Big K.R.I.T.: 4EvaNaDay

Biding time before the release of his major label debut later this year, K.R.I.T. continues to stun.

Big K.R.I.T.


Label: Cinematic Music Group / Def Jam
US Release Date: 2012-05-05
UK Release Date: 2012-03-05

There was a time the delay of an artist's album, especially in the highly radioactive world of Internet rap hype, could completely subsume a rapper's ability to maintain relevancy. But the times have been changing for a while now and when Young Jeezy's TM103 was released after years of dormancy to throngs of acclaim and sales, a nail seemed to be slammed deep into the coffin containing the myth that an artist couldn't properly sustain themselves on mixtapes and fan service until the label got their minds right. Whether Def Jam learns that lesson remains to be seen, however, but labelmate Big K.R.I.T.'s approached his own album delay with a very similar attitude, illustrated perfectly during this sequence late in his newest self-produced mixtape:

"Label hit me about another single and said I ain't had play

Since “Country Shit”, hell they thought that was a reasonable record anyway

But thank God for Bun B and Ludacris, because they had faith

That shit would take off and it did, guess I was too country to quit

I make albums not hits, these rich folks don't know about this."

This is the sort of blunt, direct approach to Big K.R.I.T.'s lyrics that hasn't necessarily won him a lot of champions as a technician, but definitely elevates him to something of a role model among his peers. Much like fellow Cinematic Music Group member Curren$y, K.R.I.T. has no interest in bending his music or the public's perception of his art for the sake of a mere hit single; if a song of his becomes popular he'd rather it be because the public deemed it so than because he stressed himself into something that would fit on the radio or TV. As such, 4EvaNaDay is mostly more of what we've come to expect from Big K.R.I.T. since he emerged from a Mississippi underdog with 2010's K.R.I.T. Wuz Here into the upper echelon of hyped up performers: candy coated Pimp C funk, self-affirming Eightball & MJG swagger and self-deconstructing Dungeon Family soul. The results don't display as clear a progression of motive as the transfer from K.R.I.T. Wuz Here to last year's Returnof4Eva did – there's no clear line to be drawn between the influences of UGK and OutKast, respectively, as there was then – but 4EvaNaDay does do something arguably much more important for K.R.I.T. going forward: it exposes K.R.I.T. as a guy who's unquestionably made those influences his own and is now ready to poke and prod the finished product, to play with it in a self-confident fashion that allows for less pronounced but equally interesting artistic growth.

In terms of his production, K.R.I.T. still draws samples from late ‘70s/early ‘80s funk and soul, but he's found more room for lively instruments and synths, providing a slightly more lush and dynamic atmosphere to his country rap tunes. These increased dynamics allow him to play his insightful and anthemic sides against each other more creatively, rather than drawing clear demarcations between the two as he did on Returnof4Eva. "Wake Up" opens the album with a sleepy eyed take on that JETS brand of stoned jazz rap, a feel that slowly and organically grows into the bombastic "4EvaNaDay (Theme)", in many ways a rewrite of last year's "R4 Theme" but just as addictive. That track is followed with a collection of certified windows-down tunes that somehow find a way to dial back down into "Red Eye", which will be the tape's first truly standout track on most folks' first listens as K.R.I.T. bares his heart to an unnamed female friend he can't bare to hide his true feelings from any longer. The final third of the album flits back and forth between the two moods, with "Package Store" detailing K.R.I.T.'s adventures trying to make some purchases at the local liquor shop, "Temptation" and "The Alarm" addressing more of Big K.R.I.T.'s inner demons, and "Insomnia" marking Big K.R.I.T.'s first foray into straight up sex rap (a track that also marks K.R.I.T.'s first near-dud in more than two years).

