Big KRIT is a superstar of new age hip-hop, but even still he strongly maintains the mindset of an underdog, and having to prove himself. From last year to this year KRIT has been showing a wavering improvement in his raw rapping ability, and also showed out with his Week of KRIT series and smash single “Mt. Olympus”. One could say, following that, Cadillactica was one of the most widely anticipated musical efforts among hip-hop listeners. This is undoubtedly because fans were expecting a grand finale or climax from such a buildup. While, Cadillactica is doesn't quite deliver on that expectation, it’s a great service to fans and still manages to be impressive.
Anyone familiar with KRIT’s work knows he’s gifted in both his production and his rapping. This album is no different, however, there’s also a few efforts from other producers speckled in. Coincidentally, these happen to be the least… whelming tracks on the album (save for “Cadillactica” produced by DJ Dahi). Whether that’s an attribution to KRIT or the guest producers, requires deeper examination. Despite that, at their worst, the production doesn't dip anywhere near mediocrity.
To expound, the production is dense and intricate on many songs. “Cadillactica” for example, has glorious transitions throughout the song the induces visions of some neo-funk spacial galactic travel. “Do You Love Me” is layered with different coexisting melodies, along with a background chorus and a singing solo that gives it a vivid orchestral vibe. There’s also the well-timed incremental evolution of the beat on “My Sub pt. 3”, resembling upgrades to a space machine.
With KRIT you generally get all style or substance with a bit of style. That being said, he is either making a point with his subject matter or boasting about himself, his car, etc. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the latter cases are generally not profound in any way. KRIT often struggles with metaphors, which are shallower than seemingly implied (i.e. “Soul Food”, “Angels”). Not much here if you’re looking for “bars”, punchlines, double entendres, wordplay, all those literary/syntactic acrobatics.
He exhibits lyrical excellence on this album with his self-expression, though. Coupled with his delivery, he makes you feel what he's saying in the most deliberate way possible. “Mt. Olympus” (albeit “Deluxe”) reflects raw and profuse frustration with the rap industry and the perception of him by many rap listeners. His lyrics here are just so meticulous; he describes listeners’ and critics’ stubbornness against his music as:
God could physically come down and say "he the greatest
My favorite, y'all should listen, he have potential
To outlive the heatwave I'ma send through this motherfucker
And rebuild for a whole 'nother other culture"
And that wouldn't be enough
― “Mt. Olympus” by Big KRIT
Another example of the attention to detail is “Saturdays=Celebration” (comprehensively one of the best tracks on Cadillactica), where he narrates his thought in slow motion and paints a setting of the aftermath of a violent attack. His lyrics show a mentality of spiritual acceptance of his situation, and weave a will for his loved ones to follow.
As mentioned before, there’s not much of a middle ground with content. The song is either full or void of it. There are more than enough instances of the former, if that’s what tickles the listener’s ear. Cadillactica has more moments that outline KRIT’s relationship with God than ever before. “Life” depicts a revelation, “Soul Food” is a metaphor for the longing for seemingly lost virtues, “Third Eye” is a sonnet of deep infatuation and a fantasizing of sincere love, “Lost Generation” is a unapologetically preachy and scold-reminiscent track (but hey it’s “content” right?). Subject matter is in no short supply on Cadillactica, as expected of Big KRIT.
Bluntly stated, Cadillactica is an album of astronomical highs, and forgettable lows. KRIT really digs deep into the astrological concept at first, then sort of forgets it early in the album, which makes its cohesiveness wishy-washy. However, there’s lots of great music here, and any rap(or music in general)-lover would be a fool to dismiss it because of that. While I don’t think this quite shows Big KRIT’s potential, it ably pleases his fans and has a few tracks that could easily fit permanently into playlists.