Big K.R.I.T. is one of my favourite rappers/producers on the come-up. In my opinion, he has put out material that surpasses many of the well knowns currently in the game. He is teetering on filling that void that Outkast (with a hint of UGK) has left in me and nobody, I mean nobody has come that close. I cannot wait to hear his first official album Live from the Underground. This verse, the only verse on “The Vent” is off of his completely self-produced mixtape Returnof4eva, which coulda-shoulda been an album. The title of the track is The Vent and essentially that’s what it is a venting session about all the real stresses of life going on and in around K.R.I.T.

A mother lost a child
I tried to ease her pain
It’s only God’s will
She says she felt the same
It’s funny how the sun will up and battle rain
As if the clouds couldn’t stand to see me outside again

There are probably many interpretations of this verse – That is the beauty of it and good Hip Hop lyrics in general. I think the opening bars are about K.R.I.T.’s entry into the music business and for his mother it’s like she is losing a son, like so many before. The industry has been known to tear a person or two down. He comforts his mother by telling her it is what he is destined to do, a gift from God, which she understands. The sun he speaks of is himself. K.R.I.T is just trying to shine. Constantly having to battle those who don’t want to see him make it.

Wrote a rhyme that was kind with some vision to it
Bottom line it might expand your mind if you listen to it
Too much shine can dull the soul
If you feel how I feel, dare I rap some more

Here he describes the rest of the rhyme you are going to hear and invites you to listen to it in full. He suggests that you may find enlightenment within it and that it is NOT going to be about materialistic things. As too much of that will make you lose sight of what is real and important in this life.

How can the devil take my brother if he’s close to me?
When he was everything I wasn’t but I hoped to be
I get a little honest and I ask myself
If the time come will you save me if I ask for help?

The first line is actually one from Tupac’s “Changes”. Many rappers have been known to recite a line from another artist’s work. It’s like shouting them out or paying respect. He also uses this line to talk about what I assume to be the death of his brother or someone who was like a brother to him that he aspired to be like. He questions the way he has lived his life up until now. Wondering if he reached out to God would he be saved, despite his sins.

Sent my mind on a journey to the outter most
To document what it had seen & cc me the notes
And ask Kurt Cobain why? Cause I need to know
He stopped when he had such a way long to go

K.R.I.T gets “lifted” in search of higher thought and answers to questions he is seeking. For instance, that of why Kurt Cobain took his life when he could have continued much further successfully within his career.

I saw love in the eyes of a perfect stranger
She overlooked my caring heart in search of a gangster
Will we ever be together only time will tell
She call my phone and talked to me as her eye lids swell

He switches over to what I perceive to be an ex for who he felt love for. K.R.I.T. fit the role of the nice guy, while she wanted a bad boy so it didn’t work out. However, maybe there is hope for them in the future. In the meantime she still calls him “to vent”.

I put my problems in a box beside my tightest rhymes, under lock & key buried deep off in my mind
& when it gets too full and I can’t close the lid I spaz on my family and my closest friends

I really feel these bars as like most of lyrics to this song, one can relate. How many times have you misdirected anger because you suppressed it for too long? Then something minor that someone says sets you off and they end up receiving the brunt of all your trapped emotions. It is usually those closest to you as well. This is exactly what K.R.I.T is illustrating within these bars. He is also eluding to the fact that we haven’t even heard his tightest rhymes yet, they are still being stored in his vault (his mind) to be unleashed.

Trade my materials for a peace of mind
I’m so close to heaven, hell, I just need some time
Who cares about life and the high’s and low’s
Maybe I should write another song about pimps and hoes
Cars & clothes. Idol Gods. golden calves. Louis scarves
I do this for the love and it’s free of charge
I don’t need jail to be behind bars

K.R.I.T. would rather have peace of mind than material things and he feels he is close to living a good and righteous life or at least on the right path to be. He just needs a little more time. He questions the content he chooses to rap about – The real happenings of life the positive and the negative because he wonders is that what people want to hear? Or do they just want to hear the shallow, self-destructive lyrics. With the last few lines here he lets us know he doesn’t do it for the money, he does it for the love (thus giving us free mixtapes galore) and that real life situations are just as hard as those tales from those in and out of jail. Plus it’s a nice play on the word bars also referring to lyrics, saying he doesn’t’ have to be a gangster to be in the game.

This is purely art
In my grandma’s household this was surely taught
Don’t be naïve, yeah, these times is hard
In the mist of all the glamour I hope you find God
I never wished to be the burden bearer
But souls need saving and it’s now or never
shock value is all they wanna see
It’s us against them and it’s just you and me

K.R.I.T. heeds advice from his Grandma that no matter where this music takes him, he should still seek God and have a purpose or message in his music. K.R.I.T. says he never wanted to be the serious conscious rapper but he knows that he has to do his share of spreading the right message to those who need it and he has to start now. He also addresses the high level of “shock” type rap or rap lyrics in today’s music and how popular it has become.

Trying to take heed what I say in my songs
Forgive me if I ever ever steered you wrong
Most people stop for signs but I driven through it
If it don’t touch my soul then I can’t listen to it
The radio don’t play the shit I used to love
Or maybe I’m just growing up
I never seen a star on a red rug
If I wanna see stars I just look above
To the heavens

In closing K.R.I.T. explains that he is trying to live by the same messages and lessons he delivers in his music and forgive him for whenever he has and will veer off the right path or say something that does not follow suit. K.R.I.T. like many others feels the radio plays meaningless music that he is not feeling, but questions that maybe he does not like it because he is maturing and understanding life more. He ends it by basically saying that he doesn’t worship any celebrity, the real stars are those above in the sky.

This track is so real and so poetic. Suspends you in time and space, makes you relate and contemplate because “If it don’t touch my soul then I can’t listen to it”.



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