RapReviews | Review: Big K.R.I.T. – Return Of 4eva
In 1988, Public Enemy released a song called “Don’t Believe The Hype” and it was the second single from PE’s second album, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.” Fast forward to 2011 and we have a hip-hop industry that seems to be predicated, built on and fascinated with hype. Everyone is out to be the next big thing and if there’s not a lot of staying power within a new act, even the hottest of Tuesday’s artists (new and old) are forgotten about by 9pm Wednesday night. One outlet that seems to generate a great deal of hype and speculation year in and year out is XXL Magazine’s Top 10 Freshmen list, and since 2008 we’ve seen some artists live up to the hype in some way or another like 2008’s Lupe Fiasco or 2009’s B.o.B. and Kid Cudi, while others like 2010’s OJ Da Juiceman have faded away into obscurity. The 2011 list consists of Meek Mill, Lil B, YG, Mac Miller, Lil Twist, Diggy Simmons, Cyhi Da Prynce, Kendrick Lamar, Fred Da Godson, Yelawolf and Big K.R.I.T.. To be honest, I’m not overly familiar with all of the 2011 selections, but I’m secure enough to say that I’m sure Big K.R.I.T. fits in somewhere near the top of the list. After all, he did come in at #1 when I wrote my 2010 Year in Review back in December on the strength of his “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here” album, which I still have in heavy rotation (along with the chopped and screwed version). After a handful of guest appearances and an increase in notoriety, the not-quite-newly minted Def Jam signee promised the fans that he would release at least one more project before going forth with the major label debut. The album reportedly took over a year to make and after being delayed for a week, Krizzle finally unleashed the album, calling it “Return of 4Eva.” The album features appearances from K.R.I.T.’s partner in rhyme, Big Sant, as well as Joi, Bun B, Chamillionaire, Raheem DeVaughn, Ludacris and fellow Mississippian, David Banner.
Over a track that grows from slow and jazzy to loud and brassy in a handful of seconds, the “R4 Intro” finds our hero holding a meeting to discuss matters of the moment at hand like “when the lights get dim and the people get quiet, wildin’, waiting on change.” By the end of the track, we’ve experienced the backstage hustle and bustle and the feeling of an eager crowd, only to find out that it’s all a dream. Or is it? “Rise and Shine” has an early Outkast feel to it, and that’s partly due to the “Get Up, Get Out” reference, but also the production on the track…including the cuts. As one might expect, the objective is to get up and do something productive with the day as K.R.I.T. poses the question: “Why rest when all the world [is] runnin?” Refraining from being lame, never changing and thanking God are some of the key mantras we pick up on the “R4 Theme Song.” The outstanding “Dreamin” should work well as an anthem for anyone with dreams of any sort who has to battle with the naysayers, as K.R.I.T. raps:
“I told ’em call me K.R.I.T., they told me change my name
Don’t be alarmed if you don’t make it, that’s just part of the game
Besides, I didn’t rap about dope, nor did I sell it
I guess the story of a country boy just ain’t compelling
A&R searchin’ for a hit, I just need a meal
Couldn’t afford to pay the rent, but passed up on a deal
It’s safe to say that dreams come true, I guess
Don’t let nobody tell you, try it for yourself
Just know that I was once considered just a dreamer
But I paid my dues and turned so many doubters to believers
They used to say…”
The aggressive war cries of none other than David Banner are immediately recognizable on “Sookie Now,” a collaboration that should quiet any murmurs that people may have regarding any sort of animosity between the two Mississippi representatives.