Big K.R.I.T. may be a newbie in the hip-hop game, but the Mississippi-bred rapper isn’t a novice by any means.
The 25-year-old recently hit the Rock the Bells tour, performing in cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and got the crowd extra hype each time — just watch the clips circulating on the ‘net, including the one below.
XXL caught up with Big KRIT to talk about his run on the tour.—Rachelle Jean-Louis
The Rock the Bells festival wrapped up earlier this month. What was it like being a part of it?
Big K.R.I.T.: It’s a blessing. It’s an amazing thing to be recognized amongst this caliber of artists and people I looked up to and was inspired by musically. To be able to be on stage, run across them backstage, and some of them are actually fans of my music – it’s mindblowing. It’s really super surreal. I’ll never forget that. It’s one of those embedded memories.
Dope. Who’d you get to meet?
I definitely dapped up RZA, which was dope. It was in passing—still RZA. Slaughterhouse are definitely some people I look up to. I ran into Murs. I didn’t get the opportunity to meet Nas per say, but I know he knows about the music, and that’s dope. Every time I was performing, it was somebody else that I really wanted to see performing. Either it was Lauryn Hill on stage or Erykah Badu, and then I had to do interviews immediately after. But Lord willing, I’ll cross paths with these people again.
What kind of reception did you get from the crowd?
People who were fans of Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, but knew about my music—they were like “Yo, I’m glad you out here!” It was just crazy being able to go from the west coast to the east coast and perform for a wide variety of people, and they know the content and accept the fact that I’m country and putting on for my state.
Which coast did you get the most love from?
Oh man, it’s hard to say. I will say that San Francisco was live. It was crazy. It was probably one of the livest ones.
Were there any specific moments that stood out to you the most?
Oh man [laughs] this might sound weird. My birthday was the 26th [of August] and the day after we had the show in San Francisco. Just being able to rock out and my partner Big Sant was like “Yo man, my partna birthday was yesterday! Everybody wish him a happy birthday!” Which was some extreme personal shit! And then have this Rock the Bells crowd, hip-hop crowd be like “Happy birthday Big K.R.I.T!” I was like oh, this shit is crazy. Being out there and experiencing that, man. That was memorable man, and again, just being around the people. Being able to see Souls of Mischief rock out. That was crazy. 93 til’ infinity, which I did a freestyle on that. So I was like this is crazy, this is really them.
It’s cool to see you go from being a XXL Freshman to being on Rock the Bells…
Yo, it’s been a long journey but if they would’ve told me I would’ve been a part of something that big, I would’ve been like yo, stop playing.
Ha! I bet. Last but not least, is there a song that you just love to perform?
That’s difficult. I love “Country Shit”. I love performing “The Vent” and showing the world those songs. There’s something about performing those songs. ‘Cause “Children of the World” got that acapella part, “The Vent” got that singing part. So when people know the music, they’re clapping and singing to it. It’s like church revival.