Southern hip-hop is alive, and Big K.R.I.T. has proven to be the heart of it.
His latest offering, “4eva is a Mighty Long Time,” is a double disc album with a little bit of everything for everyone. From monstrous, hard-hitting rap bangers to smooth, serene R&B cuts, K.R.I.T. manages to sew together a project that feels both lyrically and sonically cohesive.
On the self-titled “Big K.R.I.T.” intro, he divulges the sound of “4eva is a Mighty Long Time” with a track that is equal parts soothing and exhilarating. The song serves as a microcosm for the entire album, as each disc proceeds to tackle a different sound. The first disc is classic southern rap, and it is highlighted by bass-booming cuts like “Big Bank” and “Subenstein (My Sub IV).” The second brings a heaping serving of soul, with exuberant tracks like “Keep The Devil Off” shining the brightest.
The southern flavor of K.R.I.T.’s third studio album is complemented perfectly by the features. CeeLo Green, T.I., and the other artists on this project add another dimension to “4eva is a Mighty Long Time,” and they keep Big K.R.I.T. from exhausting his own sound. The many voices on here live in beautiful harmony with his verses, and not a single guest feels out-of-place.
K.R.I.T.’s greatest asset is his lyrical prowess, and from beginning to end, he effortlessly flexes that talent. On “Drinking Sessions,” he opens the window to his mind and reveals his deepest thoughts without skipping a beat. K.R.I.T. never struggles to find words—for him, pouring his feelings into a rhyming pattern seems like a cakewalk.
Instrumentally, “4eva is a Mighty Long Time” is a masterpiece. Much of it was produced by Big K.R.I.T. himself; and even on tracks where he is not credited, his influence is heard loud and clear. It’s easy to get lost in the seamless flow from song-to-song, which makes the album more of an experience and less of a random collection.
Despite a lack of mainstream attention, Big K.R.I.T.’s work is undoubtedly deserving of the spotlight. In every aspect, it is magnificently crafted; and in years to come, it will likely go down in hip-hop history as a classic. “4eva is a Mighty Long Time” took a mighty long time to release—three years after his last album, to be exact—but every second of waiting was worth it.