Mississippi's own Big K.R.I.T. has a brand new mixtape, It's Better This Way, hosted by DJ Drama and out today on DatPiff. Stream it and get the free MP3 download above, via DatPiff.
It's Better This Way is a lot more chilled out than K.R.I.T.'s excellent 2014 album, Cadillactica. Although this is a freebie, the quality is extremely high and the material is all fresh and original. K.R.I.T. is one of the most talented rappers on the hip hop scene, and he shows he's continuing to evolve and give people things to think about.
The 14-track mixtape clocks in at just under 50 minutes. 10 of the 13 songs were produced by K.R.I.T. while WOLFE de MÇHLS produced two and Kenneth Whalum produced one. The intro track doesn't have a producer credit, and it's worth mentioning that the volume is so low on that track that it's actually hard to hear what he's saying without turning the volume way up.
"King Pt. 4" gets the music going with an uplifting tale of struggle with gorgeous production that features samples of jazzy horns, keyboards, and drums. Beginning with a clever intro about all the things that happened in 1986, "86" is a bass-heavy anthem that sounds like a continuation of "My Sub Pt. 3 (Bang Bang)," with bass and guitar provided by Mike Hartnett.
Warren G guests on the mellow "No Static" that calls back to classic G-Funk hip hop with the sounds of vintage drum machine samples and and vinyl scratches. Kenneth Harris also guests on the track, providing slick and dynamic bass playing. "Piece On Chain" is about as hard as it gets, setting the stage for the dance-friendly funky groove of "Shakem Off," which features production by WOLFE de MÇHLS, a slick verse from Ludacris, and additional vocals by K Camp.
DeLorean, Big SANT, and Scar appear on the funky "Got Me Thru," which is the longest track on the mixtape at 4:13. On the following song, BJ The Chicago Kid makes a strong guest appearance as a vocalist on "Can't Be Still."
It's Better This Way is easily one of the best mixtapes I've ever heard. One reason why it's a success is that K.R.I.T. is clearly having fun while he doles out everyday real life wisdom. His soulful southern sound stands strong in comparison to the greats like Outkast, as K.R.I.T. proves he's more of an innovator than an imitator. The Big K.R.I.T. style is a fantastic melting pot of classic hip hop and timeless funk, resulting in flat-out enjoyable music. His vocal delivery is unique, and the words he spits are really saying something.
IBTW highlights include "King Pt. 4," "86," "No Static" "Shakem Off," "In The Darkness," "Vanilla Sky," "Got Me Thru," "Party Tonight," and the closing title-track, "It's Better This Way."
For Big K.R.I.T.'s latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.