Review: Big K.R.I.T., ‘Digital Roses Don’t Die’

The self-proclaimed king of the underground makes an attempt to expand past the hip-hop horizons, shifting into a completely different space musically.

Mississippi’s finest, Big K.R.I.T., captivated the hip-hop world with his Southern twang and soulful sound, managing to attract a dedicated fanbase over the years. But when hip-hop’s poster boy for the underground made his strive for commercial success on his previous effort, K.R.I.T. IZ HERE, fans met the release with mixed reviews. Despite the shaky reception, the Meridian emcee continues to keep it pushing, further advancing his sound into unfamiliar territory.

Digital Roses Don’t Die hangs up the gritty bars and unhinged flows for a soothingly melodic approach, while tapping into K.R.I.T.’s soulful foundation for the project’s common denominator.

Photography: Paras Griffin

Digital Roses Don’t Die finds KRIT hopping into a completely different musical zone, drenched in many different genres. From R&B to jazz to funk, KRIT touches many bases sonically, immediately standing out from every project in his catalog.

Instead of delivering the traditional 16-bar format of rap verses, KRIT swims along the current in the whirlpool of genres, providing soothing vocals rather than a barrage of bars. Instead of forcing three verses with hooks in between, KRIT lets the project freely flow, allowing the everlasting stream of music to dictate the structure.

Though KRIT hops in his R&B bag with vocals scattered around the project, the project’s tracks typically let the music play out for prolonged periods of time, inserting the Southern emcee’s melodies wherever they fit in. “Rhode Clean” & “So Cool” play the contrasting roles and put KRIT’s unfiltered vocals on the forefront with infectious choruses and intimate songwriting. Aside from standouts like these, each track is loose, allowing the songs to travel wherever their streams of consciousness decide to go.

Digital Roses Don’t Die is a free-flowing experience that reminds listeners to live in the moment rather than hold on to the past. A change of pace for the Mississippi emcee, whose spent years trying to make a name for himself in the game through major label releases and under-the-table mixtapes. While the project serves as stepping stone for KRIT to expand artistically, the album doesn’t really provide too many standout performances, but serves as a good foundation to build upon.

Often times, we see artists fall victim to the close-minded nature of the industry, so much so that they get scared to expand their sound, even after escaping the tyrannous offices. While certain aspects didn’t stick as much as we wished, KRIT should be celebrated for taking the leap into uncharted territory, allowing himself to grow artistically in the process.

7 / 10

Best tracks: “So Cool”, “Generational – Weighed Down”, “Show U Right”, “Would It Matter” “Wet Lashes & Shot Glasses”