Anyone who lives in the southeast and claims to be a hip-hop head will know Big K.R.I.T. He doesn’t necessarily have the mainstream appeal that radio stations are looking for which may limit the exposure the public has of him, but he’s been putting out high quality, soul-filled music for a number of years now that has undeniably landed him in the company of the elite in hip-hop today. The way I look at it, if you were mentioned by Kendrick Lamar in his “Control” verse that almost shut down the internet last August, you’re a household name in the rap community and a part of a small group of individuals who will be responsible for the direction of the hip-hop genre as a whole for the foreseeable future. I don’t think K.R.I.T. takes that lightly and that is evident in the amount of time and effort he puts into creating his music – writing, recording and producing – which in turn makes a product that leaves you just wanting more. Furthermore, by staying true to his southern roots and heritage, K.R.I.T. has managed to carve out his own distinct lane in the hip-hop genre that is paralleled by none.
Now, on to the show.
Upon arriving to Amos Southend I wasn’t surprised to see the lines extending around the corner and down the road a few hundred yards. He might not be a household name yet, but Charlotteans were no stranger to Big K.R.I.T. He’s performed in the Queen City at least 3 times in the past two years or so and has yet to let anyone down. Once inside, I managed to get some primetime “seating” at the center of the stage a few rows back. There were a number of local artists that opened – including The Koolest, Stranger Day, and Charlotte’s own Elevator Jay – with DJ Dexter Dynamite on the 1’s and 2’s. If you have some time, check these guys out and give them a listen.
Next up was Two-9. Now I don’t claim to know a lot about them, but from what I gather, they’re a hip-hop collective from Atlanta, GA that is essentially a dirty south Wu-Tang Clan. I do, however, have the Danco James mixtape that Curtis Williams just dropped so I’m somewhat familiar with him. It seemed he was the lead artist of the group, as he donned a black leather jacket and some wild hair held back by a bandana – Jimmy Hendrix-esque if you will. They played to a crowd who seemed to have a mixed reaction to their music, but all in all it was pretty entertaining. I did have a chance to talk to Curtis a little after the show, but unfortunately didn’t have time to get a photo – I told him that I wanted to hear “Shenanigans” from his latest tape and he was like “aww yeah” and then did the Metro Boomin tag “Metro Boomin want some more N*gga!”.
Finally, after hours of anticipation, K.R.I.T. was set to perform. DJ DiBiase was set up at the DJ booth, whose front was now a Cadillac grille with dimly flashing purple lights. Some smoke filled the stage floor and out came Krizzle to “King Without A Crown”. All hell broke loose. The crowd was rapping word for word with K.R.I.T. and jumping up and down in unison with the beat. It felt like some kind of southern fried, soulful earthquake going on and I was in the center of it. K.R.I.T. played for close to an hour and half, doing songs from almost every project he’s dropped in the last 4 years in preparation for his upcoming album, Cadillactica (that will be dropping on November 11th of this year). I got down the majority of the set list and listed the projects they came from:
King Without a Crown (King Remembered In Time)
Country Shit (K.R.I.T. Wuz Here)
Talkin’ Bout Nothin (King Remembered In Time)
Somethin’ Right (See Me On Top Vol. 4)
New Agenda (See Me On Top Vol. 4)
Lac Lac (Week of K.R.I.T.)
Rotation (Return of 4Eva)
Riding Dirty (See Me On Top Vol. 4)
My Trunk (King Remembered In Time)
Believe Me Freestyle (See Me On Top Vol. 4)
My Sub (Return of 4Eva)
Only One (King Remembered In Time)
Temptation (4Eva N A Day)
Pay Attention (Lead Single – Cadillactica)
Mind F*ck (See Me On Top Vol. 4)
Cool To Be Southern (Live From The Underground)
Rapped some UGK “Sippin on Sizzurp”
Return of 4Eva w/ Big Sant (K.R.I.T. Wuz Here)
Made Alot w/ Big Sant (Return of 4Eva)
Pull Up w/ Big Sant (Live From The Underground)
How U Luv That w/ Big Sant (King Remembered In Time)
I Got This (Live From The Underground)
Just Last Week (King Remembered In Time)
R.E.M. (King Remembered In Time)
The Vent (Return of 4Eva)
Mt. Olympus (See Me On Top Vol. 4/Cadillactica)
From the minute Krizzle stepped on stage and the music came on, you were immersed in the sound and the feel of it all – the beats, the lights, the energy – it was more of an experience than it was a concert. It truly was an amazing show and I would highly encourage anyone with the possibility of seeing it to do so.
Lastly, when I did purchase my tickets, I did happen to buy one that included a VIP meet & greet after the show’s conclusion. Security wasn’t particularly thrilled with everyone hanging around after the show and limited the amount of time you had to talk to Krizzle, but I did manage to tell him that I loved his music and that he put on a great show. He was very thankful and appreciated me coming out to support him. We took a photo and before I had to go I managed to ask him if we as fans could expect Country Cousins to come anytime soon.For those who don’t know, this is a joint project with Yelawolf that has been rumored to be coming for some time now with no set release date. K.R.I.T. replied, “We’re each doing our own thing right now and we’re each in our own space, but yea we’ll definitely be putting it out at some point.” It’s not like I got a release date or anything for it, but it was more than I was expecting to hear. And now as I write this, I am genuinely excited for that project too, on top of Cadillactica.