Big K.R.I.T.

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
by Jana Birchum

Big K.R.I.T.

Lustre Pearl, Thursday, March 14

We fell for Big K.R.I.T. – for his earnestness. Plenty of Southern rappers like to party, but few do it with such integrity, self-awareness, and grace. K.R.I.T. loves and loathes the game and the players. He's got real soul, from the wheelbarrow R&B rust in his production to his willingness to be self-effacing. One of his best songs, "Red Eye," remains the greatest and most real depiction of a distancing relationship strained by a life on tour. It's not a fact of life most other rappers would be willing to explore, much less admit. Of course the Mississippi-bred K.R.I.T. spent no time dwelling on that harshness during his 40-minute Lustre Pearl set. It's much easier to rap about big tires and bigger triumphs in front of beaming faces. The liveliest cuts plucked from across all four of his major efforts, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, Return of 4eva, 4eva N a Day, and last year's expert Live From the Underground, elastic Southern drawl stretched wildly over sawdust grooves. We moved, we chanted, we rarely thought about greater implications or muddy problems. K.R.I.T. breathes fire with the best of them.

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