With his new Live from the Underground finally on store shelves, Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. recently sat down with SOHH to discuss his long-awaited debut and why giving people a free listen could pay off in the long-run.

Although K.R.I.T. put out a stream-only version of the LP prior to it dropping, he said fans still needed the actual album to hear its full potential.

“Still being the kind of person that didn’t mind [letting] people hear the album, I built up the confidence [that] they’re still going to purchase it. With Krit Wuz Here, Return of 4Eva and 4Eva N A Day, even when we were giving them away, people were actually looking for ways to buy and support the [projects]. Even by streaming it to NPR [National Public Radio] — which is still a great look because a lot of people that didn’t know about my music might visit NPR — it was still a great way for people who didn’t know it,” he told SOHH. “They might like “Porch Light,” they might like the “Praying Man” record, you never know. It just shows them the album is going to be what they wanted, and at the same time, I explained to them it’s still going to be a lo-fi stream so in order to really hear it, you had to hear it in your car or you had to buy it on iTunes because it has so many sounds you’re still missing. I think people still wanted to support, and that was beautiful, man. But they know how I am, man. I just want people to hear the music above everything.” (SOHH)

K.R.I.T. also opened up on how his content has matured since reaching mainstream heights.

“I think as far as the music is concerned, [I’ve grown in] the production aspect and I understand how to make the kind of music that goes well when we do shows and how to bring the music to life when we do shows. As far as being recognized, I definitely get recognized a whole lot more, and I think more people believe in the movement and the grind since I was on the XXL cover. But it all just took time. It’s not like I had a song on the radio all day, every day. It was kind of just word of mouth. People hear the project and if they like it they’ll tell somebody else about it. And it was free, so it was easy to give somebody the link or download the music. It took a little time, but it was all worth it. Not because people believe in what I’m doing, [but because] they understand I’ma treat every mixtape like an album. I’m going to shoot videos to everything, and for me, it’s quality over quantity.” (SOHH)

The Southern rapper made his album available for stream-only back in late May a week prior to its retail release.

NPR has been up on their hip-hop game for a little while now, as some of you might recall them streaming Childish Gambino‘s album, Camp, a week before its release back in November of 2011. So, continuing with that tradition, NPR has officially upped its street-cred by offering a full-album-stream from the man who has, in my opinion, brought the South back to where it needs to be–respected and in the public eye with pimped out Caddy’s, big booty hoes, pimpin’, a whole lot of trunk rattling bass, soulful synths, funk, and blues–a man with a Southern drawl and old blues soul to make everything in that lengthy tangent as poignant to a white boy from Southern California as it is to people who actually come from the South, from Mississippi, like this man I speak of, Big K.R.I.T. (Daily Cal)

The LP managed to storm into the Top 5 upon its release a couple weeks ago.

Leading the pack this week is Big K.R.I.T.’s Live From The Underground at No. 5 behind Young Neil‘s Americana (43,900), Beach BoysThat’s Why God Made The Radio (60,800), Alan Jackson‘s Thirty Miles West (72,900) and Adele‘s 21 (75,000). According to Nielsen SoundScan, the Mississippi-bred emcee’s long-awaited LP has sold 41,300 copies after seven days in stores. (SOHH Sales Wrap)

Check out a recent Big K.R.I.T. interview below: