At The Bomb Factory On Friday, Big K.R.I.T. Celebrated The Lives We Might Lose.
There's more to Big K.R.I.T.'s appeal than just the fact that his music bumps. There's the sound of his voice, the content of his lyrics, the soulfulness of his persona and the general attitude he has toward life.
As southern rappers go, it's pretty clear at this point that the Mississippi-bred K.R.I.T. is the total package. So the fact that he showed up in Dallas for a concert at the Bomb Factory on Friday night just one night after Thanksgiving was fitting. Because if everyone who came out to this show wasn't already thankful for K.R.I.T., it's a sure thing that they left the building feeling that way. His headlining set on this night was just a wonderful display.
But it was kind of a different one, too. Gone were so many songs he's so frequently played in past offerings — “The Vent,” “Drinker's Club,” “Not Another Naive Individual” and “Rotation,” among them. Instead, a number of these songs were mashed up into a mid-set medley performed by K.R.I.T.'s DJ, who manned a table toward the back of an otherwise bare-bones stage setup. They were replaced mostly by new songs off of the rapper's most recent tape, It’s Better This Way, among them the heavily southern-sounding “Shake 'Em Off” and the feel-good jam “Party Tonight.”
And, actually, it was offerings like “Party Tonight” that made this performance such an effective one. It's not only a feel-good song, but it holds a message that the world should hear, taking police brutality head on. That song's lyrics, in part: “Lord, let us party tonight, 'cause tomorrow don't mean that we ball. Lord, let us party tonight, 'cause tomorrow they might kill us all.” That message resonated throughout the evening, with K.R.I.T. frequently returning to a message of living life like there is no tomorrow.
The opening acts on this bill got that message, too. Dallas' Curtis Mayz kicked things off with a fittingly southern rap-indebted display. Houston's Delorean followed with a syrupy set that set the table for the revelry that would follow. Next came the exceptionally talented Scotty ATL, who has come a long way since performing to fewer than 100 people while headlining the Curtain Club down the road and who made the most of this opportunity by performing a highly engaging set. B.J. The charismatic and beautifully voiced The Chicago Kid played main support, with his Motown-influenced sound fitting in well alongside his southern counterparts on this bill.
On the whole, it was a night in which appreciators of message-filled music could surrender and lose themselves in sound. But it ended on a note that brought audiences back into the moment.
After performing “Party Tonight,” K.R.I.T. left his perch on the stage and ran around the front of the venue while he hugged, shook hands and took photos with his fans. It was a heart-warming bow to an uplifting night.
We're just thankful we were there to see it.