Saturday Night: Big KRIT at House of Blues

Big KRIT House of Blues October 6, 2012

Twenty-five minutes into his performance, Big KRIT told the crowd that he has been reading the reviews of his new album. It seems that critics think that it's a bit monotonous. They say he talks too much about cars, candy paint, and reclining fifth wheels. They say that he plays into the stereotype of a Southern rapper too much.

Well, call us set in our ways, but his Houston fans are just fine with that. We appreciate KRIT's lyricism. Though some might misinterpret it as played-out, we value it for what it really is: reverence to the rappers he grew up listening to. And while he pays his respects, he's not afraid to expand his listeners' minds.

Saturday night at House of Blues, the Mississippi-born rapper breathlessly regaled the crowd with an hour-long set, full of high-energy, club-ready verses that celebrate life in the South, with a few slower songs like "Hometown Hero" and my personal favorite, "The Vent," interspersed in between. With a little help from Slim Thug, Z-Ro and Bun B, KRIT had himself an ecstatic crowd.

True to his name -- an acronym for "King Remembered In Time" -- his music might just have to wait a while to earn the respect it's due. But KRIT, who was born Justin Scott, is just fine with that. His Def Jam Records debut, Live From the Underground, may be his first on a major label, but his previous work has gained a following all its own.

A few heavy hitters have taken notice, too. KRIT even has a track featuring B.B. King on the new album, and if anyone knows soul, it's the King of the Blues.

From the moment KRIT strolled out onstage, wearing all black -- almost invisible with only dim blue lights above and behind him -- he got the crowd moving. His enthusiasm and energy were infectious, making his music that much more appealing as everyone in attendance either danced, jumped or, at the very least, fervently bobbed their heads.

KRIT's determination could be heard in both his lyrics and his delivery. Some of his songs have a feeling of desperation on the album, reinforced by just a glimmer of hope, but during his live performance, the audience could really hear the anger and joy behind his verses. I only hope that his determination persists as he gains more and more fans.

Although it's one of my favorite of his songs, I'm going to have to disagree with KRIT's lyrics on "Dreaming," because, judging from the reception he received Saturday night, it looks like the story of a country boy is compelling, after all.

Personal Bias: When I first heard the remix of "Country Shit," I thought I was listening to an unreleased Pimp C track. Since then, I've been hooked on KRIT's soulful, Southern flow.

Overheard In the Crowd: A lot of high-pitched squeals from the ladies in the crowd when Z-Ro showed up during Slim Thug's set.

Random Notebook Dump: Outside the venue, I ran into Willie D of the Geto Boys and had to tell him I was a fan. I gave him dap, and he gave me some dap back. Yeah, he was down to earth.

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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever