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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

May 26, 2010 at 1:26 PM

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The three best songs on "K.R.I.T. Wuz Here"

Posted by Andrew Matson


It's hard to accept that Mississippi man Big K.R.I.T. gave away "K.R.I.T. Wuz Here" for free, but he did, and we're all going to have to wrap our heads around that. It might be the hiphop album of the year. Get it.

The album's a tour de force of Southern hiphop production and rapping, K.R.I.T. handling every detail of both, and absolutely the UGK-meets-Outkast mashup it's purported to be, trading between knucklehead swagger and genius rap sorcery on a dime. The beats are sample-based and multilayered but rooted in bounce/swing/blues, all immediately Southern-identifying, all smooth and crushing and best listened to on headphones or in a car. Best of all is the album's emotional swoop, a between-the-lines story of a hard-luck kid with closet writer-nerd tendencies and delusions of grandeur now made awesomely real. It's K.R.I.T.'s arrival statement, even though he's been rapping for years.

"Hometown Hero" by Big K.R.I.T.

The song starts drums-less, with British singer Adele's pop-Phillip Glass piano and belted-out vocals a sampled waterbed for K.R.I.T.'s lyrics. "Even at my worst, I'm the best," he says, escalating in volume and intensity as he hypothetically wins Grammys and dates Kim Kardashian. Speeding through traffic, he wraps his Maserati around a pole but lives to cash in, going post-tragedy platinum like Kanye West. By the time the track finally lifts off, K.R.I.T. is indeed "flyer than gravity," arcing over Mississippi though a controlled storm of drums and hi-hat triplets.

"Country S__t" by Big K.R.I.T.

A total eyes-widening, hold-your-face Southern rap headbanger, "Country S__t" makes one jump through one's seatbelt with furious giddiness, and is my favorite compacted-sample insta-anthem since Rich Boy's "Throw Some Ds." I love how potent every element is, the claps with triplets inside their triplets, the bass controlling the song's hard swing, K.R.I.T. digging deep into Pimp C's outrageous nasal drawl.

"Viktorious" by Big K.R.I.T.

Insanely densely written, "Viktorious" is about how Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia all had major rap breakthroughs but "Mississippi never had a run." David Banner's from Mississippi, and K.R.I.T. acknowledges that, but his seething verbal vigor and slow-burn piano arpeggios make him the state's new rap Jesus.

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