Every notable Big K.R.I.T. release has served a purpose. K.R.I.T. Wuz Here was an introduction of sorts; a coming out party to let everyone know who he was. Return of 4 Eva was his project to bear more of his soul. 4 Eva N A Day was the concept record based on “a day in the life” of K.R.I.T. Therefore, Live From The Underground serves a particular position: enlightenment on the underbelly happenings of southerners through country rap tunes.
Many people missed this fact when they listened to the album. They either didn’t feel it measured to his previous material or was imbalanced (too much “carnal slams” and not enough “earthly jams”.)
Sorry, Charlie. This is that album to make people understand the southern in its dirtiest proposition.
If the listener pays attention to the references of the album, they will understand. Jams like “Cool To Be Southern” and “I Got This” are so countrified that one can feel the essence of harmonica playing, fried food eating, and jook joints in their aura. The carnal intentions of Memphis/Texas influenced “Money On The Floor”, the hormonally charged “What U Mean”, and the late-night-creep gone wrong “My Sub Pt. 2” alludes to street lore that occurs. “Pull Up” is dedicated to riding clean in the most admirable vehicle in the hood. In short, many of the songs shed an introspective light of shifty happenings in the hood. Yet, those shifty happenings bring about some social understanding and reflection.
“Porchlight” reminds us of the dedication of late night work for the greater good (legal or illegal). “Don’t Let Me Down” looks at the harmful side of hood activities and the depression it causes. Even with historical references to slavery (Underground Railroad) are apparent on “Praying Man”. From the positive, to the historical, there is always something dealing with the “underground” on this album.
Live From The Underground is the quintessential album to explain and analyze the “southern underground”. All the violence, sexual mishaps, crime, poverty, struggle, and historical understandings are explained for the sake of exposing and understanding its hidden truths. Maybe the album serves as a reminder of what we already understand. Or maybe it exists to present some understanding to those that don’t get it. Whatever the case may be, K.R.I.T. presented an album exposing the underbelly for examination. With a jamming soundtrack and sophisticated lyrics, he should be applauded. My suggestion: pay attention because everything has a determination and a reason.
Album review submitted by contributing writer, Mark A. Harris.
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