Review: Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva is a Mighty Long Time
Forever is a mighty long time. In fact it seems like forever since Meridian, Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T. broke out with his “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here” mixtape in 2010, it feels like forever since his first album with Def Jam, “Live From the Underground” was released in 2012 and it even feels like forever since his “It’s Better This Way” mixtape dropped in 2015. Last year, K.R.I.T. dropped twelve freestyles over the course of twelve hours and months later announced that he was no longer with Def Jam. His frustrations with his time at the label were chronicled in his song “Free Agent.” Now back as an independent artist once again, K.R.I.T. presents a 22 track double album in the form of “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time.” In addition to K.R.I.T. himself, the album features production from DJ Compstar, Mannie Fresh, Organized Noise, DJ Khalil, Supah Mario and WLPWR. Guest appearances include TI, Lloyd, UGK, Cee-lo Green, Sleepy Brown, Joi, Jill Scott, Keyon Harrold, Robert Glasper, Burniss Travis and Kenneth Whalum. The idea at play with the double album is that one disc represents Big K.R.I.T. — the artist and the other represents Justin Scott — the man. For what it’s worth, Big K.R.I.T.’s albums have always followed the same trajectory: Starting with trunk-rattling southern anthems before delving into deeper and more introspective topics. One could see this album as an elongation of that formula.
Disc 1 begins with “Big K.R.I.T.” where he delivers a spoken poem for a minute before the bass drops and a fiery K.R.I.T. comes out swinging as if he has a point to prove. We’ve seen this from him before in the past (see “Mt. Olympus” and Big Sean’s “Control” remix) and even K.R.I.T. himself decides that he needs to calm down. “Confetti” and “Big Bank” follow. The former comes off as a reality check for those who may think that they’re really on top of the world and doing everything big when in fact they aren’t doing very much at all, while the latter features TI and the two kings are at their s–t talking best just as anyone would expect. “Subenstein” is the fourth part in K.R.I.T.’s long running “My Sub” series and is co-produced by Mannie Fresh. True to its name, the track has enough bass in it to bring everything in its immediate vicinity to life, replete with the occasional mad scientist proclaiming that the bass is alive indeed. “1999” features Lloyd on the hook and his heavily influenced by Guy’s “Piece of My Love” making it a perfect fit for the clubs of uh, various types, but it feels like the track will do well in strip clubs.
It’s no secret the one of K.R.I.T.’s biggest influences is U.G.K. The duo of Bun B and Pimp C make an appearance on the Cory Mo produced “Ride Wit Me.” While it has almost been 10 years since Pimp’s passing, his vocals and adlibs fit perfectly on the track in a way that can’t help but make one wonder what kind of chemistry he and K.R.I.T. would have had. “Get Up 2 Come Down” follows and features the vocals of Sleepy Brown and the rhymes of Cee-lo Green, who coincidentally puts his own spin on the late Pimp C’s inflections and delivery. “Layup” is a mellow track perfect for a late night drive but also has a bit of an inspirational touch to it as well for those who work hard but have yet to reap the benefits.