Big K.R.I.T.'s second major label album, Cadillactica, surpasses the rudimentary purpose of filling his sophomore album slot, sending fans swirling through a textured orbit of flavourful production and detailed storytelling. The Mississippi rapper has created a 17-track modern southern-style fairy-tale that catapults K.R.I.T. into a new tier of artistic relevancy and, following an arguably lacklustre year in hip-hop, fills a void.
"Let's create," the album enticingly begins. From the first track to the last, K.R.I.T. takes creative risks that pay off, relying on outside production for the first time to offer a multi-dimensional canvas for him to paint his stories over. Jim Jonsin and Terrace Martin are fruitful production additions, and features from Wiz Khalifa and E-40 fit comfortably into his colourful new world.
"My Sub, Pt 3 (Big Bang)" rounds out K.R.I.T.'s "Sub" trilogy, showcasing his artistic evolution as well as his trademark bass-blasting weight, while "Soul Food," featuring Raphael Saadiq, offers a generous helping of lyrical maturity. On the hype-worthy "King Of The South," K.R.I.T. claims the crown of the dominating force from the south, but its substance includes more than just some good rapper braggadocio, as the verbally aggressive rapper backs up his claims point-by-point. There don't seem to be too many refuting the statement.
Ironically enough, the album's low point comes in the form of its first single, "Pay Attention," which was a reasonable attempt at a catchy radio single. There seems to be a disconnect between the single and K.R.I.T.'s usual unrelenting originality that makes it an offbeat choice. With an honest artist like K.R.I.T., it's obvious for his fans he's making the music he's set out to create and when he's taken strategic measures to please the mainstream. But luckily for his avid listeners, K.R.I.T. almost entirely does the former here, upholding the funky, southern-psychedelic rap that his fans turn to him for. It's safe to say that Big K.R.I.T's southern epic will have many packing a bag and living on Cadillactica for the next while. So long, Earthlings. (Cinematic/Def Jam)