easier because I didn’t have to clear samples. So that’s why sonically it sounds so free-flowing, because I wasn’t as concerned as when I was working on the album. I was like, “Okay, I got this sample, I need to get credits, I need to reach out to the person.” And then, you never know if you’re going to use that song or not per se, but in the event that you are going to use that song for the album, you still need to check up on getting it cleared. It’s definitely a different mentality you have to go in with [when you're] making your album.
I was also on tour twice the year I was working on my album. This year, I decided not [to tour], and be in a place where I can solely create and focus all my attention on this one project, not being tired, getting off stage and having to go to the studio, my voice not sounding right. None of that is happening on this one. It’s all, “Hey man, if the sun shining outside, I’m recording.”
Do you feel that you’ve went though a learning experience going fromLive From The Underground to now, Cadillactica?
Ah yeah, definitely. It’s also a different kind of hunger involved, too. You know, I hit a milestone by, in my mind, signing to a major label and being able to drop an album. It’s so surreal that it takes a while for you to come down and realize, “Okay, this is when it really gets real, and I have to focus and drop an album. And so all of that pressure falls on you at some point. You might be in studio, and you’re not just rapping because it feels good, you’re rapping because you got to finish. And people can hear that through the music. It translates. With Cadillactica, I’ve grown to a point now that it’ll come out when it comes out, and express to people why I’m taking so long on it, express to the people the importance of quality, and that when it came to K.R.I.T. Wuz Here and all these projects, I’ve had an immense amount of time. And I want to do the same with Cadillactica because it’s just as important as anything I’ve ever dropped.
I felt it was strange that you didn’t want to produce for the most part onCadillactica and was kind of sad that you weren’t but then I heard you have Organized Noize on this one so I forgave.
[Laughs.] But yeah, what encouraged that decision to almost completely just stick to rapping this time around?
Well, first off I want to say I’m still going to be doing some production on the album. I’m not totally not producing on the album. So yeah, I got to clear that up, after doing Live From The Underground, [and] after doing King Remembered In Time, because I ended up producing that whole project except one record.
The 9th Wonder joint…
Yeah, going in with 9th Wonder showed me something, because I got there, and I had these crazy beats, bro. And I didn’t have to do nothing but write. 9th even recorded. I usually record myself as well. 9th Wonder showed me that it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to get out of my comfort zone and create. I also put so much music out there that a lot of these producers I respect know of my content and know of my music, and most of them already have beats they want to play me anyway. You know?
Something unique that you did was the Week of K.R.I.T., where you released a song every weekday of that certain week. What inspired you to do that, and how many of those joints are making Cadillactica, if any?
Nah, all of those tracks that I put out there for K.R.I.T. Week were just for the people. I created those songs specifically for Week of K.R.I.T. Being able to have Rick Ross on it, A$AP Ferg and Smoke DZA, Big Sant [was great], but these were all songs I wanted to give to the people man. I just wanted to give them something. I haven’t dropped a project since April of 2013, and it was just like, “Man, I want people to hear the growth here, and I’m excited again.” I think people can hear in the tone of my voice and the amount of aggressiveness on these songs that I’m excited, I’m ready. It’s several records I produced too so for all the people that want me to produce for myself I did, but none of those songs were for Cadillactica or right now are on Cadillactica. But I know people really liked me clicking with A$AP Ferg, and I’ve been seeing that pop up on radio stations around here. So that’s exciting that people are supporting it like that.
Cadillactica will be your sixth project release. Which project though that you’ve already dropped has been your favorite so far?
Oooh, it’s hard to say.
I know, that’s why I love asking that question to certain artists. [Laughs.]
Alright. [Laughs.] I can break it down like this: K.R.I.T. Wuz Here was my favorite mixtape in the sense of my hunger, because it was like, “This is either going to work or we’re going back home.” And that’s why it had so many songs on it, so many different sounds. It had a West Coast feel, the “93 ’til Infinity” chop in it with me and Curren$y, and it was all that only for a project. I would say Return of 4Eva was musically my favorite one based off of how I sampled, what I sampled, the amount of singing, and the subject matter, from “Free My Soul” to “Another Naive Individual Glorifying Greed and Encouraging Racism.”
4EvaNaDay was my most scientific one. I was very proud of that project, because I was able to not stay in the typical lane of making music, but to actually try to make a storybook in itself. And, make every song go together, from what time of day you should play it and how that time of day feels in the warmth of the music and the color hues, and even how I’m rapping and what I’m rapping about.
Live From The Underground is a milestone forever because it’s my first album and I produced it all, man. So I could never downplay that. It has its own position in my career because it definitely did a lot more numbers than people expected it to do, and it gave people what I told them I was going to do, which was never leave the underground, and rap about what I want to rap about. “I’ll feature the people I want to feature,” and that’s what I did. People may not have expected what it was compared to my mixtapes and [may not] feel it lived up to them, but me knowing what I went through to put it out, and then some of the songs on there. Like, the record with B.B. King will stand the test of time.
King Remembered In Time is its own entity. That’s me coming back from the album and tour like, “Hey, let’s do this.” And now we here, man. And withCadillactica, it’s going to be its own monster. And I think people are going to be able to tell with every song.
Read Full Interview: HERE
Read more →