Guest Star: "My First Performance, I Got Paid Probably Like $50 But I Was Excited!"

Friday, Mar 29, 2013 12:27AM

Written by J. Bachelor & Cyrus Langhorne

[After highlighting urban music's "Started From the Bottom" rising stars looking to capitalize off their national buzz at South By Southwest, SOHH now shifts its focus toward the "Now We Here" artists who have reached the top and cemented a national fan base. Today, we wrap things up with Def Jam's Big K.R.I.T.]

What was your very first rap name?

My first rap name was 21st Warrior [laughs]. I was probably about 12 or 13, man. I had watched this Antonio Banderas movie that came out called The 13th Warrior. My baseball number at the time was 21 so I just took the warrior part. It went from 21st Warrior to Kritikal, but I had a hard time with people understanding how to pronounce my name, so I just dropped the "kal" and kept the "Krit." From there I came up with the acronym for what K.R.I.T. stands for now - King Remembered In Time. That was the beginning of it all.

Tell us about your very first live performance.

My first performance was in this club called The Sportsman Club in Meridian, Mississippi. I was part of a group at the time and me and my partners would perform. It might have been around 25 people there. I got paid probably like $50, but I was excited! But we'd go there like once a week and practice. I was about 13 or 14 years old.

What was your first big purchase as a rap artist?

Aside from buying a house for myself, I went down to the Mac store and got an iPad. I did K.R.I.T. Wuz Here on a G4 Mac. It was mad old, mad slow ... but it stood the test of time as far as me creating my music. But immediately when I got signed, I went and got an iPad. It was time to upgrade.

Outside your crew, name a few artists that are still getting their start, who you feel have a bright future in the game.

For one, I would say Big Sant -- he's an amazing lyricist. I've been knowing him since I was 13 years old, and I'm excited for what's to come. Then I gotta go with Joey Bada$$. He got the cover of the XXL freshman this year and he dropped a classic mixtape at a young age, so I'm excited to see what kind of music he creates as he gets older.

K.R.I.T. previously released several mixtapes, including Hood Fame, with DJ Wally Sparks and The Last King, with DJ Breakem Off. He's also made guest appearances on Pilot Talk, the third studio album and major label debut from rapper, Curren$y as well as Kush and Orange Juice, the critically acclaimed mixtape by rapper Wiz Khalifa. In May 2010, Big K.R.I.T. released his mixtape, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, digitally, garnering critical acclaim. That same month, former president of G-Unit Records and current Senior VP of A&R at Def Jam Records, Sha Money XL, signed him to the label as one of his first priorities in his new position. Big K.R.I.T. released his debut studio album, Live from the Underground, on June 5, 2012.

Peep "R.E.M.," the latest leak from his forthcoming mixtape, K.R.I.T. (King Remembered In Time).

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