Review: Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two years since Big K.R.I.T.’s major label debut album “Live From The Underground” was released, but it has been. The album received generally positive reviews but with the body of work that K.R.I.T. had released prior to that — the album came off as a disappointment to some long-time K.R.I.T. fans and ultimately K.R.I.T. himself. On last year’s “King Remembered In Time” project, K.R.I.T. took the brunt of the blame and even goes as far as to say that he failed his fans on “R.E.M..” In an interview with RESPECT magazine, he mentions not being fully ready to deal with the transition from the freedom of mixtapes to the more structured approach that comes with making retail albums.
Sample clearance issues were a big part of the delay with “Live From The Underground” but this time around, “Cadillactica” reportedly only contains three samples. Determined to not repeat the same mistakes twice, K.R.I.T. has taken his time with the rollout of “Cadillactica.” He’s taken his show on the road on the heels of a strong lead single in “Pay Attention” which features Rico Wade and is produced by Jim Jonsin. In the past, K.R.I.T. says that his do-it-all approach to making music was out of necessity because he couldn’t afford to buy beats or to have someone else come in and sing hooks. Now he’s more willing to step outside of his comfort zone and collaborate with other producers like Raphael Saddiq, DJ Dahl and Terrace Martin. Featured artists on “Cadillactica” include the aforementioned Saddiq and Rico Love, along with E-40, Wiz Khalifa, Kenneth Wallum III, Mara Hruby, Bun B, Devin the Dude, Big Sant, ASAP Ferg, Jamie N Commons and Lupe Fiasco.
On the outside, “Cadillactica” is a loose concept album. The planet Cadillactica is a place that represents his conscious mind. That includes all of his struggles, fears, passions, pain and so forth. So logically, the planet needs to be created. That’s where the opening track “Kreation” comes into play. A female voice softly suggests, “Let’s create.” “Nah, not yet,” K.R.I.T. responds. She insists that they do it now and he eventually gives in, under the condition that they take their time and be perfect — and perhaps that’s the narrative at work for this entire album as K.R.I.T. creates both his planet and life itself in the “perfect” opening track.