I always root for Big K.R.I.T. A rapper from Mississippi, K.R.I.T. embodies the era of Southern rap made famous by artists such as Outkast, Ludacris, and T.I., the former of which K.R.I.T. leans on heavily. His first major mixtape, Live from the Underground, cemented such a role easily with hits like “Cool 2 Be Southern” and the title track “Live from the Underground,” but his second record, Cadillactica, was too odd an experiment, combining Southern/Outkast influence (in more ways than simply the title), with this concept of a higher-power mindset and out-there lyrics over incredibly maximalist production.
It was a departure from what made K.R.I.T. great, but one such move that was immediately rectified with an amazing feature on A$AP Rocky’s “1Train” and a spectacular and conscious-heavy BET spoken-word performance. He might not have the deepest lyrics or complex songs, but he might have the most energy and charisma on the mic, something that highly accentuates his Southern style and drawl, with fellow Southern legends such as T.I., Bub B., Pimp C, Cee-Lo Green, and Sleepy Brown hopping on board like he’s the Joey Bada$$ of the South.
4eva Is a Mighty Long Time is a good record, and it’s a step in a fantastic creative revival for Big K.R.I.T., but it’s not without it flaws, and some of them are pretty heavy. A lot of the most-high praise for Big K.R.I.T. revolves around all of the great and inspiring things he has to say, and every now and then yeah, he has a nice line, but his lyricism isn’t anywhere close to what I enjoy most about Big K.R.I.T. His BET performance, mentioned above, showed his strength in such a format, but the #BlackLivesMatter movement or issues of police brutality honestly don’t really appear on the record until the penultimate track, “The Light.” In fact, it’s pretty much your standard braggadocios rap record until track 11, “Get Away,” and it’s mainly just the transition into the more personal second half of the double-record.
If anything, most of what he says that could be viewed as meaningful comes from wanting to “keep the devil off” and avoid negativity. The three-song arc of “Price of Fame”->”Drinking Sessions”->”The Light” holds all of the real meaning in this record, and it’s a fantastic look through his depression, anxiety, and dealings with fame, race, and faith, but the remaining 19 tracks of 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time showcase all of the clear signs of a classic Southern gangsta rap record (such as Aquemini or Stankonia by Outkast), and it’s in these moments where Big K.R.I.T. really shines.
As much as his more meaningful songs are important and enjoyable, it’s tracks like “Big Bank” and the opener “Big K.R.I.T.,” where K.R.I.T.’s flow and charisma blast the doors open. There are still some odd discrepancies here and there, such as the near lack of bass in a song about his thumping sub-woofer called “Subenstein,” or his contradictions on “Confetti,” stating “money don’t make you fly, that’s just my perspective,” only two lines before bragging about his wealth again: “Fuck the check up last week, I got a new agenda/The last time I couldn’t buy some shit, I can’t remember.” The next song, fantastic as it is, is also literally named “Big Bank.”
Throughout the record, the production (which he does a lot of himself) and K.R.I.T.’s charisma/lyrical delivery excels the words themselves, but I truly believe songs like “Big Bank,” “Get Up 2 Come Down” (minus Cee-Lo), and “Drinking Sessions” display what K.R.I.T. is truly capable of when he’s at his most self and not making party-rap tracks such as “Confetti” or “1999,” a song that says “pussy poppin'” at least three times. Don’t get me wrong however, I really like a lot of this record, and I’m a huge fan of Big K.R.I.T. coming through and proving his hold on this classic Southern sound, but this record feels more like a step towards what I know he can accomplish than a triumph in of itself.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.