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Album Review: Big K.R.I.T. – Last King 2: God’s Machine

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Big K.R.I.T.’s been on the average hip-hop fan’s radar since his acclaimed Returnof4eva mixtape had critics praising him for his flow and his production skills, as well as pulling high-profile collaborators like Ludacris, Bun B, and David Banner. On Last King 2: God’s Machine, the Mississippi rapper is featured alongside more top tier performers, such as Yelawolf, Wiz Khalifa, and Killer Mike. With his official debut (Def Jam’s Live From the Underground) now delayed until the beginning of 2012, Big K.R.I.T. serves up 22 of his best appearances from the last year to ensure that he lives up to his name as a “king remembered in time.”

The tracks collected here are a round-up of K.R.I.T.’s guest appearances, so, if you’ve been following him obsessively, there isn’t anything new. For the rest, it’s a good intro to what he’s capable of. But, if you really want to get your fill, you’d be all the wiser to hit up his previous album-worthy mixtapes. “The Big Payback”, a soulful slow-burner that serves as a secondary intro is really the only time we get his unique presence and spin on southern beat-making. Here, only about a third of the songs have Big K.R.I.T. flexing his production muscle, including Berner’s standout,“Yoko”. Built around an Eastern-influenced loop, it’s one of the catchiest. Elsewhere, “Fulla Shit” finds Yelawolf holding the spotlight, while RITTZ and Big K.R.I.T. offer variety to the head-nodding beat.

For the most part, Last King 2 should satisfy those who hadn’t paid attention to Big K.R.I.T. and the new breed of southern rappers. It feels like he’s between phases, and with Live from the Underground due in Quarter One of next year, we can only hope he finds a better balance of pimp rap and thoughtful rhyming.

Essential Tracks: “Yoko”, “Fulla Shit”

 

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