I don’t do many album reviews anymore, so you know this is good….
Big K.R.I.T. – Returnof4Eva
Rating: 8 out of 10 Tracy Morgans
Big K.R.I.T. aka Justin Scott was recently named as part of XXL’s annual “Freshmen” list, but he certainly sounds like a wise old head emcee on his free “mixtape” Return of 4Eva. I use the term “mixtape” loosely though, because Return of 4Eva feels so cohesive and so potent it should really be an album. Quite possibly one of the most potent of the year. K.R.I.T.’s Southern drawl, polished lyricism and laid back production are wise beyond his years.
The Mississippi-based rapper would sound right at home in 1994 with the likes of OutKast, 8Ball & MJG, Scarface and the rest of the South’s great rhymers. He even pays respect to his elders with features and samples. On “R4 Theme Song” I can almost picture a Yo! MTV Raps video the woodgrain cadillac’s with candy paint and old school Daytons. “Highs and Lows” is a Dungeon Family/”Shaft”-themed hybrid that plays on the age old mack tip. K.R.I.T. even manages to get quality verses from Chamillionaire on slow burner “Time Machine” and Mississippi brethren David Banner on the bombastic “Sookie Now.”
While much of K.R.I.T.’s work feels like an homage, he is definitely an artist whose work stands on his own. “The Vent” is about as honest and heartfelt as hip-hop comes with a sparse synth backing that lets K.R.I.T.’s words breathe. “Another Naive Individual Glorifying Greed and Encouraging Racism” is a poignant social commentary you just don’t hear often in today’s hip-hop with horns to match.
The fact that Return of 4Eva was given to fans by Big K.R.I.T. for free, is probably the bargain of the year. Its also likely to be on many lists as one of the best releases of the year. The K.R.I.T. stands for “King Remembered In Time”, we’ll have to see about that later, but this release certainly should be.
Download Big K.R.I.T. – Returnof4Eva here for FREE
Big K.R.I.T. – The Vent (free .mp3)
FYI – I didn’t really have any ideas for a rating system, until I watched this clip last night. Until someone comes up with a better idea, the Tracy Morgan rating system has been instituted. The TM scale goes from “Cop Out” Tracy Morgan, which constitutes as a zero, to ESPN NFL commercial Tracy Morgan, a definite 10. An “8” is “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah”, no doubt.