Late last night, blues legend B.B. King passed away at age 89 in Las Vegas. He had been in home hospice care for two weeks after suffering from dehydration.
He didn’t work with many rappers, but one of them was Big K.R.I.T., who hailed from Mississippi, the same state King came from. Today K.R.I.T. posted this message about the passing of King: “It was an honor to have met and worked with such a genuine soul. Mr. King gave me an opportunity musically but also shared the vast knowledge he learned over the years. I am truly saddened by your passing but God has called you home and your legacy will live on 4eva. My prayers go out to the King family and friends.”
The song they worked on together, “Praying Man,” (above) was from K.R.I.T.’s Def Jam debut Live From The Underground. During CRWN with Elliott Wilson, K.R.I.T. talked about working on the record with him and getting King to play Lucille, his famous guitar, on the track. Watch the Mississippi MC talk about making the track at the 21:00 mark:
Most rap fans probably know about that record, but do you know who the only other rapper King ever collaborated with was? The one and only Heavy D on their 1997 song “Keep It Coming.” You might recognize the riff from a classic Gang Starr interlude – or better yet, this dope Heavy D x DJ Premier collaboration. Sounds like they might have replayed that Aretha Franklin sample on an organ:
King will be missed, but there’s no doubt his legacy will live on forever. Have a good trip, B.B.