Big K.R.I.T just released his anticipated 3rd studio album, 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time.
This release is an insightful look at the conflicts we must go through as human-beings to reach our fullest potential. These are themes that K.R.I.T explores throughout much of his discography,
The track Mixed Messages from the second disc is a poignant and interesting examination of himself and his work up until this point.
Philosophically, most if not all artists must struggle with the ideological and moral battles that this profession entails.
Even here at Inside the Rift, there is a reason why you won't find much mention of things we're told we should care about via tabloids and mainstream media.
This does come at a cost however; Lose out on ad revenue and exposure by virtually refusing to talk about things that I know are against my personal credo or keep the same format, receive considerably less financial support, and buzz but retain some semblance of integrity. The obvious answer seems like it would be balance, but is it really that simple?
How long can we rely on the old adage "we're all human" and compromise our decency before our desire to improve is written off as disingenuous or lackadaisical?
These are the difficult decisions that we must make as creatives that will define us as individuals. K.R.I.T acknowledging this and pointing out the inherent dichotomy between our basest desires and the need to "do the right thing" makes for incredible music. You can't help but wonder if the work you're doing is impacting people in a positive manner.
What we may view as entertainment, hyperbole, or obvious metaphor may be revered and interpreted as the gospel truth for impressionable minds young and old.
I always say I like strip clubs, but I don't want my sister to dance in one. We all have these mixed messages. The things that normally aren't good for us, we do more than the things that are good for us. And I'm not the only one. We all battle with that. It's that question: Am I wrong for this? Man, we're human. Song format-wise, I've been trying to figure out how to express that for years.
The things that we decide to glorify, we really don't want the people around us to get into. And as an artist, when you paint those pictures it's really hard to not want to paint everything.
While i'm not sure if K.R.I.T intended this, but the song itself can be seen as an a critique of the genre as whole.
Hip-Hop has been turning it's back on it's anti-establishment, introspective roots in favor of corporatism and hedonism for some time now.
It's funny how in one flick of the thumb I can find something like Canibus' Channel Zero (a hyper-lyrical expose' of murky government programs and secret societies) or Twista's Jump Off (a track glorifying the very hedonism I mentioned earlier) in my playlist.
Both artists are among my all-time favorites, but they show you the myriad of messages that are woven into the genre's framework.
Ultimately, we all must make a choice and at this point, that decision will either contribute to and preserve the art of Hip Hop... or destroy it's very legacy.
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