Mighty re­turn

Exclaim! - - SHOTS - By Kyle Mul­lim

BIG K. R. I.T. WILL LIKELY WIN OVER throngs of cu­ri­ous new fans with “Keep the Devil Off,” the gospel-in­fused sin­gle from his lat­est al­bum 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time, his first in three years. Mean­while the LP’s other re­cent sin­gle, “Con­fetti,” has enough car ref­er­ences and brag­gado­cio to sa­ti­ate the Mis­sis­sippi word­smith and beat­maker’s long­time fans. And yet, K.R.I.T.’s finest mo­ments on this be­he­moth 22-track al­bum may very well be found on the sub­dued deep cut “Layup.”

“I’m ex­cited about that song on a sleeper level,” K.R.I.T. (born Justin Scott) says of the breezy track, whose ev­ery­day hood de­tails and as­pi­ra­tional cho­rus make it a wor­thy suc­ces­sor to Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day,” and OutKast’s “Git Up, Git Out.”

Of the song’s em­pow­er­ing el­e­ments, K.R.I.T. says he merely wanted to cre­ate a song that says: “Man, you de­serve a layup if you’re out here hus­tlin.’ Go out and give it your all, and I hope you catch a layup, an easy bas­ket, an easy win.”

For K.R.I.T., such lucky breaks came early on. “My grand­mother al­lowed me to make mu­sic in her house, even though I was loud and cursed in my vo­cals, and did other things she frowned upon. Still, she let me be creative and grow as an artist in the kitchen of her home.”

Friends would later let him crash on their couches as he scraped by, build­ing a steady fol­low­ing in the mix­tape scene. Af­ter break­ing through, he felt like he got layups through work­ing with peers like Wiz Khal­ifa and idols like Bun B.

Now K.R.I.T. hopes to help rap’s next gen­er­a­tion “catch a layup” as he puts it. He hopes to do so “just by giv­ing back, help­ing other peo­ple fig­ure out how to get their mu­sic out, be­ing around peo­ple who are as pas­sion­ate about mu­sic as I am. That’s where I’m get­ting my layups now.

“Ma­te­rial things don’t do it any­more, you re­al­ize, it comes from the en­ergy that you share with peo­ple,” K.R.I.T. adds, be­fore say­ing that 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time clos­ing track “Bury Me in Gold” ex­plores that no­tion.

“Once you ac­quire a cer­tain amount of suc­cess and you re­al­ize it’s not enough, then you try to get more and that’s not enough, then you’re still search­ing to be com­plete, and a lot of that comes with in­ter­ac­tions with peo­ple, with help­ing and giv­ing. And that’s where you start to find some peace of mind,” K.R.I.T. says of that song’s themes. “I didn’t need all the ac­co­lades or ma­te­rial things. It’s more about be­ing ful­filled, and liv­ing life be­ing hap­pily with what I’ve re­ceived, and giv­ing that back ten­fold.”

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