The music video above, in which an African emigre duo who call themselves A.M.G. extol Putin, seems to soundtrack Nathan Osborne’s musings on the link between contemporary rap and Trumpery. But there are (always) countervailing trends in the hip hop nation as you’ll see if you try videos in the body of this text by Big K.R.I.T.—a rapper from the Dirty South. He makes conscious music for our mess age: “I don’t rap, I spit hymns.” K.R.I.T. stands for King Remembered In Time. (A.M.G.’s initials, OTOH, are associated with the Mercedes logo.)
Big K.R.I.T honored King on MLK day last month: “I cant imagine the weight on [King’s] shoulders. All I can say is thank you. I have vinyl records of his speeches and I listen to them for inspiration. A true leader that paved the way and sacrificed his life for equality.” Let’s hope Big K.R.I.T. wins any future rap battles with Putin-philes…
This next rap could serve as Big K.R.I.T.’s critique of Trump family values.
K.R.I.T. is proud of being country, though there’s video of him keeping up (easily) with motor-mouthed urban rappers and he’s been collaborating recently with jazz-men. He’s learned (from his hero King?) the need for roots isn’t at odds with true worldliness.
The Southern dream of freedom infuses K.R.I.T.’s. Notice how there’s no shame in his game in the following video. Hard to imagine a rapper Up South being easy about about being seen pushing a broom.
K.R.I.T.’s earlier mix tapes such as Return to 4eva may be more vital than his two major label CDs, Live from the Underground and Cadillactica. (He recently separated from Def Jam.) But his soulful imperatives were all the way live on Live from the Underground‘s “Porchlight.” Turn it on here. Nice and strong. (Or, as a another Brother-Tempter sang: “Don’t look any further.”) B.D.