Review Summary: "Still fly, can't keep a player down
Mainstream is cool but in my heart forever underground"
In March of 2011, rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T. released his second mix tape, Return Of 4Eva
. The young rapper soon catapulted into popularity as the album garnered critical acclaim and was considered a classic by most southern hip-hop listeners. As K.R.I.T. set a high bar for himself, tragically he was unable to capitalize as it seemed that every single one of his official LP releases, in my opinion, ranged from mediocre to decent. After the failed attempt of Cadillactica
, K.R.I.T. faded into obscurity after releasing a couple more hellish mix tapes. And just when everyone was going to write him off, 4eva Is A Mighty Long
Time was born.
For those of you who don’t know, 4eva Is A Mighty Long
Time is a split CD with an overall runtime of almost eighty five minutes. Not just to make up for the short hiatus he had taken, but to divide the album into two parts because he molded the album in two different ways. Big K.R.I.T. creates an album that strategically balances the complexity of 90s hip-hop while simultaneously adding the fun and simplicity of early 00s bangers. One of the tracks that I currently have on repeat, Get Up 2 Come Down
is a perfect example of K.R.I.T. taking us back in time, not in his time machine
but with a slick jam he has created with reminiscing 90s flow. As he effortlessly knocks out a couple of smooth fast-paced verses with finesse. K.R.I.T.’s verses makes the track sound so classic, If I were to close my eyes, I could swear it was Big Boi on the vox. The song finally closes out with a legendary performance by CeeLo Green as he shockingly shakes off the rust, and spits a verse that we haven’t heard in decades.
Krizzle is also on a mission to grab the rap game from this strange period of ambient experimentation and pull it back to the glory era of the early 00s where the music made you beat your chest and go complete ape***. Big K doesn’t stray away from the culture that early 00s kids grew up in, where rappers flaunt about their money and how nice their cars are, as these influences are displayed in some serious explosive tracks like Subenstein (My Sub IV)
and Big Bank
. With features like southern veteran T.I. and the fact that I can hear Mannie Fresh’s voice scattered in Sub IV
makes the experience so much more special. Big K.R.I.T. also managed to get Lloyd on the album on the next track, 1999
. Although the sexual induced track is not the greatest song, he creates a serious nostalgic high for someone like me who grew up in that era. 4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time
also has a few comedic interludes that are surprisingly funny and reminds of Late Registration
which only adds to the nostalgic vibe.
At this point, the album takes a dramatic shift in sound. With the last few tracks and all the way through the second CD, you will find K.R.I.T. takes a more experimental, soulful approach. 4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time
is filled with amazing instrumentals featuring real instruments opposed to computer generated instrumentals that will just inevitably become outdated. And the second half focuses on this dramatically with some of the most intricate tracks like Miss Georgia Fornia
and Higher Calling
. I would say K.R.I.T. was trying to make his own To Pimp A Butterfly
, but that is an absurd contention since southern rappers have been doing this since day one. There’s not a lot of complaints I have with this album other than I feel like it’s overproduced. It would be perfect if the album had a more raw
sound. I also feel like there’s some cringey lyrics like “Just past the AUX cord
” as a chorus, a phrase that will probably be outdated in a few years, and “Looking like a layup
” had me cringing out too. K.R.I.T. also has me scratching my head for the lead singles he had chosen for the album. Confetti
and Keep The Devil Off
are hands down the weakest tracks on the album.
Even with the minor complaints, 4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time
is sweeter than a plate of yams with extra syrup. I’ve been waiting a long time for a southern rapper to release something so deeply rooted and connected with their southern predecessors. The album is true and real. And that is why I’m calling it a classic
. I’ve also come to the realization of the hidden message behind the album. The first CD is for the mainstream and the second CD is for the underground. This is a theme that reappears in his music, Big K.R.I.T. trying to be mainstream to stay relevant and successful, but also staying true to the obscure sound that he grew up with in the south. Staying true to himself, Justin Scott. Well, I’m here to tell you that you did it, Krizzle. You made a classic
, and you didn’t even need fourteen skits.