Big K.R.I.T – 4Eva N a Day | Mixtape Review

If the excellent Return of 4EVA mixtape didn’t bring to the forefront the potential of Mississipi rapper Big K.R.I.T. in 2011, then his solemn, heart-stirring verse on The Roots‘ “Make My” masterpiece would have many searching for the back catalog of one of HipHop’s most promising newcomers. In the short space of time, K.R.I.T. has established himself as a rapper whose music is submerged in the stylings and soul of southern rap’s past greats, in addition to stirring in his own engaging tales set in today’s glitter and patrone obsessed society.

One of last year’s XXL Freshman, K.R.I.T. won the admiration and respect of a majority of listeners who crave for an emcee who fully embodies the spirit of past storytellers and intricate lyricists. Following on from last year’s impressive work, 4Eva N a Day aims to cement the imposing K.R.I.T. as the rapper whose emphasis on lyrical skill, insightful themes and concepts overshadows the rest of today’s frontrunners in Hip Hop whose material may seem shallow and insufficient in comparison.

4Eva N a Day is led by a concept following a young hustler’s day to day endeavours, which instantly holds together the mixtape in terms of its content and interest. The hazy “Wake Up” is a delightful opener; hazy in its production, with dreamy saxophones and K.R.I.T.’s slumberous tones serenading the chorus.

With brief interludes at the beginning of tracks to aid in telling the story, the get-up-and-go motif is done with a sense of frustration pain and regret by the Mississippi rapper, which adds more of a human interest twist to the narrative. Such qualitative features can be found in the following track “Yesterday,” which is a touching tribute to Big K.R.I.T.’s deceased grandmother, beautifully narrating the importance she had in his upbringing.

One of the few rappers with a gift of roping in listeners with his every word, Big K.R.I.T.’s soft, southern tones aren’t wasted purely on bragging and stunting (which he does just enough of on the mixtape). From being a motivator to questioning the impact of institutions in society, K.R.I.T.’s analysis and questioning of the world through child like eyes is impressionable and done without any preacher-esque tones.

The excellent “Boobie Miles” is a deliciously cooked soul ride; cruising smoothly, with the wordsmith’s aged wisdom of striving to succeed seamlessly laying atop of the velvet production which he himself put together. Displaying a maturity beyond his years, the moral questioning “Package Store” finds Big K.R.I.T. encountering both a church leader in a compromising position and a gangbanger, outside of a convenience store which leads to him challenging their actions.

Such moments on 4Eva N a Day should reside well with both fans of southern Trap music as well as those after more thought provoking matter. Musical influences are clearly on show on 4Eva N a Day. Big K.R.I.T.’s endearment with the 1970’s and ’80s Funk and Soul can be heard on stone cold cuts like “1986” and “Country Rap Tunes” whereas the hypnotic aura of ’90s OutKast and riding dirty vibes of UGK make themselves known on “Sky Club” and “Down and Out.”

Feeling very much like a project which genuinely is from the protagonist’s heart, K.R.I.T. is the only storyteller on 4Eva…, with credited contributions only going to guitarists and sax players. Being void of features allows listeners to fully take in Big K.R.I.T. as a rapper, singer and producer and the results of such a method are rewarding. Young Krizzle embraces the chopped and screwed, cadillac tipping swagger of his beloved south “Me and My Old School” yet still finds shows a softer, intimate side when opening up on a troublesome relationship on “Red Eye.”

Providing a full scope of the ups and downs in the life of the man born Justin Scott, 4Eva N a Day, from beginning to end is immersed in rich lyricism, storytelling and stirring instrumentals, to the extent that it feels like a feature film. Big K.R.I.T.’s follow up to the excellent Return of 4Eva plays out like a blaxploitation movie; subtle in its defining qualities of providing a message yet bold and grand at times in its delivery. The luscious score penned by K.R.I.T. compliments his softly spoken delivery, and recaptures the same spirit of some of the timeless classics of past black music greats.

A free project with much depth to it both verbally and sonically, Big K.R.I.T.’s slice of home truths, youthful exuberance and life struggles will sweep listeners away from the superficial surroundings built by today’s egocentric superstars and take them to a chilled, spirit lifting world which will leave a lasting impression on them with every listening experience.