When Big K.R.I.T. admitted to us during Elliott Wilson’s CRWN series that he dropped the ball on his major debut Live From the Underground, it cemented him as a real artist in my book. Any rapper than can admit that a work they put forth was subpar is one to check for. One thing that does though, is put a considerable amount of pressure on their follow up. Perhaps that’s exactly what K.R.I.T. was going for leading up to the release of Cadillactica. Sure the concept may be difficult to grasp at first, but from start to finish K.R.I.T. delivers and shows progression from his previous work.
Cadillactica as he explains it is a planet of his own, where the soul and funk come from. And so we open with “Kreation”; an introduction to the album’s concept. Here K.R.I.T. “takes his time” over his own production for a clear landing. K.R.I.T. turns it up a notch on the uplifting “Life.” The rapper cruises through deep space accompanied by thumping drums. “I found life on this planet dammit I’ve been damaged..but I can manage I won’t take this for granted” he passionately raps. And you need the right speakers for “My Sub, Part 3,” because it absolutely bangs. The third ode to his subwoofers, K.R.I.T. compares the sounds of his system to that of the Universe and evolution, which makes for an odd but brilliant listen.
K.R.I.T. has always been a one man show. Known for handling all his production himself in the past, here he lets up a bit by letting other talent step in. Raphael Saadiq assists on “Soul Food,” for an infectious chorus and instrumental leaving K.R.I.T. to just bring the bars. Those home cooked meals we love serve as a deeper metaphor here. “Aromas on the corner, these the soul, they say
Some greens just can’t be cleaned and you can’t wash out the taste of rotten roots salted looks and herbs If it ain’t made with love then it ain’t fit to serve, I heard”.
Where he slows things down for “Pay Attention,” he picks it right back up for the bravely titled “King of the South.” Make no mistake though, this is no jab at T.I., but the Mississippi native is raising the bar when it comes to southern rappers. Your move, Tip.
What can be appreciated about the latter half of Cadillactica, is K.R.I.T. spends the majority of the time bringing the record together with the concept still fresh in mind. Every feature is complimentary, (yes even the pairing of E-40 and Wiz Khalifa on “Mind Control”). Somehow he manages to get these artists not only on the same page, but takes them along for this endless journey. Almost as if the listeners are moved to the backseat to make room for their contribution. Compelling. Cadillactica is one of the better trips you’ll take this year. And with K.R.I.T. as a tour guide, it’s more than worth your time.