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Former Senior VP of A&R at Def Jam Records, Sha Money XL, signed Big K.R.I.T. back in 2010 and six years later, K.R.I.T. found himself leaving the label. The newly-independent rapper explains what made him decide that leaving Def Jam was for the best in an interview on Sway’s Universe.

“When you young all you want to do is be on the radio and all you want to do is get a contract, get a deal,” Young Krizzle says. “But once you get those things, you normally don’t realize what’s next. The next step. Me, I had the kind of team and people around me that didn’t mind telling me the game. I graduated from being just a rapper to understanding production and understanding my worth and how those are separate entities. And I graduated from that to MULTI, the branding of such. And then becoming a businessman. Now, understanding my worth, partnerships, not necessarily just signing as a rapper because I bring more to the table. I know how to direct the artist to the right records, how to produce, put them in the right space and help them create their narrative and be comfortable with it.”

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K.R.I.T. announced the news of his departure from the major label on Twitter in July after releasing a series of twelve freestyles in twelve hours, dubbed #12For12. “It’s officially MULTI til the Sun die,” he proclaimed in a series of tweets.

Leaving the label hasn’t slowed the Mississippian, who was previously named HipHopDX’s 2014 Emcee Of The Year and awarded Verse Of The Year for “Mt. Olympus,” down at all. He had a powerful and thought-provoking performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards this year and is slated for a Halloween show in Colorado at the end of the month. He is scheduled to close the year out with an appearance at Rae Sremmurd’s SremmFest in December.