I don’t think I’m reaching in saying that this could signify the demise of the LP. I’m going to be honest and say that I’ve paid for very little music in the past several years, so it’s rare that I listen to a project I received entirely for free and feel like somebody’s getting shorted. This is the kind of project that makes fans wonder what could possible be left for the album, but it makes a fan of me not even care. Artists are usually at their prime before their first studio LP when they’re still hungry, but hopefully this project is an indication that KRIT won’t be sacrificing artistic integrity for mainstream success…or that he won’t even have to.
Big KRIT’s Return Of 4Eva is a classic, plain and simple. Will it be for everryone? No. Will people deny KRIT his props because he speaks with a Southern accent? Absolutely. Will people try to detract from the project’s quality simply because everyone else likes it? Of course. Such is the nature of hip-hop and some of its so-called fans’ desire to see it remain stagnant. For the open-minded, however, this album (I’m just gonna call it what it is) was well worth the wait and will have the staying power of a classic LP.
It’s clear that KRIT has a keen ear for sound, as there’s a cohesion here that’s lacking from most mixtape projects, namely Fear Of God, which I reviewed last week. Instead of slapping a bunch of songs and freestyles together, it appears KRIT put some effort into creating a linear vibe, from the early-morning musings of “Rise & Shine” to the late-night, roll-a-blunt-and-reflect feel of “The Vent”. The only complaint I have are that some of the features make the project seem dated at a glance. I don’t think anybody was really pressed to hear verses from Chamillionaire, David Banner or Ludacris. I think people would have appreciated hearing either the newer artists he’s been known to work with recently or classic southern MCs like 8Ball & MJG, Scarface or OutKast. The standout feature was actually Big Sant, whose verse on “Made A Lot” is more notable than any of the more established artists KRIT worked with this time out.
I won’t run down every single track on this project, because there’s really nothing to be done but download Return Of 4Eva if you haven’t already and listen for yourself. If anything, it deserves an unbiased ear. It would be selling the man short to say who he sounds like, but you’d be foolish not to notice the influence of UGK, Outkast, 8Ball & MJG, and even the honesty and introspection of Common in his work. It’s easy to get lost in the composition, soul samples, and trunk-ready beats, but once you get past all that, you realize KRIT actually has subject matter. I like brainless hip-hop every now and then just like the next unpretentious hip-hop head, but KRIT’s fusion of conscious rap and Southern sounds is a breath of fresh air in a room chock full of Newport smoke.
On “The Vent”, KRIT makes a good point:
“If it don’t touch my soul, then I can’t listen to it / the radio don’t play the shit I used to love / or maybe I’m just growin’ up”
While we as hip-hop fans complain about what’s on the radio or TV screen, we have to remember those of us not born in the 1990s are no longer the primary audience. Yo! MTV Raps was an epic show, but wouldn’t last today for the upcoming generation’s varied tastes. I don’t understand why grown people complain about not being able to find good hip-hop. Nothing worth having is easy to find and if you have Internet access, there’s no reason you can’t find quality music that fits your tastes. But I’m also convinced that some of you just wanna be miserable, so have at it.
“Made A Lot (f. Big Sant)” x Big KRIT
“The Vent” x Big KRIT