By D.L. Chandler, with reporting by Jayson Rodriguez
Meridian, Mississippi MC/producer Big K.R.I.T. has become one of the most compelling rap acts of 2010 — and the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust justly placed the 24 year-old rapper alongside some other notable names in the Mixtape Daily Year-End Awards' Top 10 Mixtapes of 2010 list. RapFix is celebrating the awards with behind-the-scenes interviews featuring North Carolina's J.Cole, Mississippi's Big K.R.I.T. and Illinois' L.E.P Bogus Boys on the making of their award-winning projects.
Big K.R.I.T. — which stands for King Remembered In Time — released the critically-acclaimed K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, as a free download mixtape initially. The project was so well-received that the syrupy-voiced K.R.I.T. eventually inked a deal with Island Def Jam, prompting his new label to make the freebie an actual release. On one of the album’s strongest tracks "Hometown Hero," K.R.I.T. shared with MTV News the background on how the song was created, using British vocalist Adele’s "Hometown Glory" as source material.
"Adele was introduced to me by a guitarist named Mike Hartnett that plays for a band called Rehab,"
K.R.I.T. said. "We was just riding around and he was like, 'Man have you heard this soul singer Adele?' and I was like 'Nah!' and we just rode to the whole CD and it got to 'Hometown Glory' and I was like 'Man I have to sample that!' "
For the video, K.R.I.T. returned to his roots to shoot the visuals and the native son broke down some of the finer details behind the making of the video.
"The video was shot in my hometown like actually in Meridian, Mississippi and we all was there and it was mad cold," K.R.I.T. explained. "It was like 10 or 11 o’clock at night and my city was shut completely down. So if you look at it, it’s never any cars passing by and there’s never any people around … it really just set the tone for it to be more of an emotional and personal song."
Entirely produced by K.R.I.T. himself, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here is 19-track album featuring red-hot rappers (and Smokers Club Tour mates) Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa as well as upstart Smoke DZA and the veteran rapper-crooner, Devin the Dude.
Big K.R.I.T.'s K.R.I.T. Wuz Here made the MTV News Mixtape Daily Year-End Awards, winning a slot on the top 10 mixtapes of 2010. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Did we miss anything? Share your picks for the best mixtapes of 2010 by tweeting us at @MTVRapFix or leave us a comment below!
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.