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Complex.com: “Just A Kid From Meridian” Told By Big K.R.I.T.

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All American children are bound to hear the message, at least once or twice, that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. Justin Scott was one of them. He grew up in Mississippi, a place where news headlines lament a failed education system and abysmal employment statistics. Steeped in a culture where crime and poverty are standard ways of life, Scott held on to his dream of doing something big. Facing odds stacked decidedly against him, he took his love for music to heart and focused his energy on his craft. Today, we know Scott as Big K.R.I.T., one of hip-hop’s rising stars.

K.R.I.T. was born in Meridian, Mississippi, a city built around railways and manufacturing. Meridian has a rich cultural history, but as with any city in the South, it has also seen its hard times, both socially and economically. He grew up in the “heart” of Meridian’s ghetto, and as he tells it, saw a variety of colorful characters everywhere he went in his neighborhood. K.R.I.T. stayed above the influence by dedicating himself to music, and, surprisingly, baseball. He credits his time on the baseball diamond with teaching him many valuable life lessons, including what it felt like to win. He threw a no-hitter to win the state championship in Biloxi, proving he had the makings of a champion athlete. But when, as a teenager, he inherited recording equipment from a local producer, he knew that music would be his future.

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Young & Reckless Presents: A Day In The Life With Big K.R.I.T.


Young & Reckless recently teamed up with Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T. for a lifestyle shoot in Los Angeles.

The self-proclaimed King of the South explains how his earliest musical influences like Willie Hutch, Al Green, Bobby Womack, and Curtis Mayfield contribute to his soulful style. Also paying homage to UGK, Outkast, MJG, and Scarface, K.R.I.T.’s aim is to make music that doesn’t fit in a genre but brings something out of you.

From taking time to listen to tracks from fans to making thought provoking music to inspire the youth, K.R.I.T. is bringing the soul back to hip hop.

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RollingStone.com: Big K.R.I.T. Speaks On Working With B.B. King In The Studio

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B.B. King, who passed away Thursday at age 89, influenced generations of musicians – including his fellow Mississippian Big K.R.I.T., who collaborated with his idol on 2012’s “Praying Man.” Here, the rapper shares his earliest memories of King and tell us what it was like to sit in the studio and watch him play.

My grandmother introduced me to B.B. King. She wasn’t someone who had a lot of posters, but there was a big poster of B.B. King on the wall as soon as you walked into her house in Meridian, Mississippi. Even now, hearing “The Thrill Is Gone” or “Midnight Believer” reminds me of her. The music represented soul. There was pain and frustration in it, but there was also the understanding that everything’s going to be better in the end. The grit and passion in the music told me this was someone who really meant what he was saying. It made me proud to be a Mississippian. As I got older, I went digging in the crates and found the work that he did with Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Live in Cook County Jail, where he was playing for the inmates. You could hear how the music affected people. It affected me, too – I wanted to have the same amount of soul and importance in my music that he had in his.

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Complex.com: #LGGFlex2 & Big K.R.I.T. Examine Art’s Broad Canvas (Promo)


When it comes to pursuing your dreams, having passion isn’t enough. You have to learn about what you love if you want to spend your life doing it.

This is the mantra Big K.R.I.T. has abided by for his entire artistic life—not just with his well-known career as a rapper and a producer, but also with his avocation as a visual artist.

K.R.I.T. started drawing as a kid and continues to do so to this day, sketching away in the recording studio in between takes. He views all art forms as connected, and is always creating new work, in one medium or another. Even music itself is a sort of canvas, he says, which he can paint his entire life on.

Big K.R.I.T. also has a few words of advice for aspiring artists: “Believe in yourself. If you have a style that you know is all your own,” he says, “exercise that style to make it even greater.”

For more from Big K.R.I.T. on creating art in all its forms, be sure to check out the video above, brought to you by LG.

