19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Refreshingly Original, Creative, Thought-Provoking, Introspective, and Conceptual,
This review is from: Live From The Underground [Explicit] (Audio CD)
First off, this album is refreshingly original, creative, thought-provoking, introspective, and conceptual. People are comparing this piece of work (really a piece of art) to his first 2 classic free albums (mixtapes) 'Krit Wuz Here', and 'Return of 4eva'. Those are special in their own unique ways, presented by K.R.I.T. (King Remembered In Time) at very particular moments in his life and career. However, people need to understand that those were independent releases in which Krit had total creative control. With this album, he had to deal with the pressures of major label behind-the-scenes people telling him what he had to do. Where most rappers are ready to sell out on their debut, Big Krit has stayed true to himself, and also shows artistic growth with this album. You can tell he is very passionate about his music and puts his fans above everything else. It is very hard nowadays to find a major label, mainstream album that has an underground sound. 'Live From The Underground' is one of those exceptions.
This album is very cinematic and has some very good story-telling tracks with great background sounds and effects that make the tracks (and the overall album) larger than life and quite movie-ish. An example would be the instant classic track 'Praying Man' ft B.B. King that sucks you in and takes you on a ride, taking on the different perspectives Krit throws into that track. The start of the album, with the intro followed by the self-titled track, really sets off the album. The intro starts off with a woman's voice telling you to "not be alarmed, you have activated a pre-recording" almost as if this album is being listened to in the future. The beat then plays (which is quite ambient and chill) and Krit just preaches knowledge (as usual) over the beat, through talking rather than rapping. Which is fine because I could personally listen to the man speak for hours, especially speaking the truth. Krit also self-produced this album, which you have to show respect for. The beats are dope and the fact that Krit produced them all helps maintain the theme of the album, and his vision as well.
The second track 'Live from the Underground' has a little skit towards the end, where you hear something flying through the air (almost like an air craft or spaceship) followed by a crash into the ground. A door opens and you hear Krit running in distraught. This is a direct connection to the cover art of the album, and this blew my mind away. It turns out that it was Krit that crash landed his whip (spaceship/time machine) into the ground. This appealed to me because it shows that Krit is not from this time or planet and sets the mood for the rest of the album, which is very atmospheric. Quite a journey. It's almost as if this album is today's version of OutKast's 'ATLiens', but even then I don't want to compare it because Krit is still original and has his own style. After Krit crash lands, you hear a man's voice asking Krit, "Are you okay down there?" Krit replies, "Yea, I'm fine. But where am I?" The man tells him, "You're in the mainstream, this is A&R-ville. Where are you from?" Krit tells him, "From the underground. For short, the South." I just thought it was perfect how Krit blended all this together and acknowledged the transformation that the mainstream labels pulls on its artists.
The album then leads off into some dirty south bangers and then a mixture of some uplifting records. About half of the records is country/dirty south, and the other half is uplifting/soulful. He has something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the hooks are simple and catchy, like his lead singles, and at other times, the hooks are nothing short of blissfulness. Examples of this would be records such as 'Don't Let Me Down', 'Porchlight', 'If I fall', 'Hydroplaning', and 'Praying Man'. Dope features and I like that the project isn't flooded with unnecessary guest appearances as if it were a collaboration album. This project is simply meant to showcase Krit's natural talent. Ludacris also kills his verse on 'What U Mean', which was a surprise after all the Bieber/Ludacris collaborations out there. Also has legendary southern acts Ball & G and Bun B. Lots of the southern legends show Krit love, and he still remains humble. An OutKast feature would have added to the greatness of the album, but you can't have it all, especially for a debut. The B.B. King feature is incredible and that record alone is worth buying this album. Overall, Big Krit continues with his formula with his previous records and this is another win.
Although there are moments with this project where it is quite noticeable that its label left its mark on the album with songs like 'Yea Dats Me' and 'I Got This', Big Krit still manages to bring forth what everyone has grown to love about him: his honesty, his passion, his trials & tribulations, his soulfulness, and his ability to connect with the listener that makes for a very relatable listening experience. With all that said, this album should not be compared or rated in relation to his previous works, but to take this album for what it is - A major label debut, and not an underground independent release. And for a major label debut, this album surely stands out in it's own lane in a period of time where 95% of mainstream hip-hop is watered down, dumbed down, and overall just brainwashing to society. Krit is wise beyond his years and proves with this album that he knows how to make timeless music. One of the best new cats doing it right now and has a great future ahead of him; a future that will make him a legend when it's all said and done. He's surely on his way.
It's no secret that Krit can be very deep at times, and really requires you to listen deeply. Krit is not just a rapper, he's an artist. A poet. And he is not one dimensional like most cats in the game today. He is quite versatile actually. He has his country tunes, his dirty south tunes, his soulful tunes, a pleasant singing voice, and even mixes it up with some jazz and blues vibes in his records. There are tracks on here that you can throw on and jam to and party to, but then there are tracks that make you want to listen to them alone in peace and in dim lights, just vibing with the realness and authenticity that is Krit's presence. This album almost seems futuristic and ahead of it's time compared to the music today. With that said, my own personal opinion is that this album is a classic. I'm from Michigan and I love this album, but then again I am open-minded and aware of genuine hip-hop when I hear it. If you have never listened to Krit, give this album a chance, I'm sure it will grow on you. And go pick up his other mixtapes as well. This album is my favorite so far this year along with Ab-Soul's 'Control System'. Krit is the truth.