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Pitchfork Day 1: A$AP Rocky vs. Big K.R.I.T.

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A$AP Rocky on stage Friday at the Pitchfork Music Festival. (Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

Two rising hip-hop scrappers nearly went head-to-head on the two main stages Friday night.

First, A$AP Rocky hit the Red stage -- or at least his mob did. Rocky showed up during the fourth song and proceeded to throw his ADD rhymes at the crowd just before the second storm hit. Rain didn't stop the Harlem rapper, but with his frenetic flow, urban angst and stage-diving antics, little probably could. Championed by Drake and collaborating with Danny Brown, his 2011 debut "Live Love A$AP" caught enough mainstream attention to earn a major-label reissue this year. That was mainly for the slo-mo flow of hits like "Peso" and "Purple Swag." Friday, Rocky was so hyped-up his follow-up, coming in September, might be called "Live Wire."

Better was Big K.R.I.T., a slow burner from Mississippi who took to the Green stage in a Bulls cap and kept telling the crowd he wanted to "slow things down." With beats significantly more soulful than Rocky's, K.R.I.T. (King Remembered in Time) eased everyone through a scorching, satisfying set. His full-length debut, "Live from the Underground," mixes up the soul (and blues, he samples B.B. King) with anti-crunk hip-hop full of -- like his Friday set -- frequent reminders that K.R.I.T. is just "country people."

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B.B. KING was not sampled.... He actually featured on the album. OK BYE!

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on July 14, 2012 12:34 AM.

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