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On Big KRIT and Country Rap Sampling

krit

Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (Cinematic Music Group, 2010)

For those of you not paying attention to Google Reader, Big K.R.I.T.’s K.R.I.T Wuz Here is one of the things that’s on rap blogs this week. It’s a solid tape, deserving of the attention. The Mississippi native is still finding his voice as a rapper, alternately sounding like either Pimp C or T.I. but it’s important to recognize him as a producer as well. He personally laced the entirety of the project and is something of a beast behind the boards. His sound, like the Justice League and Burn One before him, is modern in construction yet still sample driven. So much so that this note that was tagged on to the press release, and subsequently most of the blogs that specialize in cutting and pasting press releases:

P.S. We dug deep into the crates for the music & movie samples on this one. The first person that can tell us which samples we used, will receive 1k cash & a pan of Shipe’s famous brownies.

This sort of crate fetishism through artist sanctioned sample spotting is something of a first for country rap tunes. While many Southern producers have implemented many samples over the years, crate digging as a ritual was never much of a conversation point. No Diggin In The Crates, no beefs over who used what loop first, no brags of stacks of beats from here to Atlanta. Up north (and in parts West) it was a lifestyle and marketed as such. It seems like with the name Southern producers they just got beats out of their parents collection or wherever they could and called it a day.

This could be a simple matter of demographics. There’s a lot of space in the South and as such there was just less competition, a wider playing field for the record hunt. Paul & Juice never had to bump elbows and Benjamins at the Roosevelt. Pimp C was probably the only person in Port Arthur searching for Eugene McDaniels. So digging remained a necessity, it never evolved into a badge of honor like it was in the greater New York area. But also it seems like the South never put that sort of weight on exclusivity or obscurity. More often than not these guys were just flipping established cultural touchstones – Isleys, Willie Hutch – versus trying to find Archie Whitewater or whatever. Drum breaks were a non-factor as well. The South always had the 808, but there was a time where open drums were a legitimate commodity in the boom bap rap world. Loop digging culture was a direct extension of this Break digging culture and the Country Rap Production All Stars had no such lineage.

Another thing about the South was that the artists in general tried to present a more glamorous lifestyle than their up north/Boom Bap counterparts did in the 90s. Like Krit, most of their prominent beatmakers were also rappers and getting your fingers dusty doesn’t seem to fit with the pimp/hustler/baller/gangster/cappeeler lifestyle that they promoted. Did Pimp C have to get a manicure after spending an afternoon at the Goodwill? If he did he certainly wasn’t publicizing it.

So why then do we now see Krit making DIGGING a focal point in the promotion of an albumixtape that is otherwise so closely tied to Classical Country Rap Values? Blurred nostalgia, perhaps? Whatever the case, Krit has beats, knows how to use them and you can win brownies if you identify them. So get to it.

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31 Responses to “On Big KRIT and Country Rap Sampling”

  1. pileofshirt69 Says:

    Great read.

    Speaking of Southern Mixtapes, you heard the new Fiend mixtape yet?

  2. Gameface Says:

    Noz,

    Would be curious to get more of your take on the content of this album, beyond the fact that K.R.I.T. is still evolving. Definitely agree he evokes Pimp C (while Big Sant fills the Bun B role — and to a lesser extent, Eightball — on the opener), but the project seems to show a pretty wide range of ability (contrasting a track like “Country Shit” to something like “Moon and Stars” or “Children of the World”) that most young artists aren’t anywhere close to currently.

    Anyway, nice take on the regional differences of digging.

  3. noz Says:

    I haven’t really gotten a chance to digest the content of the tape too much, so much music has dropped this week. Definitely looking forward to giving it a more in depth listen.

    I thought the Eightball sounding dude on the opener was another rapper?

  4. Gameface Says:

    @Noz: Only one dude is credited w/ a feature on there, Big Sant (pronounced “Sunt” according to a message he posted on Twitter), who is part of The Alumni w/ K.R.I.T. I was just saying I thought he sounded like a Bun/Eightball hybrid.

    And yeah, a ridiculous amount of music dropped this week.

  5. Wally Sparks Says:

    @ Noz:

    The other guy on “Return Of 4eva” is Big Sant. He’s Big K.R.I.T.’s long time partner.

    And like GAMEFACE, I’m also interested in your opinion of the album as a whole once you have had the time give it a proper listen.

