After three successful mixtapes Big K.R.I.T. releases his first commercial album, Live From the Underground. The King Remembered in Time (K.R.I.T.) has created a following by making appearances on projects with Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa, T.I. and Ludacris just to name a few. His underground success is attributed to quality music. Krit Waz Here, Return of 4eva and his most recent 4eva N A Day all have quality of full-fledged albums. Live From the Underground has been a long time coming for this “underground” rapper.
Big K.R.I.T. brings back an old school Outkast feel to Live From the Underground. From the opening track “LFU300MA,” you feel like you are going to be listening to true southern hip-hop. K.R.I.T. produced this entire album. He decided to produce all of his first commerical album because it would be a “milestone” for him. The new crop of rappers have rapping and producing skills. J. Cole recently produced a majority of his album Cole World: The Sideline Story. That album went on to have critical and commercial success. The same will be said for K.R.I.T. , his album has a consistent sound. The use of real instruments on this project are a highlight. The guitar rifts on “Don’t Let Me Down” and the BB King assisted “Praying Man” are excellent.
Compared to his other projects Live From the Underground is somewhat of a lyrical disappointment. The difference between his flawless lyrics on Krit Waz Here and Live From the Underground is repetition. One the track “Cool 2 Be Southern” K.R.I.T. chants “We make it cool to be southern.” While the beat has an excellent use of horns the lyrics don’t match up. K.R.I.T. doesn’t show that hunger that he had on his mixtapes. The production is at such a high quality it is difficult for the lyrics to live up to the beats. There are bright spots on the album on the Devin the Dude assisted “Hyrdoplaning” K.R.I.T. spits, “Had that smoke that smelled like dumpster/Something missing, I’m way too high to talk my pimping/So I sip my Remy, that’s when I first got tunnel vision.” Live From the Underground gives a great insight into the struggle and grind about reaching success. K.R.I.T. raps about struggling to make it in the song “Porchlight” featuring Anthony Hamilton. Lyrically the album could be better because of K.R.I.T.’s previous work but it is still an above average album lyrically.
This album is a stepping stone in Big K.R.I.T.’s career. There not any huge hits that will come off this album but this is a great body of work. Live From the Underground has a consistent sound which can not be said for most hip-hop albums today. An Outkast influence can be heard. Anyone that is a fan of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik will be a fan of Big K.R.I.T. and Live From the Underground. There were high expectations for this album because K.R.I.T.’s mixtapes sounded like albums. The expectation was that this album would exceed the mixtapes. Though that did not happen on Live From the Underground it is still a good album.
Big K.R.I.T. – Live From the Underground: 3.5/5
Stream the entire album at NPR.org: Live From the Underground (Album Stream)