For most rappers, leaving their record label is a sign of hard times ahead. But for Big K.R.I.T., it was the best thing to ever happen to him. The man born Justin Scott is free, fit, and making the best music of his life -- and during his New York City stop for his Heavy Is the Crown Tour with CyHi the Prynce at Irving Plaza on Friday night (March 23), he showed just how happy he was.
After a no frills, bars-heavy opening set by G.O.O.D. Music wordsmith CyHi the Prynce that had the crowd nodding their heads and singing along with mixtape cuts, Big K.R.I.T. took the stage. The opening image on the big screen showed last year’s album teaser trailer of himself burying a corpse of his own dead body. His show took that idea seriously: his entire set, K.R.I.T. only performed songs from his most recent album, 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time.
A double-disc of 22 songs provides plenty of material, but the move is also a show of confidence and freedom. His latest work is his best, and he’s fine with moving on from his past. Old fan favorites like “Mt. Olympus,” “Time Machine” and “Glass House” were all integrated into a brief mix that was used as an intermission while K.R.I.T. reset for the second half of the show -- fond memories whose only function was to show a path to new pastures.