“One album I’m still kicking
Def Jam, tell ‘em I’m still with it
Tell ‘em I’m still winning, tell ‘em I’m still in it” – Big K.R.I.T. from “R.E.M.“
Expectations were high when Meridian, MS’s Big K.R.I.T. signed with Def Jam Records back in 2010. Known for his most well received mixtape, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, fans of the underground rapper was excited that he was receiving a chance to shine on a mainstream level. Those expectations hit the wall when his 2012 major label debut Live from the Underground failed to connect with listeners. He wasn’t dropped from the label and decided to give it another shot with his latest release, Cadillactica. The album was recorded over the past year and features production from Raphael Saadiq, Terrace Martin, Jim Jonsin and K.R.I.T. himself.
“How about, let’s just be perfect
And let us not pretend that we ain’t made in God’s images
Let’s make good on these promises and be perfect
How about let’s be perfect” – Big K.R.I.T. from “Kreation (Intro)“
Cadillactica begins with “Kreation (Intro)” where K.R.I.T. is giving listeners a beginning as in life for this album. On “Life“, K.R.I.T. kicks it up a notch as he talks about still pushing on even though he’s had some setbacks (“I found life, in the darkest of times/How can I describe what’s God’s design/With these faulty eyes that often lie/Stars shine bright but they often die“). The album’s debut single “Pay Attention” which also features Rico Love, is a smooth jam where he’s tossing money to the strippers but the main one he was looking for, he ignored her (“And everybody know it, chain still glowin’/Kick it with my folk that ain’t been here before/Thought I seen everything I can see on the low/Wish I seen from the door that you the best of the best/Make a broke motherfucker thumb through a check“). The album’s title track serves as the second single as K.R.I.T. provides the knock for the classic car systems (“Slabbin round, my windows down, you hear the sound/That sonic boom, that ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-bass/That shake your baby momma crib/Pardon me if I phone home 4000 miles away from where you at/If you ain’t holdin back I can take your whip“). The current single is “Soul Food” which features Raphael Saadiq is one that I really connected with when I first heard the album. The first verse where he’s comparing trappers to those doing acrobats and running from the cops as means to being a track star was dope (“The acrobats on the corner, they flip/So when them white vans pull up, shawty, we dip/Out of view, could’ve been a track star at the school/But it took the police just to get that .44 out of you/Dash, sprint, hurdle, over those steel gates“). The second verse, I can truly vibe with because as I’ve gotten older, the ones that I grew up with just aren’t the same anymore (“Nah, we ain’t got no rubbers here/I know she creepin’ so that ain’t my son/Apples fall off of trees and roll down hills/We can’t play games no more cause we got bills/Back in the day, the yard was oh so filled/Now nobody comes around here“)
K.R.I.T. handles most of the production duties on Cadillactica but it was also great to see that he collaborated with others to expand his sound. This is evident on the DJ Dahi produced “Third Eye” as K.R.I.T. sees the woman that he wants to build the future with (“I apologise if I’m oh so ol’ fashioned/But I’m passionate about your passions/More intrigued with your mind/Than your ass and your assets/I’m asking how you feel/If I told you that I knew heaven was real/Cause only God could create something that gives me chills/So angelic and so surreal, I’m being sincere that“). Alex da Kid lends his assistance on the album’s best track “Saturdays = Celebration” where K.R.I.T. talks about the on goings of life and death (“Uh, look to God if ain’t nowhere to go/Beware those prophets that touch a leg before they touch your soul/We reap what the sow when the boat man cometh/Gotta pay what we owe/Jesus walks so I run to him/How can they love me when I’m knowin’ what they done to him“)
“You actually fooled these people into thinkin’
That your music was innovative
Rap battlin’ never got me out of no public housin’
You tellin’ me I can be King of Hip-Hop
And they wouldn’t give it to Andre 3000?” – Big K.R.I.T. from “Mt. Olympus (Reprise)“
Cadillactica is K.R.I.T.’s way of getting listeners to wake the hell up. Album is dope from beginning to end and if this doesn’t convince people, then I don’t know what the hell will.