Last King 2 (God's Machine)

Fast-rising Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. does lots of things well. He can flow on a track, produce a beat, spin a yarn and explicate the racial politics and semantic peculiarities of his stage name, in the quick of just a few lines: "What's a K.R.I.T.?/They think it's jigaboo/Why would I minstrel you?/You don't seem them dots?/It’s an acronym/Bitch, I thought you knew?" K.R.I.T.’s guest-packed, largely self-produced latest mixtape (his Def Jam debut is on the way) is a 22-song primer on his casual excellence. Over swank, soul-flavored beats, K.R.I.T. brags about his good reviews and trumpets his southern pride. ("While you was Kid N Playing/I was UGK-ing," he crows.) But it’s his profundity the humanism and vulnerability that he tucks into his rhymes that set him apart. "Too real to beg for meals/too proud to beg for help," he raps in the O.G. reminiscence "4 tha 1's." "I know about the slums and hard times/Folks and soup lines."

Listen to "Grippin' On The Wood":

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Artist to Watch: Big K.R.I.T. Continues the Dirty South Legacy