There is art in duality. In his phenomenal double album, 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time, Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T. displays two sides of himself. An album of this stature took two years of creation and is his latest studio album since 2014. Through a rap career lasting longer than a decade, this project seems like the album he was made to create. During the last five years, he encountered label difficulties with Def Jam because his artistic vision wasn’t as trusted as other signees. Aggravation was a mainstay in K.R.I.T.’s career until he broke away from the label and becoming an independent artist. With his newfound free will, there would be unwanted pressure or compromises. This lack of hindrance led to Big K.R.I.T.’s almost unarguably best studio album and one of the best rap albums of the year.
Big K.R.I.T., born Justin Scott, has always been known for his southern allure. At initial listen, his thick, authentic country accent supersedes many of the elements in his music. Once you get pass that, recognize his prowess. His lyrics are clever yet clearly stated and is never scared to diversify flows. The influences of Outkast, Goodie Mob, 8ball and MJG, and UGK have been prevalent throughout his musical career. Beautiful southern jazz and soul have been fused in his hip-hop style, and it hasn’t been more fully realized than on 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time.
In the first half of the project, Big K.R.I.T. as a separate entity, one that does not hold the wisdom of Justin Scott, the person speaking on the second. It’s a new beginning for him, and he acknowledges it blatantly on the opening track, “Big K.R.I.T., by reintroducing himself as the dynamic rapper he is. He begins with a spoken word approach, reflecting on his life as an artist. Then, he proceeds to rap about the traditional subject matter we can expect from down south rapper, seasoning every word with confidence and vigor.
That confidence travels into the next track “Confetti,” a pulsing record containing a dark, sinister beat. K.R.I.T. was really in his bag on this one. No type of humbleness was audible. “What’s a name if they don’t respect it?” is a line in the hook that sticks with you as the track goes. He mentions confetti as a means for celebration. It’s a comment on how some artist let the most measly bit of success go to their head, thus earning nothing but confetti. K.R.I.T. has a true desire for longevity, which earns recognition that has the value of gold.
K.R.I.T.’s old soul comes to play on the tracks “Ride Wit Me” and “Get Up 2 Come Down.” The former contains vocals from Bun B and the late Pimp C of UGK. It’s a smooth, hazy record that provokes the imagery of 87′ Box Chevy. K.R.I.T.’s natural cadence gives the feeling that this song wasn’t released in 2017. It truly feels more than a decade of age. In K.R.I.T.’s comfort zone, he doesn’t fail to impress.
The same is true for “Get Up 2 Come Down” which has features from Cee Lo Green and Sleepy Brown of the Dungeon Family, a legendary collective of southern artists. The subtle horns on this song are impeccable. The song sounds like it should be placed on the soundtrack on a sly, black 90s crime drama. But K.R.I.T. remains the star of the show by delivering a couple of electrifying verses. Another impressive feat is that he has Cee Lo Green rapping. Most can’t recollect the last time someone had Cee Lo rapping instead of using his incredibly recognizable singing voice.
Disc one ends with the soulfully emphatic “Get Away.” It’s basically a cleansing song that liberates K.R.I.T. from the harrowing troubles people place on him. The soulful sample gives brilliant life to this track. Like a bulk of songs on the whole album, it was produced by K.R.I.T. himself. This closing track is a great example of self-service. The sparkling keys in the outro give disc one a sweet ending that transitions to the bitter evils that appear on disc two.
Justin Scott is a man who endured industry hell. In the second half of “4eva Is A Mighty Long Time,” Scott proclaims the pain he went through in the past years due to poisonous external forces. “Keep The devil Off” proves this. It’s an irresistible energetic track that showcases Scott’s spirituality. “Miss Georgia Fornia” follows with amazing church style harmonization with singer Joi.
Scott emotionally vocalized his struggles on “Price of Fame.” It’s an in-depth look at his personal life and the negative attention he receives in regards to his rap career. Over a chilling instrumental, he raps “Dealing with depression, pills on the dresser/
Fiending for affection so I’m buying out the section.” His suffering has him longing for affection, even when it is fake. Scott furthers the narrative of him consuming worrying amounts of substances on “Drinking Sessions.” During his verses, you can hear the pain in Justin Scott’s verses. Death has crept closer and closer.He speaks of his past, hoping what he does now in the present will lead a better future. “It’s hard to protect your feelings when you so exposed,” he admits.
The album ends justly with “Bury Me In Gold.” On this track, he acknowledges the foolery that pairs with a life of materialism but knows a gold crown is what he deserves. He casts out the idea that a person should only enjoy their riches after find value within themselves. Gold is a distraction that can divert you from your final destination. For Justin Scott, that destination is heaven.
4eva Is A Mighty Long Time is a heartfelt story told throgh the medium of masterful recreations of southern hip hop influences. Big K.R.I.T. has released one of the few rap albums comparable with Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.