HipHopDX.com: Big K.R.I.T. – “It’s Better This Way” (Album Review)

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Big K.R.I.T. delivers with fervor, as he jumps into the 2015 ring in style with his surprise boom-bap fueled mixtape “It’s Better This Way.”

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” Those words originated from historic author and former Mississippi riverboat pilot Mark Twain in 1987, and to date, nothing written about Mississippi’s own Big K.R.I.T. rings truer. Since 2010’s K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, the emcee/producer has routinely released a plenitude of phenomenal material, subsequently amassed a frenzied fan base, and garnered almost unanimous respect from past legends of the game, current baton holders, and even Spike Lee. But in 2015, K.R.I.T.’s unfathomable absence from mainstream radio play is a much too absurd narrative for even the most imaginative novelist to conceive. As his reputation grows with each exceptional release, the utterly bizarre enigma has bewildered fans for five long years. But as K.R.I.T.’s new collaboration with DJ Drama suggests, it’s better this way.

Although there is not one single facet of K.R.I.T.’s kaleidoscopic musical depository that summarily accounts for his ingenuity, typically his most compelling endeavors are when he is detoxing his soul via forthright bars and vehemently venting his frustrations, like “Mt. Olympus” and of course, “The Vent.” Immediately following Drama’s customary braggadocio proverbing, It’s Better This Way launches with K.R.I.T. discharging rousing, confessional bars over a jazzy, organ-driven soundboard provided by Kenneth Wallum III. After lyrically crescendoing to an impassioned climax, K.R.I.T. lightens the mood with “86,” revisiting a few of his logotype subjects and taking over production duties. Like “Rotation,” “Me and My Old School Guitar” or “Cadillactica,” crisp vintage whips become an emblem of life while concurrently functioning as a car stereo banger.

Corresponding with the vintage talk of Monte Carlos and Cadillacs, for the majority of the tape K.R.I.T. experiments with oldschool soundscapes more so than previous releases. Similarly to other masters of the craft, K.R.I.T. is foremost a fan of music and musician secondarily. This affords him the keen ability to fiddle with and manipulate various genres for gratifying results, like the fusion of melodic G-Funk and clean Dirty South bounce on “No Static,” featuring Warren G on the chorus. “Shakem Off” is cloaked in the same energy as an early No Limit record, with Ludacris and K. Camp exuding chemistry together despite their disparate styles. Less starry company accompany K.R.I.T. on “Got Me Thru,” but Delorean and B.I.G. Sant are equally animated in their efforts to match the authentic fervor of K.R.I.T. as the collective trio examine their respective struggles to be heard – both literally and figuratively speaking.

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Music Premiere: Big K.R.I.T. – It’s Better This Way [Mixtape] (Narrated By DJ DRAMA)

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Mississippi’s own Big K.R.I.T. announces the release of his mixtape It’s Better This Way.

It’s Better This Way, narrated by DJ DRAMA, follows up the critically acclaimed Cadillactica (2014), which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart first week. Billboard called Cadillactica K.R.I.T.’s “best and most cohesive work to date.”

His latest song, “86,” released in August, will be featured on the 14-song project. Check out the full tracklist below w/ features by Warren G, Ludacris, K Camp Young Dolph, Wolfe De MCHLS, BJ The Chicago Kid & more.

The “Kritically Acclaimed” tour kicks off on October 22 in Norfolk, VA and ends on December 18 in Atlanta, GA. Big K.R.I.T. will be stopping through major cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and more. Tickets are on sale now at BigKRIT.com.

“It’s Better This Way” Tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. King Pt. 4 (Produced by Kenneth Whalum)
3. 86 (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
4. No Static feat. Warren G (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
5. Piece On Chain (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
6. Shakem Off feat. Ludacris & K Camp (Produced by WOLFE de MÇHLS)
7. How Bout That Money feat. Young Dolph (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
8. In the Darkness feat. Wolfe De MCHLS (Produced by WOLFE de MÇHLS)
9. Vanilla Sky (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
10. Got Me Thru feat. DeLorean, Big SANT & Scar (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
11. Cant Be Still feat. BJ The Chicago Kid (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
12. Keep It Boomin (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
13. Party Tonight (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
14. It’s Better This Way (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)

It’s Better This Way (Production Credits)

King Pt. 4 (Produced by Kenneth Whalum)

86 (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
Bass & Guitar by Mike Hartnett

No Static (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
Bass by Kenneth Harris
Additional Rhodes and Synth by WLPWR for SupaHotBeats

Piece On Chain (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)

Shakem Off (Produced by WOLFE de MÇHLS)

How Bout That Money (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
Additional Drum Programming and Piano by Thomas Burroughs

In The Darkness (Produced by WOLFE de MÇHLS)
Additional Vocals by Nina Milan

Vanilla Sky (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
Additional Drum Programming by WOLFE de MÇHLS
Additional Saxophone by Kenneth Whalum
Background Vocals Nina Milan

Got Me Thru (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
Bass & Guitar by Mike Hartnett

Can’t Be Still (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)
Additional Piano by Sk The Producer
Additional Vocals by Nina Milan

Keep It Boomin (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)

Party Tonight (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)

It’s Better This Way (Produced by Big K.R.I.T.)

Music Engineered by Micah “EngineeredByWOLF” Wyatt