With the Internet giving underground MCs a louder voice, struggling in the rap industry seems like a song worth singing. Mississippi's Big K.R.I.T. has touched on the topic before, but the idea of making it big consumes him more than ever on his latest mixtape, Returnof4eva (available for free download on his website). After all, K.R.I.T. recently signed with Def Jam Recordings, which puts him in an interesting spot in "Dreamin'." The song isn't looking at life at the bottom — instead, it takes a sentimental look at the story so far.
Set to a self-produced beat, K.R.I.T. raps about A&R representatives and family members. The voices of naysayers are encapsulated in a grainy vocal sample from the Brothers of Soul track "Dream," which is stretched out to haunting effect, while the words look back on K.R.I.T.'s formative years, when he listened to fellow Southerners like Scarface and UGK. He even loses his passion for high-school sports as the desire to rap takes over.
It's hard to fit every detail between then and now into one song, but "Dreamin'" will be the first to admit that long-lasting success doesn't happen overnight; everything here has been fine-tuned with years of practice. It's not a boast so much as an inspirational tale of victory. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.