Spotify’s recap of my year in music taught me two things: R&B may permeate my safe spaces but Hip-Hop will always be my savior.
“Bury me in gold…” No rap song ever made me cry. Here came Big KRIT to test me.
I can talk at nauseum about how rap music saved my life. Memories stoke thoughts of songs and albums that carried me through some of the toughest moments of my life. But as I started to make the transition from old Ciara to who-she-was-always-supposed-to-be Ciara, rap took a back seat. Not because I hated the music but rather that I hated the thoughts it would conjure up. I still struggle to see the victory during those times of grief. I’m too triggered.
I made it — and continue to fight — but I need to be pushed. I need optimism, light. R&B gives me that.
R&B was truly the soundtrack of my year. Childish Gambino in the start of 2017, blasting “Terrified” when I felt scared by a new job and a new living space. Hiatus Kaiyote in the summertime. 112, Faith Evans, Toni Braxton and New Edition in a springtime because love felt fresh and renewed. H.E.R, Jhene Aiko and Gallant when that love didn’t happen.
I thought I was all set. Then an album I wasn’t sure I wanted came to save my year.
I’ve been a fan of Justin Scott, better known as Big KRIT, for close to seven years. 2010–2012 was all KRIT. I remember the hype surrounding KRIT’s first mixtapes, his deal at Def Jam, the disappointment of his major label albums and his liberation from the industry. But somewhere along the line, he lost me.
Or rather, I lost him.
I had no desire to listen to any of his music. His first mixtape, KRIT Wuz Here, permeated my ears as I lived at home after dropping out of the college. 4 Eva In A Day and his debut album became the soundtrack to my rides into the city, as I was “out in the streets, dating, living life”. Living with a falsified sense of control while watching the one I wanted get away (or never be there to grab, to be straight up).
So when I lost my need for rap, I lost my need for KRIT. So when I heard he planned to release a new album this year, I didn’t want it. Until I heard it.
KRIT’s liberation was found in 4 Eva Is A Mighty Long Time. He found him. The album was a perfect balance of the KRIT I loved as I tried to find my way. But yet, he felt in a space where he needed to think about and thank God for helping him get back to his way. So our journeys portrayed to be quite alike.
And “Bury Me In Gold”, the last song on the album, was a celebration of that. And I damn near lost it.
I made it through my storms. All the transitions, all of the tragedies … I made it. Thanks be to God. I made it. And I needed a song that would encapsulate that feeling and KRIT gave it to me. What I ran from gave me what I needed. I kept running from God but yet God never left me. And God blessed me with what I needed.
Wild how that works.