"It originally started as 'Kritikal' and people couldn't pronounce that. It was very difficult goin' to showcases and people messin' that name up," the rapper/producer said of his original moniker, which he eventually shortened. "I came up with an acronym that really meant somethin' to me, and I came up with King Remembered in Time. It's a humble way of sayin' I'm gonna be a king in my lane, a king in my music."
Conceived in 2005 on MTV Jams, the Fab 5 is a collection of the most outstanding new hip-hop artists of the year who have made a visible impact on the road to releasing their debut albums. Fab 5 alumni include
The 24-year-old Mississippi MC broke through when he rapped and did all the beats on his 2010 independent album K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. The tape was distinctly Southern, with its soulful beats and heartfelt raps. Songs like "Hometown Hero" and "Viktorious" displayed a unique passion and earned K.R.I.T. comparisons to rap greats like UGK and OutKast. He was signed to Def Jam records later that year, and in February 2011, the eventual king was announced as one of XXL magazine's 2011 Freshmen and appeared on the publication's April cover.
"Big K.R.I.T. is just a soulful artist from Meridian, Mississippi, really tryin' to make music that people can relate to," he told MTV News. "I wanna showcase where I'm from and how I grew up and the morals that I got from my grandmamma and things of that nature. Just really make timeless music and kinda pull my weight as far as production and lyrical content and subject matter. I think that's extremely important."
This past March, the rapper/producer released his last indie album Return of 4eva as a free Internet download, and in September he is scheduled to drop his major label debut Live From the Underground.
If Big K.R.I.T. keeps things up, he'll be wearing the crown in no time. Not that he'd ever be satisfied though. "At the end of the day, I still have to live up to my name," he said. "I should never become comfortable in the lane that I'm in or the type of music I make. I should always try to do better."
Check back next Monday to find out who will join Big K.R.I.T., Meek Mill, Big Sean and Future in the Fab 5. And check out "RapFix Live," where each artist will be highlighted