  6. Big Rome Says:

    This mixtape is on point. I definitely have to get his earlier mixtapes

  7. AlphaCityLC Says:

    Re your re-tweet on country rap tunes as the new backpack rap, I must say that I concur. Not to say that ‘country rap’ is not the source of some of the more interesting rap being released, but it definitely feels as though it has reached an internet meme tipping point. Maybe because my own focused has been narrowed so much, but I don’t know…curious to hear your thoughts.

    And I agree that this is a dope tape. Really liked No Wheaties and Country Sh*t prior to the tape, and lots more good stuff here (Viktorious, Moon & Stars, Hometown Hero, 2000 and Beyond, etc)

  8. brad Says:

    Yeah, I’m surprised crate digging culture never had as much of an influence on southern hip hop. It seems like it would be a lot easier to find records down there because of the lack of competition; also, a lot of the outlets selling old records may not be aware of the value accorded elsewhere for similar inventory. It’s also ironic that a pretty big chunk of the material mined for sample-ability by east and west coast diggers could be traced to the south.

    I was also surprised to see the sample-spotting contest included with the download link, not something I would have expected from Meridian, Mississippi. I’ve been looking forward to this album and didn’t know it was going to be free. I would have paid for it based on the quality of ‘The Last King’ mixtape and ‘Country Shit.’

  9. noz Says:

    “It’s also ironic that a pretty big chunk of the material mined for sample-ability by east and west coast diggers could be traced to the south.”

    Ha, yeah this is a good point. Where the hell would RZA be without Memphis?

  10. Wally Sparks Says:

    For those interested, here is a mixtape I did w/ KRIT in 2006.

    http://bit.ly/9iFYM8

    All original music except for the freestyles. He was 19 when we did this.

    This also has an earlier version of “I Just Touched Down” from the “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here” album.

  11. David Says:

    ‘country shit’ is a banger. glad this is an improvement over his last stuff. good dude.

  12. DR. NO Says:

    Great post. Producers like Mannie Fresh, Mike Dean, and Pimp C don’t get the same kind of mythologizing as their NY counterparts cause they never cultivated that ‘nobody knows this loop’ mystique that NY cats love to be on…even though their sound is crazily influential. It’s something of an untold story.

  13. LockThree Reppin Says:

    I collected the tracks one by one like pokemon cards until this release came out. KRIT’s range is unmatched in the game. Beat selection seemed elegant but still hard hitting. When your mentioning names like Pimp C, Tip, you know your speaking about someone with talent.

    -LockThree.com

  14. sanko Says:

    I wouldn’t deny Mannie Fresh credit for not being a crate digger. Though a lot of his early Cash Money music, take “The Game Is Cold” for example, uses more well known old skool blues, r&b, motown tunes, his knowledge of music and range of taste would prove he may very well have been digging through some dusty shelves in the past.

    I used to see him more involved in the jazz section than the rap/ hip hop section at the Tower Records on Decatur. I mean he used a Herbie Hancock sample as the backbone to UNLV’s “Pocket Full of Furl” off Uptown 4 Life album (a song glorifying heroin) for ***** sake. What he did was considered borderline experimental for a New Orleans bounce/ gangsta rap group.

    Tangent Note… I’ve been dying to ask this.
    Was there any other city besides New Orleans whose rappers glorified heroin (Pronounced Hair-Own in New Orleans) so much in their music?

    For Example:
    “I Got a Pocket Full of Furl” UNLV, Cash Money ’96
    … (BG) gimme dat Boy, gimme dat Dope, I’m bout to go in that world, hop on my bike by Big Rufus, grab a bag of that Furl
    It’s my money so I bought it, my nose so I snort it, I tried it the first time and you know I got retarded”

    “I Need a Bag of Dope” B-32, Cash Money ’93
    (the whole fuckin song)

    “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong” Lil E, SlaughterHouse Rec. ’95
    (chorus) “…ain’t nothin wrong with a n**** on Heroin, ain’t doin’ bad so won’t sliiide the powda bag, yes we gettin loaded my n****, yes we gettin loaded my n****”

    “Heroin” PNC, Big Boy Rec. ’93
    “…shoot a little bit of Heroin, and that shit makes everything to fun”

    “Hustlas” Fila Phil, SlaughterHouse Rec. ’94
    “…gots to real, got it goin’ on, before I hit a hustle I hit that Herrrrrooooin”

    + several more I’m forgetting.

  15. Beautiful Lou Says:

    I do find it puzzling when mags or articles state that the south never was into sampling. I mean its not like it hard to find. UGK, 36 Mafia, Outkast, early Cash Money and thats just the most popular ones. I still think the beat on The Geto Boys self titled album can go toe 2 toe with Pauls Boutique or 3ft high or wutever.

