Love At First Listen: Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva N a Day (Review)

It’s not often that newcomers in any musical genre create music that transcends the sum of its parts; much less the land of disposable singles, throwaway mixtapes, and one-hit wonders that comprise the bulk of popular Southern Hip-Hop; Big K.R.I.T., however, has managed to bypass those obstacles.

K.R.I.T.’s most recent mixtape, 4eva N a Day, takes us through a day in his life; a concept rarely seen in Southern Hip-Hop, where cerebral, thought-provoking messages are too often sacrificed for a catchy single or a club hit, but a concept that K.R.I.T. manages to pull off with flying colors. Through the passing of this day, K.R.I.T. takes us into his conscience as he raps whatever comes on his mind as the day passes; his cars, his relationship with his record label, his relationship with his girlfriend, and the temptations and indulgences of a successful lifestyle as a rapper are just a few of the concepts present within K.R.I.T.’s mind as he goes about his day.

Lyrically, what separates K.R.I.T.’s mixtape from an album of club singles is his point of view on the aforementioned topics; he takes the philosophical, observant point of view, analyzing each and every aspect of both his life and of Southern Hip-Hop culture in 2012. He brags enough to establish his own sense of swagger and persona, while constantly questioning his surroundings and current state of being. Through doing this, he successfully conveys himself as a man who lives the laid-back, Southern lifestyle while retaining the wisdom and sense of reflection you’d expect to hear from a Southern rap veteran.

In perfect accompaniment with his smooth Southern accent, K.R.I.T. treats his listeners to some of the most astonishing production in Hip-Hop. 4eva N a Day is chock-full of smooth jazz and soul samples (notably on “Wake Up,” “Boobie Miles,” and the title track, “4evaNaDay”) that provide fresh air amongst the genre. The subtle guitar, flute samples, and screwed (that’s Southern slang for slowed-down) vocals on the song “Me And My Old School” envelop the listener in their fluidity, and cry to be blared in a convertible lowrider cruising down a Southern thoroughfare. K.R.I.T.’s beats directly reflect the concepts in his songs, which apart from creating one of the most aurally pleasing  projects in Hip-Hop, reinforces the cohesiveness and consistency of his efforts.

Ultimately, K.R.I.T. has created a mixtape that captures the true essence of the Third Coast of rap: the South. This is a release that is unjustly labeled as a mixtape; it’s a cohesive album in its own right, and although only a precursor to his debut album, Live From The Underground, which is set to be released this summer, 4eva N a Day exceeds every criterion for an album that not only fulfills the philosophical void in Southern Hip-Hop and provides production that will leave beat-junkies from Houston to Atlanta hastily taking notes, but ultimately transcends its message.

This is Third Coast Hip-Hop at its highest-analyzed and like you’ve never heard before.