The release date of The Life And Times of Jonny Valiant is closing in, and in a recent interview with Noisey that accompanied the visuals for his first single “For Real”, Rittz revealed some of the features from his Strange Music debut.
One of the features we’re most excited about is Big K.R.I.T., and for extremely good reason. The Mississippi native who’s acronymous moniker stands for “King Remembered In Time” is arguably one of the best emcees in the game right now.
His critically acclaimed mixtape Return Of 4Eva and subsequent debut album Live From The Underground have not-so-subtly challenged the status quo of Southern hip hop (and hip hop in general), a trait he shares with artists like Rittz and Yelawolf.
From his unique delivery to his insightful and inspiring lyrics, Big K.R.I.T. is among a small band of artists that are helping to change the way we view hip hop and some of the subjects it’s lyrics cover.
Are you going to hear lyrics about bitches, money, and drugs in Big K.R.I.T.’s tracks? You probably will, because those things are still a reality in our country today. But the difference between K.R.I.T. and some of the Top 40 favorites out there is you won’t hear him glorify those subjects.
He speaks from a place of wisdom far beyond his years, challenging his peers to become more than what’s unfairly expected from them. Take the incredibly powerful standout track from his mixtape Return Of 4Eva “Another Naive Individual Glorifying Greed & Encouraging Racism” (N.I.G.G.E.R.) which not only further displays K.R.I.T.’s love for acronyms, but raises poignant and controversial racial questions and challenges stereotypes of every kind.
K.R.I.T. is a real dude, and the same thing can be said for Rittz, who obviously recognizes all of the aforementioned points enough to put him on The Life And Times Of Jonny Valiant.
Are you going to hear Rittz rap about doing cocaine and xanax in the same night? Yes, but much like K.R.I.T., I defy you to find an example of him making those situations sound like they’re directly responsible for his success, or encouraging others to make the same choies. Quite the contrary, which is just one of the many reasons Rittz has reached as many people as he has.
Hip hop is changing folks, and emcees like these two along with fans that want to see our culture succeed are making it happen. We can only expect greatness to come from this collaboration on The Life And Times Of Jonny Valiant, and for this author it’s more than enough reason to cop the album and support a desperately needed change in the game.