K.R.I.T. sets the bar high with classic mixtape
In a world where today’s up-and-coming rappers are seemingly being propelled to stardom by Youtube hits, celebrity co-signs, and the all-too-familiar dance routines, looking for quality music can be a tall order. Fortunately for us, the 24 year old, Mississippi-born rapper/producer Big K.R.I.T. is here to remind us why Southern hip-hop is such a driving force in the rap game. After dropping the free K.R.I.T. Wuz Here mixtape last May to critical acclaim that later lead to a record deal with Def Jam, K.R.I.T. is showing no signs of slowing down.
Returnof4eva takes many forms; in this case soulfully crafted, socially-inclined lyrics with a southern perspective. From the jump, Big K.R.I.T. sets the bar high in “R4 Intro” with promises about his rise to success and a get-it-yourself mentality that makes it hard not to expect greatness from the rest of the mixtape. K.R.I.T. does not disappoint; each song has enough variety to keep one’s attention to the very end. From the bass-driven, window-shaking vibes of tracks like “My Sub” and “Rotation”, to the soul-sampled, thought-provoking beats in “Lions and Lambs”, it is clear that he is just as accomplished in production as he is laying down verses in his signature southern drawl.
Big K.R.I.T. does not shy away from addressing the struggles in his life, as he pays homage to southern rap veterans like Scarface while reminiscing about his beginning days in the rap game with Chamillionaire on “Time Machine”. On “King’s Blues”, he channels elements of the legendary rap duo Outkast featuring a softly crooning sample from Erykah Badu’s “Times a Wastin” while reflecting on the daily grind to make ends meet as the head of a household.
David Banner makes a memorable appearance on “Sookie Now” as the two rappers trade verses about southern culture; complete with tricked-out, old school Chevy’s, scorching summer heat, and music so loud, that the brakes in your car tremble when they roll past you.
One of the main strengths of Returnof4eva is K.R.I.T.’s ability to incorporate telling a compelling story without coming across as preachy while giving listeners an equal dose of trunk-rattling music that will keep your head nodding. “Another Naïve Individual Glorifying Greed and Encouraging Racism,” is a prime example of this as he speaks honestly about discrimination with an appropriate sample from Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled, a satire on African-American stereotypes in the media. With a respect for Southern tradition, a growing cult-following, and a penchant for making good music, Big K.R.I.T. is well on his way to becoming an iconic figure in the rap game.