Evan Nabavian is old school when he rides.
July 31, 2011. Children and maladroit college grads like me were blindsided by the arrival of summer’s halfway point. Working men and women trudged home through the unbearable heat while I sat in my room, where I had been sitting all day, all month, all summer, and waited for responses from hiring managers. They never came. I’d wait a few days and email them again, but to no avail. It would be another day in suburbia, indistinguishable from the last and the next. But at 6:57 PM eastern time, something wonderful happened that drove the numbing minutiae of summer from my mind entirely: bitchez started klokkin.
The track from B-list DC rapper Fat Trel is produced by Big K.R.I.T., whose guest appearances are becoming just as exciting as his solo work. In the past week and a half alone, K.R.I.T. Has produced or appeared on songs by Freddie Gibbs, 2 Chainz, Smoke DZA, and Trel – standouts in a sea of disposable blog rap, each with their own distinct feel.
“Bitchez Started Klokkin” is full of Southern impact, a reminder of DC’s proximity to the Mason-Dixon. K.R.I.T. opts for speaker-busting bass rather than the soul-funk shades of ReturnOf4Eva and K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. Trel heeds the call for loud, boisterous raps. The way he says “Bang” on the hook is so satisfying that I’m surprised the song isn’t called “Bang,” but then, “Bitchez Started Klokkin” is a really good title too.
Smoke DZA and 2 Chainz (part of me dies whenever I type “Tity Boi”) are in the awkward position of having the exact same features on their songs. Chalk it up to K.R.I.T.’s buzz and Bun B’s omnipresence. “On The Corner” is a collection of street imagery set to a misty beat that should fit right in on Smoke DZA’s Rolling Stoned. “Pimps” actually dates back to 2009, but it reemerged in February with a verse from K.R.I.T. and leaked without tags last week. The jazzy pimp noire beat comes from Big Hurt, but K.R.I.T. still authoritatively corrals the hoes with a nimble flow.
“Rob Me a Nigga” sounds like a funeral march. Freddie Gibbs is one of the few rappers who owns a track in such a way that the beat is usually an afterthought, but K.R.I.T.’s weeping strings compete with Gibbs for attention. It’s bleak enough to be a Mobb Deep record. Not what you’d expect from K.R.I.T., which is why this collaboration is so great. K.R.I.T. gets to tread on the dark side and Gibbs gets a beat that pushes him to rap his heart out.
With such consistency and polish, K.R.I.T. can’t possibly fail on his debut unless Def Jam forces Big Sean and YG on him. And even that wouldn’t be so bad.