Born Justin Scott in Meridian, Mississippi, Big K.R.I.T. learned to play cello in childhood. Later on, as a fledgling rapper, he started producing tracks out of financial necessity, starting with MTV Music Generator on the Sony PlayStation. His early mixtapes began with See Me on Top in 2005 and culminated in 2010 with K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, released the year he signed with major-label Def Jam and was featured on tracks by Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y. In 2011, K.R.I.T. was included in XXL magazine's annual Freshman Class feature, released Return of 4eva — acknowledged by Rolling Stone and Spin magazines as one of the year's best releases — and assisted deep cuts from Freddie Gibbs, Smoke DZA, Ludacris, and Chamillionaire.