Big K.R.I.T. may be a new artist, but the standout Mississippi MC has an old musical soul. On Tuesday, K.R.I.T. released his debut album, Live From the Underground, and while he features quite a few artists on his LP, the one that stands out the most is blues legend B.B. King.
"I think doing a record with B.B. King allowed me the opportunity to blend two different generations across the board and make a song that I hope is extremely impactful," the King Remembered in Time told MTV News correspondent Sway, Ed Lover and Doctor Dre when he appeared on "RapFix Live" on Wednesday. The record is "Praying Man," a poignant story-driven rap on which K.R.I.T. rhymes from the perspective of three slaves who are facing death. During the first verse he rhymes as a slave hanging from a tree in a noose and in the second he tells the story of a slave jumps off his captive ship into the Atlantic Ocean. On the final verse, K.R.I.T. spits about a man running from a lynch mob. It's all pretty deep and a far cry from most of today's rap fare.
"All three of these people are dead, but they're rappin' to you as if they didn't know and the praying man that they're talking about is death coming to take them from their situation," the producer/MC explained of the track's concept. "When I was working on the record I was like, 'Yo, this would be crazy if I got B.B. King on the song.' "
Krizzle's wishful thinking eventually turned into a reality. "I was actually able to make it happen. He heard the record, he loved it and he also played the guitar on it. He gave it his own feel as well," K.R.I.T. said before he confirmed that he will also shoot a video for the song. "I'm excited for people to hear it and when we do shoot a visual, because I know we got to, it gotta be cinematic."
Coming from the South, K.R.I.T., who built his buzz by releasing a trilogy of free mixtapes, felt it was his duty to tell these types of stories on his album after hearing stories about the civil rights movement from his grandmother. "It's important that I talk about all that. It's a lot of people that died for me to have the opportunity that I have now, just the freedom," he said. "It shouldn't be forgotten as far as the past is concerned."
What is your favorite song off Big K.R.I.T.'s Live From the Underground? Let us know in the comments!