I copped Live from the Underground the day that it came out, as I’ve been a fan of the King Remember in Time since the KRIT wuz Here mixtape–which ultimately led me to go back and listen to his pre-critically-acclaimed offerings. Nevertheless, I’ve been a fan of his music since first listen, as he struck me as a rare breed: an artist that produced his own beats, mastered his own music, and distributed it himself. Kind of like me, minus the “no-fi” recordings and whatnot.
So, as an artist and a fan, I was incredible psyched to hear that, after damn near classic offerings such as Return of 4Eva and 4EvaNaDay, his official release would drop. However, after listening to it for the latter part of the past month, I’ve come to this conclusion: he should have just released R4 as an album instead.
Sure, LFTU sports catchy hooks, sure-fire party anthems, and an amazing B.B. King feature. It features some of the hardest-hitting, bass-knocking, soulful beats this side of Pimp C and 8Ball. But, I can’t help but feel like something’s missing. Maybe it’s fatigue on Mr. Scott’s behalf, or listener fatigue on my part (considering one of my good friends played the holy crap out of R4–even copping a signed copy of it for me as part of his graduation gift, no less–this is probably more possible), but it feels less fresh, and more “I’ve heard this before.”
The song “I Got This” harkens right back to KRIT’s debut single “Country Shit,” from the soul-sample to the hook to even the video in some aspects.
I think that the feeling of “hmm, hasn’t this been done by KRIT before” may be brought on by the fact that LFTU isn’t a standalone album. In fact, it revisits a lot of themes–and stories–touched on in KRIT’s previous three main mixtapes (KwH, R4, and 4Eva), such as the continuation of the song “My Sub” in the aptly-named “My Sub 2.0.” Here, instead of a feel-good, chill-time, Southern song about just riding around town, looking for girls to talk to, and that sort of thing, we’re snapped back into reality with the ending interlude. The character KRIT is speaking through is shot and presumably killed, leading to more of the “deep thought KRIT” the hipsters love in songs such as “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Porchlight,” “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (which was criminally too short) and “If I Fall.”
The beauty of KRIT’s music is this: he effortlessly can switch from being that “deep thought” guy to the “fuck them haters, fuck them hoes” guy. The thing is this: on KwH, R4, etc., there was more of a balance. LFTU, to me, bounces back and forth too much to get a steady feel going. By no means is it a horrible album. In fact, it’s one of the shining stars of this year so far.
But, like J. Cole’s debut before it, it tries to accomplish too much and doesn’t really let you fully get into the smooth, real-life ish that KRIT’s putting down–which can, in some ways, describe KRIT as a whole. He’s clearly a talented artist, but a lot of listeners still don’t know how to take him. Is he akin to Waka? Is he the Southern Lupe? Is he just a guy that likes to make music and talk about real-life through it (that’s the one I’m thinking, myself)
Overall: 3.85 out of 5. A solid debut, but slightly underwhelming considering his other releases over the past couple years. So, if you’re a KRIT fan or even just a purveyor of good music, by all means, get this album. I mean, we can’t let good music fall to the wayside.
Just don’t expect it to be a bonafide classic on first listen, like R4 seems to have been–at least to me.