Six Very Important Takeaways From Big K.R.I.T.'s Album Listening Party

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Hotly hyped Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. had a listening party for his much-delayed album Live From The Underground (Def Jam) last night! It went down at Fight Klub Studios in Manhattan, and SOTC pried out six pieces of information (both pertinent and willfully trivial) about the project, which will finally be released on June 5.

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Q&A: Big K.R.I.T. On His Rise, Dedicating Songs To His Grandma, And Being Inspired By Friday Night Lights

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His rap moniker is an acronym for King Remembered In Time, but the way he's going about crafting timeless soulful music, Big K.R.I.T. is being remembered as a king right now. Just ask those who sold out his recent show at the Highline, where just two years ago he was booed while opening for Jay Electronica. 2010 faded away when the crowd at the Highline lost their minds to the wild "Country Shit," with the Big Apple crowd rapping along and jumping around like Danny Boy and Everlast.

K.R.I.T.'s career is really beginning to bubble, and he just added the mixtape 4Eva N A Day to the pot. He's not only kicking substantial raps devoid of the usual rosé and Murciélago references, he's composing beats for some of his lyrical heroes, like T.I.

While en route to JFK for a flight down to SXSW, K.R.I.T. took some time to update SOTC on the growth he's experienced since our chat in June, and to let us know what he has on his calendar for the rest of 2012 and beyond. Always humble and always thoughtful, here's the return of forever.

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Live: Method Man, Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T., And Others Smoke Out The Best Buy Theater


Method Man w/ Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Fiend & Cornerboy, Marcus Manchild, and more
Best Buy Theater
Friday, October 14

Better than: Hanging out in my own living room (barely).

Last time Curren$y and Big K.R.I.T. rolled through Manhattan on the Smoker's Club tour (sans Method Man), both rappers patrolled the stage with a nervous energy, intent to prove to a New York crowd that they had the chops and the presence to succeed as more than just hometown heroes. K.R.I.T., after all, had been booed off the Highline Ballroom stage only a few months earlier, and Curren$y had only recently released the first of the Pilot Talk albums that would finally prove he had the skills and personality cross over from the world of free downloads on DatPiff. Compare that with Friday night, at which the rappers with the most to prove—dudes like Houston newcomer Marcus Manchild—were allotted no more than a couple of songs hours before the headliners would take the stage.

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Q&A: Big K.R.I.T. On Making People React To His Lyrics, Crate-Digging And Crafting Playstation Beats

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It's been a big year or so for Big K.R.I.T. Shortly after signing with Def Jam last June, he was booed off the stage at the Highline Ballroom; later in 2010 the Mississipi-bred MC hit the road on the Smoker's Club Tour (with Curren$y and Mac Miller) and the Wake And Bake Tour (with Wiz Khalifa), and in March of this year he released the critically acclaimed mixtape Return Of 4Eva.

The rise of K.R.I.T. (an acronym for King Remembered In Time) is particularly notable for coming during a time when the super-stupid styles of Waka Flocka and Lil B are all the rage. Despite—or maybe because of—his thought-out lyrics and soulful soundscapes, listeners gravitate to his music like he's spitting nonsense about going hard in the paint and dead rappers being back. SOTC spoke to him about his reading habits, his biggest influences and the first time he sold a beat.


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Live: Rick Ross Lives Out His Dreams At Summer Jam

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Hot 97 Summer Jam
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday, June 5

Better than: Sitting at home and moping like 50 Cent.

Rick Ross closed out Summer Jam.

Just so there's no revisionist history here, let's remember how incredible that statement is. Three years ago, Ross was the punching bag of hip-hop, the laughingstock of the streets. After recording countless verses that fetishized Tony Montana fantasies, someone pinched him—Ross' cartoonish thought bubble vanished into thin air, and he was rudely snapped back to reality. He wasn't a druglord superhero; he was William Roberts, a grown man playing dress-up, a former correctional officer who wanted to be a rapper so badly that he rewrote his personal history. Two years ago, he wasn't being played on New York radio.

And here, onstage at Giants Stadium, was Rick Ross—his chest puffed out, his black-and-yellow Hawaiian shirt open wide but still somehow stretching tight—cheered on by fifty thousand strong. They welcomed his street anthem, "B.M.F.," chanting a chorus and cadence that, in various incarnations, has blasted out of car windows on 125th ever since it came out last summer: "I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover." Rick Ross can make up a lot of things, but even he couldn't make this up.

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Live: Bamboozle Stimulates Every Sense (And Then Some)

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So much to see, everywhere.
The Bamboozle
Meadowlands
Friday, April 29-Sunday, May 1

Better than: Watching scene reports scroll by on Twitter.

In a lot of ways, the Bamboozle is a festival tailor-made for the current moment of constant distraction. The festival's running time over three days totals approximately 27 hours. There are eight stages of music, plus a stage for spoken-word and comedy bits. The 100-plus acts run the gamut, from critically approved hip-hop to critically reviled screamo to nostalgia-pricking acts from rock eras past. There's a wrestling ring where luchadores--led by the not very subtly named Dirty Sanchez--fling each other around; if that doesn't satiate your urge to watch competition, there's a breakdancing stage. There are carnival rides. There are tons of merch booths, some of which host autograph signings that attract long, snaking lines of eager fans. There's a psychic, an inflatable structure where one can procure free Trojans, and a place to charge your phone so you can keep up with the tweeting that details all the things you're missing. If you play your cards right and bring enough friends, it's quite possible to get a "full" Bamboozle experience without consciously hearing a single song in its entirety.

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Live: Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T., And More Light Up Santos Party House

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Curren$y (left) and K.R.I.T., models of menace and/or nonchalance. Photos by Nick, more below.
Curren$y/Big K.R.I.T./Smoke DZA/Mac Miller/Boaz/Etc.
Santos Party House
Tuesday, October 5

Better Than: Stealing your roommate's weed and watching Stella on DVD all night. Again.

The weather in New York has stayed fairly dreary for the past week or so, and last night even the air inside Santos Party House was, in the words of Curren$y, "partly cloudy." The self-proclaimed hot spitta headlined a bill of seven rappers -- most notably Big K.R.I.T. and Smoke DZA -- as part of a tour sponsored in part by High Times. Hence the haze.

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Bun B Is Not Playing Saturday Afternoon's Rock Yard Show; Big K.R.I.T. And Curren$y Will Pick Up The Slack

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Per the folks at Jelly comes confirmation that deified Houston rapper Bun B (whose new Trill O.G. rates either five mics or a 5.0, depending) is not performing tomorrow afternoon at the Rock Yard, but the show will nonetheless go on:

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