Big K.R.I.T., 4eva is a Mighty Long Time | Album Review
Underrated, old-school Mississippi rapper-producer drops an impressive third studio album, double album ‘4eva is a Mighty Long Time.’
Big K.R.I.T. definitely doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Perhaps it is because the Mississippi rapper-producer is a throwback – incredibly old-school. Nonetheless, throughout his underrated career, he’s shown he has some great skills on both the boards and in regards to the bars. Double album 4eva is a Mighty Long Time is top-notch, regardless of K.R.I.T.’s underrated profile.
Big K.R.I.T. kicks things off with “Big K.R.I.T.” – seems fitting to say the least. This is an intro of sorts, finding the rapper delivering personal, thoughtful, and agile bars. After being more a bit more poised and reserved on the first verse, he steps up his game on the second. Promo single “Confetti” follows in all its glory. Like many songs by the MC, the unapologetic southern production is major selling point. The first half of the song sounds more classic and soulful, while the second half has more trunk-rattling fare. As far as rhymes, there’s a graceful grit, if such a thing exists.
4eva is a Mighty Long Time gets its first banger with the amped up “Big Bank,” featuring T.I. The energy is absolutely infectious, with Big K.R.I.T. delivering some of his quickest rhymes ever. He kills it on the hook. T.I. is a natural collaborator – this sounds as if it could’ve appeared on King (2006). Keeping the bangers coming, K.R.I.T. continues to spit about his “sub” – subwoofer that is – on the fine “Subenstein (My Sub IV).” It’s clear on the hook that he loves his bass.
“Trunk knocking when I drive, my sub came alive / Transformer in my ride, my sub came alive / When them hoes outside, my sub came alive / They saying bass died, my sub came alive.”
“1999” pairs Big K.R.I.T. with a former contemporary R&B standout, Lloyd. While Lloyd isn’t a dominant voice in urban music anymore (no offense), he plays an excellent supporting role on this lustful record. The sex doesn’t last for long as “Ride Wit Me” follows darker, tougher, and even more southern. Bun B guests, offering up the first verse, as does Pimp C, who posthumously drops the hook. This is nothing ‘brand-new’ or innovative, but the flex-fest is respectable without a doubt.
Bun B and Pimp C would normally earn standout honors without question. However, “Get Up 2 Come Down” edges it slightly. Once more assisted by stars, CeeLo Green and Sleepy Brown join in on the laid-back, yet intense ride. Arguably, Sleep Brown gets the best part – the chorus. Still, Big K.R.I.T. continues to shine through two well-rounded verses, while it’s refreshing to hear CeeLo rapping again.
“Pass me that pick and roll, off backboard.” The smooth “Layup” slows the pace, spoiling the listener with its lushness. Two words: southern hospitality. As evidenced in the aforementioned lyrics, “Layup” allows for clever references to basketball. Following an entertaining interlude (“Classical”), Big K.R.I.T. shines on the penultimate track for the first disc, “Aux Cord.” It’s laid-back, lush, and pleasant. K.R.I.T. is agile and smooth as butter. On closer “Get Away,” he asserts, “I got to get away from that bullshit that they on.” Expectedly, K.R.I.T sounds at home spitting confidently over a soul sample. Old school through and through, but a great cap to a great first disc.
“Keep the Devil Off”
The second disc features some extended length numbers at the top. “Justin Scott” – K.R.I.T.’s birth name – is a dramatic, gorgeous, mostly instrumental cut. “Justin Scott” is jam packed with ‘old-school soul.’ Emotional strings, prominent bass line, and authenticity to the max. “Mixed Messages” is the official ‘rap’ opener for the second disc. Big K.R.I.T. actually sings the chorus, and it’s on the long side. Eventually, he spits hard, unapologetic bars on the verse. Among his best lines: “It’s still f*ck you, but I’ll give you dap.”
Promo single “Keep the Devil Off” follows in all its glory. What makes “Keep the devil off” so glorious? Vibe and production. The sound of the record is southern to the core, hearkening back to old-school soul and gospel. Big K.R.I.T. uses this to his advantage, fueling his fire. There’s organ, guitar, horns, and backing vocals – sheer excellence. Even if you’re not a Christian or a churchgoer, he perfectly captures the feeling like its Sunday services, and he’s the reverend. The chorus is definitely a key component to the infectiousness.
“Lord be my witness / Gotta keep the devil off (keep the devil off) /…What good are those riches if you’re six feet under? / Lord be my witness, keep the devil off (keep the devil off).”
“Miss Georgia Fornia”
“Miss Georgia Fornia” runs six-minutes, making it the longest song from 4eva is a Mighty Long Time. Even so, it’s an intriguing, thoughtful song without question. The record encompasses relationships – love and otherwise, different locations, and the differences related to both. Joi assists stunningly, particularly on the outro. As thoughtful as “Miss Georgia Fornia” is, “Everlasting” is more entertaining and briefer. The production is among the best of the album. Once more, Big K.R.I.T. delivers buttery smooth rhymes that still manage to pack a punch. His game here is top-notch.
Another standout comes by way of “Higher Calling,” which enlists Jill Scott as the soul vocalist. Scott is a perfect fit for the soulful, thoughtful chorus.
“It’s like, I treasure each night / To know that you exist / In the midst of all this shit / You are my higher calling.”
Big K.R.I.T. matches the thoughtfulness, and sexy vibes on his verses. One of the stronger moments from the second half and the album overall.
“Price of Fame”
“I ain’t been to church in years and it ain’t even far / This ain’t even half of the battle, I ain’t even start / All I do is record, I see what fame will really get you.” Following “Weekend Interlude,” “Price of Fame” continues the depth that dominates the second half of the album. While “Higher Calling” is more optimistic and fulfilling, “Price of Fame” discusses the plight of being famous. “Drinking Sessions,” featuring jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, is a fitting companion piece. Not only does Big K.R.I.T. continue to spit authentic, ‘real’ rhymes, the jazz-soul production work is marvelous. This particular gem is self-produced.
“The Light” enlists elite company that includes the ever-versatile Robert Glasper, Kenneth Whalum, Bilal, and Burniss Earl Travis II. This is a continuation and expansion of the jazz-soul backdrop that graced “Drinking Sessions.” The results are great and makes you wonder, why don’t jazz and rap combine forces more often. “Bury Me in Gold” closes out a very soundly executed, enjoyable album well.
All in all, Big K.R.I.T. is on his ‘A’ game throughout 4eva is a Mighty Long Time. As aforementioned, this is a soundly executed, enjoyable album. Pulling off a double album and keeping both halves intriguing can be an arduous task. The Mississippi rapper passes with flying colors, dropping some marvelous songs along the way. We see both Big K.R.I.T. the artist as well as Justin Scott the person. The insight, the contrasts, and the thoughtfulness is awesome.
Gems: “Confetti,” “Big Bank,” “Subenstein (My Sub IV),” “Aux Cord,” “Keep the Devil Off,” “Everlasting,” “Higher Calling,” “Price of Fame” & “Drinking Sessions”
Big K.R.I.T. • 4eva is a Mighty Long Time • BMG Rights Management • Release: 10.27.17
Photo Credit: BMG Rights Management