Big K.R.I.T. has been on Def Jam for nearly two years, but fans are still waiting for his official major label debut.

Now, as the Mississippi native’s Live From the Underground approaches its June 5 drop date, he recalls how the album might not have ever seen the light of day.

“I didn’t have the bread to pay my bills or really even feed myself,'” said K.R.I.T. to about his move to Atlanta in 2009 to pursue music. “I felt it might be time for me to focus on something a little more secure.”

K.R.I.T. received an offer to work with independent label Cinematic Music Group for six months, however, which led to the song “Hometown Hero” and later the mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. A month after the heralded mixtape dropped, K.R.I.T. found a home on Def Jam.

Now, K.R.I.T. awaits his album’s release, finally getting used to the workings of a major label. “It was about learning more of the business versus just being radical,” he explained. “When you get to see how the anticipation builds up until the point when an album comes out, it makes sense.”

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