In a region of the country that has become increasingly synonymous with trap music, a forgotten king of the South has returned. Big K.R.I.T. is free at last from the restraints of his record label and is crafting arguably some of the best music of his career on “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time.” The double disc album explores two different concepts, with disc one representing K.R.I.T. and disc two shedding light on the man behind the music, Justin Scott. “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time” enlists a legendary cast of Southern artists and employs a slew of homegrown sounds to give form to K.R.I.T.’s vision.
Disc one contains everything there is to love about Big K.R.I.T. From the opening tip on “Big K.R.I.T.,” the Meridian native’s pen is crisp as he raps about his arduous ascension in music while holding steadfast to his country roots. On “Confetti,” one can feel K.R.I.T.’s drive from his words alone when he stresses over and over that he is not satisfied with moral victories and that he desires eternal glory.
The songs are not overly lyrical, but his words are so potent that his confidence becomes infectious.
K.R.I.T.’s simplicity is what causes the music to feel authentic. On “Subenstein (My Sub IV),” K.R.I.T. spends the entirety of the song glorifying his subwoofers. It may seem pretty silly when you think about it, but K.R.I.T. raps about it in a way that makes you care just as much about the bass as he does. It is easy to feel equally engrossed in K.R.I.T.’s world on songs like “Aux Cord,” in which he name-drops classic soul records and legendary artists that grace the speakers of his home and car.
The production on “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time” is immaculate. Disc one draws inspiration from K.R.I.T.’s Southern-fried roots as it provokes feelings of nostalgia for artists like UGK. The energy produced by the frantic instrumental on “Big Bank” is so spellbinding that you cannot help but rock uncontrollably to the strong rhythmic beat. The instrumental for “Subenstein (My Sub IV)” feels as though it is a living, breathing monster, before transitioning smoothly not in a more melodic sequence at the end. Moments like this and in songs like “Get Away” show the versatility of the production on this album.
The music on disc two embodies the more spiritual and somewhat personal side of Big K.R.I.T. After K.R.I.T. declares he needs to escape from the worldly matters of disc one on “Get Away,” “Justin Scott” immerses the listener in its glory. While the song plays, it is hard not to imagine yourself walking down the aisle of a small Baptist church in Mississippi on your way to the altar. “Justin Scott” is mostly instrumentation with no lyrics from Big K.R.I.T., but it is a powerful testament to the journey listeners and K.R.I.T. are about to embark on.
This side of “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time” makes you want to trade in your subwoofers for choir robes and begin praise dancing. This is especially true on “Keep the devil Off,” in which K.R.I.T. emphatically rebukes the devil with the help of a jamming guitar, an enthused organ and a righteous choral group. Again, the approach is different from disc one, but the effect is the same, as one cannot sit still when listening.
The production is superb, but it is K.R.I.T.’s vulnerability that makes disc two so special. “Mixed Messages” reveals the contradictions that plague his existence and cause him to stress over what is right and wrong. However, K.R.I.T. acknowledging his hypocrisy is a beautiful thing because it paints him as an everyday man with problems like everyone else, rather than an all-knowing deity. “Price of Fame” is equally poignant. The songs feel like open letter in which K.R.I.T. details the insecurities and hardships fame has placed on his shoulders.
“4eva Is a Mighty Long Time” is the perfect double disc album. Both possess their own charm and sound while still remaining 100 percent Big K.R.I.T. Whether it’s the illustrious CeeLo Green delivering a surprise verse on “Get Up 2 Come Down” or Bilal guiding the jazz-heavy “The Light” with his vocals, the guest features are all perfect complements. This album is K.R.I.T.’s masterpiece in a catalog of already fantastic projects.