Because it's about twenty minutes shorter than the typical K.R.I.T. affair, 4EvaNaDay may be the new best entry point for those who remain uninitiated to K.R.I.T.'s cause, but if established listeners conclude it's an unquestionably satisfying yet definitively familiar street album, it'd be hard to hold that against them. So many of these tracks feel like fresh takes on songs he's already written that it definitely has a distinctly reserved feel that hadn't come across on his previous two releases, the spectre of upcoming major label debut Live from the Underground looming somewhat imposingly in the background. But if 4EvaNaDay is merely the King Remembered in Time in a reclined driver's seat, Chevy SS on cruise control. then we may as well continue calling Big K.R.I.T. the most sure-fire bet hip-hop's seen in years because even a B effort from K.R.I.T. promises to stand above near every other album that would dare to challenge it. His experimentation with new flows (particularly a slightly rough yet charming double time he tests out a few times) and more lush, diverse instrumentation makes for a release that just can't be missed, particularly as the weather creeps closer and closer to times of summer dresses, exposed skin and ever-popular lemonade.





By the Book

Jack Halberstam's 'Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire' (excerpt)

Enjoy this excerpt of Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire, wherein Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the 20th century.

Jack Halberstam

Sotto Voce's 'Your Husband, the Governor' Is Beautifully Twisted DIY Indie Folk-rock

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Gabos releases another odd, gorgeous home studio recording under the moniker Sotto Voce.


Numün's 'voyage au soleil' Is a Trippy, Ambient Ride and Ambitious Debut

Eclectic instrumental trio numün combine a wealth of influences to create a vibe that's both spacey and earthy on voyage au soleil.


L7's 'Smell the Magic' Is 30 and Packs a Feminist Punch

Abortion is under threat again, and there's a sex offender in the Oval Office. A fitting time, in short, to crank up the righteously angry vocals of feminist hard rock heavy hitters like L7.


Can Queer Studies Rescue American Universities?

Matt Brim's Poor Queer Studies underscores the impact of poorer disciplines and institutions, which often do more to translate and apply transformative intellectual ideas in the world than do their ivory-tower counterparts.


Jim White Offers a "Smart Ass Reply" (premiere)

Jesus and Alice Cooper are tighter than you think, but a young Jim White was taught to treat them as polar opposites. Then an eight-track saved his soul and maybe his life.


Ed Harcourt Paints From 'Monochrome to Colour'

British musician Ed Harcourt's instrumental music is full of turbulent swells and swirls that somehow maintain a dignified beauty on Monochrome to Colour.


West London's WheelUP Merges Broken Beat and Hip-Hop on "Stay For Long" (premiere)

West London producer WheelUP reached across the pond to Brint Story to bring some rapid-fire American hip-hop to his broken beat revival on "Stay For Long".


PM Picks Playlist 4: Stellie, The Brooks, Maude La​tour

Today's playlist features the premiere of Stellie's "Colours", some top-class funk from the Brooks, Berne's eco-conscious electropop, clever indie-pop from Maude Latour, Jaguar Jonze rocking the mic, and Meresha's "alien pop".


Plattetopia: The Prefabrication of Utopia in East Berlin

With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the licence to take a wrecking ball to its nightmare of repression. But there began the unwritten violence of Die Wende, the peaceful revolution that hides the Oedipal violence of one order killing another.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Electrosoul's Flõstate Find "Home Ground" on Stunning Song (premiere)

Flõstate are an electrosoul duo comprised of producer MKSTN and singer-songwriter Avery Florence that create a mesmerizing downtempo number with "Home Ground".


Orchestra Baobab Celebrate 50 Years with Vinyl of '​Specialist in All Styles'

As Orchestra Baobab turn 50, their comeback album Specialist in All Styles gets a vinyl reissue.


Hot Chip Stay Up for 'Late Night Tales'

Hot Chip's contribution to the perennial compilation project Late Night Tales is a mixed bag, but its high points are consistent with the band's excellence.


The Budos Band Call for Action on "The Wrangler" (premiere)

The Budos Band call on their fans for action with the powerful new track "The Wrangler" that falls somewhere between '60s spy thriller soundtrack and '70s Ethiojazz.


Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" Ruminates on Our Second-Guesses (premiere)

A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.


For Don DeLillo, 'The Silence' Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo's latest novel, The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life -- everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?


Brett Newski Plays Slacker Prankster on "What Are You Smoking?" (premiere)

Is social distancing something we've been doing, unwittingly, all along? Brett Newski pulls some pranks, raises some questions in "What Are You Smoking?".

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.