23
Apr
12

I ♥ Tuesdays Vol. 18

The mixtape game wins again.  Though a trifecta of intrequing releases finds a new home in record stores this week, none can overshadow the latest free project from Big K.R.I.T., who today dropped 4eva N A Day, the much-anticipated follow-up to last year’s Album of the Year contender Return of 4Eva.

K.R.I.T. has been toiling on the Southern underground scene for a minute now, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the Mississippi native garnered seized some grander love with the superb K.R.I.T. Wuz Here mixtape.  Handling double duty behind the boards and in the booth has proved to be a futile task for most who have made the attempt; K.R.I.T., though, has displayed unexpected pedigree as both a producer and emcee, and Return of 4Eva was another step in the right direction for an artist who regularly showcases maturity well beyond his 25 years. 4eva N A Day is the latest remarkable stage in the evolution of one of the hip-hop’s most promising young bloods.

Produced in its entirety by the man himself, this latest effort is stunningly cohesive and consistent.  K.R.I.T. seemingly outdoes himself with each joint, none of which inspire a reach for the skip button.  The beats are buttery and soulful; never offensive and always noddable.  On “Sky Club,” K.R.I.T. has every string in the right place, and boasts his ever-expanding mastery of a drum kit. It’s an impressive feat that several of these tracks – “Yesterday,” for example – would sound right at home in a playlist among Southern hip-hop legends like Outkast, Scarface, and UGK.  

Another thing that separates K.R.I.T. from many of his contemporaries is a knack for pertinent lyricism.  On the project’s promo single “Boobie Miles,” young Mr. Scott opens with what sounds like a coach’s halftime speech for the everyday struggle:  “You gotta play it to the end.  Only difference ‘tween a winner and a loser is a winner plays until he wins.”  Fortunately, never does K.R.I.T. come off as preachy in his messages of positivity and self-improvement; instead, it serves more as window on his own experiences, deployed as means of education for others looking to win at this game of life.

In the final verse of the tape’s title track, K.R.I.T. raps “Fact remains that I’m still the same; I’ll never change myself. I’m not counting on mainstream, ’cause love from the underground? That’s forever.”  I’d say that if K.R.I.T. keeps producing material like that found on 4eva N A Day, he won’t have a choice in who takes notice.  Perhaps it’s the kush shake talking, but this mixtape – a mixtape – is not only a prime example of the best the South has to offer hip-hop, but also an enlightening display of the elements that the Southern sound has contributed to the genre. At this rate, Justin Scott is well on the road to establishing himself as a King Remembered In Time, just as his acronymic alias prophesies.

I’m happy to say that we finally have another project, alongside Schoolboy Q’s Habits & Contradictions, that’s likely to receive consideration for year-end awards.  What’s better?  It’s free!  Don’t sleep.

Until next Tuesday, it’s The Blast, ya’ll.

— Noakes 

Originally published March 6, 2012 at theblast-blog.com

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