Big K.R.I.T.’s song “Mixed Messages” is a brutally honest portrayal of a man grappling with numerous internal conflicts and dichotomies. Channeling the complexities of living in a world of profound contradictions, the lyrics touch on a diverse range of controversial topics including infidelity, disdain for law enforcement, and ongoing struggles with self-identity. The artist agonizes over a “whole lotta mixed messages” present within his own music, serving as a stark reminder of the paradox that is human nature.
The hook proclaims “Revolutionary, although I’m free / I got me a lover, but I still wanna cheat / I wanna be saved, but it’s fuck the police / Don’t wanna be here, but I’m too scared to leave.” This brief stanza paints a vivid picture of the chaos within. K.R.I.T. identifies as a revolutionary, despite experiencing freedom. He loves his partner, yet is tempted to stray. He longs for salvation, but harbors an anger toward law enforcement. He yearns for departure, but is crippled by fear.
The chorus witnesses the repetition of the phrase “I got a whole lotta, mixed messages, in my songs / Am I wrong to feel this way?” K.R.I.T questions his own morality and validity of his feelings, showing vulnerability that is not often exposed in the hip-hop world. He acknowledges that his music is a medium where his contradictions are laid bare.
As the verse unwinds, K.R.I.T raps, “I love her and I hate her at the same time / I’m wack and I’m dope in the same rhyme / I’m dull but I’m gloss in the same shine.” He further explores his duality, expressing simultaneous love and hate, self-deprecation and egotism, dullness and shine. These juxtapositions act as a reflection of his own inner conflict, suggesting the existence of two conflicting selves within one person.
K.R.I.T. moves on to address his struggle with materialism and authenticity: “I never really liked all the fake shit / But I’m attracted to the fake ass and fake tits / That’s why I made a song like original / To remind me of what fake is.” He admits to being attracted to physical or material falsehoods, even if he philosophically craves authenticity. This is a common struggle in an era where material wealth and superficial beauty are idolized, often at the expense of genuine substance.
The subsequent lines, “I wanna be rich but I’m giving back / I love her like none other but don’t get attached / Screamin’ peace over beats but I grab a strap / I help you make a meal but I got a cap,” see K.R.I.T. grappling with his stance on wealth, emotional detachment, peaceful advocacy, and support for others. This serves to further emphasize the contradictions in his thought process and actions.
In the following lines, K.R.I.T. explores his relationship with faith: “God on my line after all, but I ain’t pick up when he called / Matter of fact, I ain’t pick up at all, cause my bills paid now / Said my grace now, my light is still on, so why would I pray now?” Here he grapples with the human tendency to turn to faith in times of need and disregard it in times of abundance. The notion of “why pray now?” highlights an internal struggle with maintaining faith in the absence of adversity.
K.R.I.T. concludes with a heartbreaking admission: “Sick and tired of being sick and tired, but I never could lay down.” This signifies his relentless fight against his personal demons. Despite being aware of the contradictions and the emotional turmoil they cause, he continues to soldier on, trying to make sense of it all.
Big K.R.I.T’s “Mixed Messages” is a profound exploration of our internal contradictions. K.R.I.T. employs raw and unfiltered honesty as he navigates through the labyrinth of his own thoughts, feelings, and actions. This ode to the human struggle is a reminder that it’s okay to be conflicted, that it’s human to embody a spectrum of contradictions. And as listeners, we’re prompted to question and confront our own mixed messages.
K.R.I.T’s mastery of capturing the reality of internal conflicts and personal hypocrisy in this track offers insightful commentary about the human condition. He raises questions that challenge societal norms and values, encapsulating the essence of a true revolutionary. “Mixed Messages,” like many of his works, establishes Big K.R.I.T. as an artist willing to delve into challenging narratives and advocate for meaningful conversation.