"Big K.R.I.T. makes really powerful music that people should listen to," says SPIN music editor Charles Aaron. "He raps in such a way that you really feel his life unvarnished, not cartoonishly and not as a caricature."
That's why the 24-year-old Mississippi MC, real name Justin Scott, landed on SPIN's 40 Best Albums of 2010 list for his self-released, free download K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, an opus that stands up alongside other classic hip-hop albums like Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's Mecca and the Soul Brother.
This year finds K.R.I.T. (King Remembered in Time) preparing to drop another free download album March 22, called Return of 4Eva, and a major label debut on Def Jam this summer. But right now he just released an EP called The Wuz Here Sessions, a collaboration with Bay Area R&B act Grillade -- and it's for a good cause. Download "Hometown Hero" off the EP right here, and watch the video below.
LISTEN: Big K.R.I.T. & Grillade, "Hometown Hero"(DOWNLOAD MP3)
Available via Yours Truly, the vinyl version of the EP comes with handwritten letters from K.R.I.T. and Grillade, custom artwork, and digital versions of the songs -- plus every $12 purchase includes a donation to the Roots of Music Foundation, which works to infuse music in the lives of youth in New Orleans. A digital-only version of the EP is also available.
"His music is so emotionally overwhelming when it hits you," Aaron says of K.R.I.T., and "Hometown Hero" is a perfect example. A lilting guitar solo accompanies K.R.I.T.'s Southern drawl, which offers an ode to his "stomping grounds" in Meridian, Miss., and features a rousing hook sung by Grillade's Ragen Fykes.
What do you think of "Hometown Hero"? Sound off in the comments.