The King has returned.
Ever since Big K.R.I.T. dropped Mt. Olympus, his kind-of-but-not-really response to Kendrick’s Control verse, the hip hop world has eagerly awaited his next album. The short wait was definitely worth it. Read my Cadillactica review to see why you should add this album to your library instantly.
By showing off his famous versatility, being at the top of his rap and production game, and creating an album that is sure to make you feel some kind of way, Big K.R.I.T.’s Cadillactica gets:
First of all, if you haven’t heard Mt. Olympus (which is only kind of on the album with a reprise as a bonus track, by the way), or even if you have, go check out the video right now:
Anyways, Cadillactica is an undeniable success, and it should bring K.R.I.T. the recognition he’s deserved for so long. Mt. Olympus seems to have been an outlet of sorts for the Mississippi rapper, and Cadillactica is a smoother ride without sacrificing any depth. With Mt. Olympus establishing him as one of the best in the game, Cadillactica is less an attempt to prove he is the best and more the work of a rapper who knows he’s on top of the game.
K.R.I.T. doesn’t need to prove to anyone that he’s the king, because anyone who doesn’t know by now is asleep.
The album starts with Kreation (Intro), which begins with a short, quiet skit (just in case you expected Yeezus levels of bravado post Mt. Olympus) before opening up into a K.R.I.T. beat that sounds like it’s from the future. He ramps up quickly, though, and by the time he gets to the titular track (Cadillactica), he’s fully warmed up and comfortable in his role as the king.
A little later, the album gets to Pay Attention, which would sound right at home in the middle of a Drake album. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because K.R.I.T. can do anything and make it gold. One of his greatest strengths, much like Outkast before him, is an absolute lack of fear when it comes to jumping around genres, only worrying himself with what sounds dope to him. This is how classic albums are made. As always, K.R.I.T.’s favorite instrument in the album which most don’t associate with rap is the electric guitar.
Big K.R.I.T. doesn’t sacrifice his vision for what’s trendy or what he thinks audiences are looking for. His purpose is to make classic albums that will live on.
In King of the South, he gets closer to what he laid out in Mt. Olympus, although the songs sound like totally different songs. One of the best things about Big K.R.I.T.’s albums is that no two songs ever sound the same, but at the same time the different songs of his albums always weave together a cohesive project.
Then follows a more introspective, softer stretch of the album, notably featuring the fantastic spoken word interlude Standby, where K.R.I.T.’s feverish but measured flow is only backed by a soft horn in the back, reminiscent of Branford Marsalis’s work in Do the Right Thing. This is followed by Do You Love Me, the funkiest song on the album with Mara Hruby bringing it on vocals.
While King Remembered in Time (his 2013 mixtape) was absolute flame, the second half of the album suffered just a bit of a decline. This is absolutely not the case with Cadillactica, with the tracklist keeping you on your toes all the way to the end. A unique but deep/dope track in Third Eye seems to slow the album down for the final descent, but then Mo Better Cool stomps out that idea with what I can only describe as a jazzy banger. Angels finally then does actually slow the album up in anticipation of the end.
Cadillactica loses no luster as it gets deeper into the album, and some of the best songs are found right near the end.
The second-to-last song on the album is Saturdays = Celebration (one of the best songs on the album), a powerful, gritty piano track with incredible drums that shows K.R.I.T. at his best: hungry but controlled, upset but calm. You really just have to hear it, it sounds like more of a call to action than anything else. The final song that K.R.I.T. ends his session with is My Generation. My Generation begins with the aforementioned electric guitar and reintroduces the woman with K.R.I.T. from the Kreation intro. My Generation is an absolute triumph. If Mt. Olympus was K.R.I.T.’s dissatisfaction with other rappers, My Generation is a call for everyone to be better. In K.R.I.T.’s world, everyone works hard for ther passions, because this is what he has done. By the end of My Generation, I can almost guarantee you’re going to want to start the album again from the beginning.
All in all, Cadillactica is not only Big K.R.I.T.’s best work yet, but possibly the best album of 2014 (with the main competition, in my opinion, coming from Isaiah Rashad’s Cilvia demo). Let’s just say he’s never called himself the “King Remembered in Time” without having earned it.