Texas rap veteran Bun B said he is “proud” of up-and-comer Big K.R.I.T., even comparing the 2011 XXL Freshman and recent Def Jam signee to late UGK comrade Pimp C. Krizzle managed to score a guest appearance from Bun B alongside Ludacris on “Country Shit (Remix),” which appears on his new mixtape “Return of 4eva,” out this week. XXLMag.com recently caught up with Bun to find out how they linked up.

“K.R.I.T. is just somebody that we’ve been watching for a while now, where they evolve into who he’s becoming, and I just had a lot of support for him in the background,” Bun B told XXL. “This is one of the first opportunities we had to work together, and I think it’s important when we recognize your upcoming talent like the Big K.R.I.T.s in the world.”

Bun B said he could hear the influence of other Southern rap heavyweights in K.R.I.T., who hails from Meridian, Mississippi.

“K.R.I.T. was already an incredible student of hip-hop,” he said. “People like myself, 8Ball & MJG, the Geto Boys it’s evident in the sound, the delivery, and subject matter, and he was directly influenced by us. I’m very happy for his success and proud for what he’s achieving. I’m just waiting to really see when he really get a whole of this game, what he gonna do. So, I’m really proud.”

Bun B even talked about the influence of UGK and specifically the late Pimp C, who K.R.I.T. has previously drawn comparisons to.

“Big K.R.I.T. is one of the first artists that I’ve seen since Pimp passed away that I felt like really benefitted from the tutelage of Pimp C,” he said. “I think that you could tell how much of a student he was already, and like I said, I only expect greatness out of K.R.I.T.”

K.R.I.T.’s Return of 4Eva Mixtape is available for free download here. —Lauren Carter with additional reporting by Adam Fleischer