If any rappers are overlooking Big K.R.I.T. right now, that’s okay; he’s overlooking them, too. The Mississippi MC and producer seamlessly melded Dirty South grit and conscious-rap ethics on 2012’s excellent Live From the Underground, and he mapped out his no-longer-so-underground place in the hip-hop landscape on last year’s slightly disappointing King Remembered in Time (the guest list includes Future, Bun B, Trinidad James, BJ the Chicago Kid, and more). More recently, K.R.I.T. has been gearing up for planned sophomore album Cadillactica with one-off tracks like “Wolf on Wall Street.”
Turns out he’s been holding something back. The Billboard-premiered “Mt. Olympus,” billed as the first single from Cadillactica, is at once a return to K.R.I.T.’s country-rap first principles and a word-drunk exploration of how far those can go. It’s also a way of calling out other rappers as mere mortals. Rather than hop on the “Control” beat to address Kendrick Lamar’s passing name-check of him, K.R.I.T. goes off on his own beat — self-produced — and brushes aside attempts at controversy-mongering as so much fiction (“Rap shit ’bout as real as Santa”). Then this rapper, “lyrical all the sudden” though he “thought they wanted trap, thought they wanted bass,” works up to his own “Control”-lling frenzy: “What’s good for hip-hop might not be good for my soul,” he concludes. Part of K.R.I.T.’s artistic promise has always been that he could be both.
Here’s K.R.I.T. speaking to Vibe last year: