Big K.R.I.T. – 4evaNaDay

written by: March 16, 2012
Release Date: March 5th, 2012


Those following the Southern rap echelon know that it’s been a very long time since a talent like Big K.R.I.T. has emerged. By most accounts it was 20 (!) years ago when a group from Port Arthur, Texas, by the name of Underground Kingz signed to Jive Records and forever cemented their place in history. The dexterous delivery, emotional lyricism and calm command of presence K.R.I.T. shares with his forebearers have made his album Live From the Underground one of hip-hop’s most anticipated of 2012. The second of his 4eva series, the Mississippi rapper/producer looks once again poised to shake things up. He’s proved more than capable of bypassing big labels to get his art out there, and now with the help of Island/Def Jam, he won’t need to.

A self-proclaimed “perfectionist,” the amount of sweat K.R.I.T. poured into 4evaNaDay shines through immediately, from free-verse opener “8:04AM,” “Did I do all that I could do to ensure my success/Did I really give my all and am I really at my best?” 4evaNaDay finds K.R.I.T. not trying to prove anything about himself so much as wax on 24 hours, from waking up to insomnia, success to heartbreak, remembering the good times and forgetting the bad. This time, unlike the last, he goes it alone without so much as a sample from another rapper. With confidence settled, he plunges into the world of the self, his agile voice rich like Mississippi honey, impossible to miss—even for a beat.

Mad, bubbling loops suggest the soulful roots of his stomping ground, guitars, “oo”s, “ah”s and smooth saxophones fill the space between drums and fat basslines. K.R.I.T. takes a big, deliberate step away from the sinister-hook, 808 sound of Southern rap’s younger guns. Teaser single “Boobie Miles,” showcases its creator’s rare breed of confessionality and braggadocio. Many of K.R.I.T.’s contemporaries lack his gift for wordplay, his universality: “You got to play until the end/The only thing between a winner and a loser is a winner plays until he wins.”

In “Country Rap Tunes,” K.R.I.T. relishes in third coast pride, shouting out his “Southern kin” and calling out every detractor from the region’s hip-hop legacy by name. On the superb “Handwriting,” his flow is wild and unkempt as he lends props to Outkast and Ludacris, who believed in his own meteoric rise, even in its darkest days: “Guess I was too country to quit/I made albums not hits.” The work moves in themes, from an insecure ascent to chest-thumping successes to a mellow ride-out.

The only thing that prevents 4evaNaDay from being a full-fledged powerhouse (HipHopDX famously hailed Return of 4eva “a free album”) is mixtape syndrome. Even great mixtapes have filler—and that’s not to say glossed-over songs. But that in the interest of the greater dramatic arch of the thing, certain songs are allowed to slide by or preface one another—there is a lot of goodness on this album, but there’s also a lot on this album. The fire has been stoked into a roaring blaze for what’s next. In the interest of discovering a new voice, it’s worth the listen. So here he is, a new twist on a classic, an aspiring legend and a lovable, young hope for hip-hop.

 Big K.R.I.T. – 4evaNaDay tracklist:

  1. “8:04 AM”
  2. “Wake Up”
  3. “Yesterday”
  4. “Boobie Miles”
  5. “4evaNaDay Theme”
  6. “Me and My Old School”
  7. “1986”
  8. “Country Rap Tunes”
  9. “Sky Club”
  10. “Red Eye”
  11. “Down & Out”
  12. “Package Store”
  13. “Temptation”
  14. “Handwriting”
  15. “Insomnia”
  16. “5:04 AM”
  17. “The Alarm”