Big K.R.I.T.

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An uncannily loose yet precise rapper and accomplished producer, Big K.R.I.T. has continued in a lineage of Southern rap legends who include UGK, 8Ball and MJG, OutKast, and David Banner. He spent years honing his skills on the mixtape circuit before signing with Def Jam, a deal that led to the Top Ten albums Live from the Underground (2012) and Cadillactica (2014). K.R.I.T. has since been independent with his Multi Alumni label, the outlet for his third consecutive Top Ten full-length, 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time (2017), and a set of later EPs summarized as TDT (2019). He has either produced and/or appeared on material from the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, and Rick Ross, and continued releasing new work of his own like the 2021 mixtape A Style Not Quite Free and 2022 studio album Digital Roses Don't Die.
Born Justin Scott in Meridian, Mississippi, Big K.R.I.T. learned to play cello in childhood. Later on, as a fledgling rapper, he started producing tracks out of financial necessity, starting with MTV Music Generator on the Sony PlayStation. His early mixtapes began with See Me on Top in 2005 and culminated in 2010 with K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, released the year he signed with major-label Def Jam and was featured on tracks by Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y. In 2011, K.R.I.T. was included in XXL magazine’s annual Freshman Class feature, released Return of 4eva — acknowledged by Rolling Stone and Spin magazines as one of the year’s best releases — and assisted deep cuts from Freddie Gibbs, Smoke DZA, Ludacris, and Chamillionaire.
K.R.I.T.’s Def Jam stint began officially with Live from the Underground in 2012. Bolstered with input from 8Ball and MJG, Bun B, Devin the Dude, and Anthony Hamilton, the proper album entered the Billboard 200 at number five. The increasingly eclectic and substantive Cadillactica, another Top Ten hit, followed in 2014, the year K.R.I.T.’s productions also graced output headlined by Rick Ross and A$AP Ferg. While intermediary mixtape releases plugged gaps between albums, K.R.I.T. parted ways with Def Jam and launched Multi Alumni, an independent label. A third proper full-length, 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time, arrived in 2017 and continued his streak of Top Ten albums. The following year brought a trilogy of brief releases, Thrice X, Double Down, and Trifecta, eight tracks of which constituted the acronymically titled 2019 release TDT. Fourth studio album K.R.I.T. Iz Here arrived later in the year, with guests including Lil Wayne and J. Cole.
Over the next few years, K.R.I.T. appeared on tracks as a guest alongside Snoop Dogg, Erick Sermon, B.o.B, and others, and went entirely solo for his 2021 mixtape A Style Not Quite Free. In February 2022, he released his fifth studio album, Digital Roses Don't Die. The record’s funky and exploratory instrumentation showed up in the form of doo-wop backing vocals, smooth drums, and slinky guitar playing on lead single “Southside of the Moon.” ~ Andy Kellman & David Jeffries