  16. http://www.tomakebeats.com Says:

    This is defiantly hot! Good post

  17. DR. NO Says:

    I do find it puzzling when mags or articles state that the south never was into sampling. I mean its not like it hard to find.

    ^^^^

    It’s pretty obvious why – Juicy J, Pimp C, Mannie Fresh, these dudes didn’t make looking for old records the subject of their records, they didn’t present it as a lifestyle the same way Large Pro or Diamond D did,

  18. Chopper City KGZ Says:

    1.) Im the type that doesent really listin to “new shit”.. and gotta say this Jeezy track is hot!

    2.) On to the cash money thing.. Mannie sampled a lot of shit.. It just wasnt shit other ppl were sampling at the time.. He did use the “triggerman bells” quite a bit tho. but he found a way to make it his own. To me theres no other producer like Mannie! Hes the one to start using lasers in the beats and to me perfected the use of the triggerman and brown beats. I will agree and say Mannie does perfer the old school love songs ( as do I.) And i like that about him.. Hes never been the one to be all in the spotlight but still is looked upon as one of the GREATEST TO EVER DO IT! Looking forward to the Hot Boys reunion album and hope Mannie comes back with his mid 90s style awesomeness.. Just hope the fact that B.G. returned to CMR doesent turn him pop like wayne. B.G. is still my favorate rapper beside Soulja Slim (R.I.P.) cuz he always kept it gangsta. B.G. always been about “Thuggin N Public” Hope Turk comes hard too! Been waitn on some classic Turk Versus…

  19. Beautiful Lou Says:

    It’s pretty obvious why – Juicy J, Pimp C, Mannie Fresh, these dudes didn’t make looking for old records the subject of their records, they didn’t present it as a lifestyle the same way Large Pro or Diamond D did

    ^^^

    yeah but its still there. Im not saying they where rapping about it Im saying they were DOIN it. Y would they ignore it jus cause they werent talking about it in a song. Thats jus silly lol

  20. BOI-DAN Says:

    @sanko New Orlean’s heroin abuse always stood out to me also. From what I heard it was a big problem back in the day.

    Baltimore is/was the only other city I can think of with a high African-American heroin abuse rate. Maybe if Baltimore had a strong rap scene, they would have done the same.

  21. TimT Says:

    The consensus on here seems to be that there was a lot of good music that just dropped in the past week or so. I’m living in Spain right now and haven’t really been checking the internet much, so what are yall’s recommendations on the must-hear stuff that just came out?

  22. trying to put some dick up in vanity six Says:

    I think the main releases this past week were Champ is Here 3, Trap or Die 2, the Ball & G album and the Krit album/tape.

  23. nico Says:

    yo where can i find the new FIEND mixtape? help me out cuz

  24. trying to put some dick up in vanity six Says:

    http://www.datpiff.com/DJ_Jay_Rock_Fiend_All_The_Way_Witcha.m111157.html

  25. sanko Says:

    Is there a hard copy for sale? I love this shit.

    The cover isn’t your typical Down South “look at my ride and jewels” Mixtape Cover. Looks like it was screen printed on some navy blue matte museum board. That or a coaster with all the subtle water stains it has on the cover.

    So Meridian, Mississippi decides to put out a mixtape, develops a contest for crate diggers and beat aficionados reminiscent of De La Soul’s fake game show contest off “3ft. High and Rising”, and does it end there??

    No. They include a Bare Minimalist cover with a modest logo suggestive of Exact-O cut street art stencils, a monotone navy blue background, and some inconspicuous, unassuming minimalist typography which ironically makes the cover design stand out even more.

    What is going on in Mississippi?

    Am I alone on this one? Or am I seeing shit that isn’t there?

  26. nico Says:

    while I’m at it what else @ datpiff.com is worth downloading?

  27. DV Says:

    That David Banner is doing an album over 9th Wonder (errr…9thmatic) beats and not K.R.I.T.’s is depressing on many levels.

  28. A_Shuttlezworth Says:

    @DV

    Did you hear this shit? He dont need 9th!! The beats on this joint are DOPE, while 9th steady make the same beat 100 times over…

  29. Zack Jones Says:

    For 2000 & Beyond… He Used The Dead Presidents Sample On There For The Lil Cut Scenes In The Song.

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  31. Corey Smith Says:

    hey man i kno the sample used…hell u can keep tha brownies..i jus want the cash….email me asap and i can tell you

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