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HipHopDX.com: Big K.R.I.T.’s ‘K.R.I.T. Wuz Here’ Is Listed As Top 25 Mixtapes Of The Decade So Far

BIG_KRIT_Krit_Wuz_Here-front-largeBig K.R.I.T. – “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here”

Release Date: May 3, 2010

Kritical was on his last, last spittle of gasoline before he dropped K.R.I.T Wuz Here. It was his leave-it-all-out-on-the-field moment, as more pointed works from years past left crowds not feeling much of anything at all. His 2010 offering changed all that, immediately placing him in a line of one as OutKast’s true successor and Def Jam’s southern answer to Nas. And not only did he rap, he produced, making his DIY coupling of grizzled tenor and thumping bassline seem like a gift from the rap Gods. The pressure was on after this one, though, and while he wouldn’t quite figure it out until last years Cadillactica, the Mississippi emcee would place himself in the conversation as a torchbearer for the future of southern Hip Hop with his 2010 now classic release.

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RedBullMusicAcademy.com: Interview With Prolific Hip Hop Artist Big K.R.I.T.

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The prolific hip hop artist explains why he’s slowing down.

While entrenched in Southern rap heritage, Big K.R.I.T. aims to chisel his own path through the polished grill wearers and double-cup sippers. Too smart to be ignorant, too worldly to be preachy, he embraces the challenge of pleasing fickle fans and promoting the culture of his oft-ignored state Mississippi. The 28 year old is a veteran of the digital era’s exhausting release culture with six mixtapes, two albums and two EPs released since 2010.

Producing and rapping across 200 songs in four years, a sub-plot developed around K.R.I.T.’s talent. Was he creatively burnt out? Would he make concessions to chase the elusive hit single? K.R.I.T.’s 2012 Def Jam debut Live from the Underground was decent, but not quite the grand reveal fans expected.

Last November, he silenced fears with his sophomore album Cadillactica. K.R.I.T. outsourced collaborators including DJ Dahi, Raphael Saadiq and Jim Jonsin to share his vision as well expanding his own production universe. The concept record about a planet created by 808 drums showcased a reinvigorated K.R.I.T. cultivating his introspective lyrics while dabbling further in storytelling, singing and contemporary flows. Now taking a deserved breather to consider his next move, I asked K.R.I.T. about his early records, what draws people to country rap and why he decided to take this album off-planet.

What was your first local hit in Mississippi?

Man, the first record that I did in Mississippi that got played on a radio station was called… ha, “Adidas 1’s in the Club.” It was basically a remake of Crime Mob’s “Stilettos (Pumps),” but we did our own version.

Did you start with a cliché street sound on your very early records before you found your own style?

Oh yeah, definitely, because I was a hardcore Three 6 Mafia fan too. Just a lot of the instrumentation and a lot of the content was extremely aggressive, so it was like more of a shock value thing of just how aggressive and how violent you could be on a song. I was probably like 13 or 14, man, and you grow out of that pretty fast because you grow to the point where you start playing your records for a lot of people that actually know you, older people, and they know damn well that you ain’t living that kind of lifestyle. In the beginning it was just your imagination ran wild on a record, and you could pretty much rap about anything and everything under the sun just to kind of build this superhero character of yourself on record.

Is there a chance if you weren’t making music or playing baseball you’d be working for the railroad?

Definitely, it’s one of those things where it’s a very lucrative job to have. My dad works on the railroad, my uncle worked on the railroad, I’ve got cousins that work. It keeps you away from home, but you make a really good living and it’s one of careers that you can retire at. So if I ended up staying in Meridian, Mississippi, I probably would have been working on the railroad and be able to acquire some kind of financial freedom at an early age.

Why do artists and promoters usually skip over Mississippi?

It goes to what people know as the far as the history is concerned and having some kind of idea that Mississippi is how it used to be, that’s one thing. It’s not necessarily a vacation destination too, if you would just generally want to go. Thirdly, I think people sometimes forget that there is an actual fan-base down there. If you’re talking about metropolitan cities, there are not really a lot of huge cities in Mississippi. So if you’re not really in touch with the ground-work, street team aspect in the deep south then you wouldn’t even understand or realize that you have a fan-base there.

Alabama is the same kind of place where people don’t necessarily always go to do shows. Arkansas is one of those places as well. I’m a strong believer in making my rounds in what people call the Chitlin’ circuit to kind of keep that foundation going, because a lot of those fans are going to be fans forever because they support the music 100% regardless of whether you have a hit record or not.

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