Maybe it’s his impressive work ethic (three mixtapes, two EPs, two singles, and a studio album since 2011), that has helped Big K.R.I.T. earn the attention of some legendary collaborators — including Bun B, 8Ball and MJG, and even B.B. King. If that’s the case, then perhaps K.R.I.T.’s intention to step into the studio with YelaWolf later this month to record a collaborative album called Country Cousins will pay off by helping him reach the next round of superstars he hopes to work with.
“I just keep striving to work with the people that I looked up to, and I grew up listening to,” K.R.I.T. told Hive just minutes before taking the stage for his set at Austin City Limits last weekend. “I still haven’t got Scarface on a record. I don’t have Bobby Womack on a record, or Al Green. I want to do an original song with Adele. I want to do a song with Esperanza Spalding, Coldplay, OneRepublic — there’s still mad people. Cee-Lo Green! OutKast as a whole. There are a few people I don’t have records with yet that I’m trying to get into.”
It’s a hell of a list of dream collaborators (he also traded phone numbers with ?uestlove at the off-site Xbox Music Lounge on Saturday), but a guy who got B.B. King into the studio has earned the right to dream big. In the meantime, he’s about to get to work on a more firmly-grounded project. “As soon as I get off the road [K.R.I.T.’s tour ended Saturday], I’ll have an opportunity to get to the studio,” he says on his plans to start on Country Cousins with YelaWolf. “I know how his work ethic is, so to me, two or three weeks in the studio, we should be able to knock it out.”
While there’s only one producer who K.R.I.T. knows for sure will be working on the album – himself – he expects to have those details figured out soon. “I know I’m gonna produce the bulk of it, and I’m gonna let Yela reach out to other producers that he really likes, that way we both can have the same vibe and feel on the project.”
K.R.I.T. is excited about the creative potential of the partnership, too. Collaboration, he says, tends to bring out the best in him. “On a creative level, [collaboration] gives you that drive and that hunger that you might have lost on the way. There’s still a little bit of competition there, because you want to give your all, because you know you’re partner’s gonna do the same. But at the same time, it just overall makes the record bigger and better, to me.”
Big K.R.I.T. plays Hive’s CMJ showcase tonight in New York City. Watch the video for “I Got This” below: