Hip-Hop nowadays is different from that of the past, not only because of the sound, but also the way an artist generates a buzz. For example, an artist has to first develop his fan base in order to put out an album. If the artist is already developed, they have to generate buzz so that he can induce sales. Most fans of the genre are constantly looking for the newest sensation. Many artists have picked up on this, and are using mixtapes as pre-albums to stay relevant. Take Big K.R.I.T for example, he has put out 2 mixtapes prior to the release of his third mixtape entitled “4eva N a Day.” The Southern based rapper has easily become one of the leading names amongst newcomers to the Hip-Hop industry. However, he has yet to gain enough attention to put out a full length album. His release date has been pushed back from September 27th 2011 to a yet to be announced date. Luckily for fans, we have his newest tape to hold us over; the question is does the project do enough to pull in more fans for K.R.I.T or is it a day late.?
The mixtape is album worthy, well at least for most artists. It is mostly self-produced just as the majority of K.R.I.T’s offerings are. The entire tape has a very traditional southern feel, in its content and sound. The hard knocking drums and snares alone with the funky horns piano keys and guitar strings make it a very recognizable K.R.I.T ring. It’s hard to imagine a new age rapper creating similar tones the likes of previous greats such as UGK or Goodie Mob. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying he is on par with them, but he is the closest thing I’ve heard in a while. Tracks on this mixtape could have easily be placed on K.R.I.T.’s debut LP. Song like “Yesterday,” which give of a very “Vent” feel, on the song, the southern rapper opens up about his deceased grandmother and reflects about her absence. In typical K.R.I.T. fashion, he always makes the listener to feel as if the song was made for them personally as all of us can relate when it comes to missing loved ones that were taken too soon. Songs like “Boobie Miles,” “Insomnia,” and the title track, “4evaNaDay,” show the endless potential the young emcee has to offer. However, where K.R.I.T. shines the brightest is on tracks like “Red Eye” and the final song “The Alarm.” On “Red Eye,” he deals with a nagging girlfriend who is feed up with being the only one who works at their relationship. K.R.I.T confesses his doubts and concerns and ultimately his willingness by spitting “So if you ready to fly, just forget about me, But if you willing to try then I’m willing to leap, Out of the window of pain and fall in love at your feet.” He is able to turn a very feminine topic into something every guy has thought about and gone through. “The Alarm” is different in its sound and message, but it is infectious. K.R.I.T. once again lets it all out and rips both the beat and the rhymes. You feel the emotion and hate it when the track ends, because it leaves you wanting just a little bit more.
My biggest complain with this mixtape, is that it’s another mixtape. I want the album already. This tape is good, but it’s not as good as Return of 4eva, and it just comes off as a filler to the much anticipated album. It could have used a feature or two and wish some of the previously mentioned tracks were longer. It almost seems as if the titles changed, but for the most part it’s another attempt at making R4. The sound is very familiar and unique to the southern rapper, but at times if possible it sounds repetitive. I would like K.R.I.T to step out of his comfort zone and link up with a different producer or rapper just to see what he can create. I understand that he is crafting his brand and sound for the masses, but if he does not venture out he will not reach all of them. There were a few songs that I didn’t like and saw as unforgettable. Tracks like “Package Store,” and “Down & Out” just don’t do it for me. “Sky Club” is horrible and should have been left off the cutting board, but the worst song of all has to be 1986. He as an artist needs to work on his hooks and simple repetition of a phrase is getting old, and other artists need to take note as well. If it is fair to say, I want K.R.I.T. to be known for his overall appeal, not just as a standout southern rapper. Not enough people know about him yet for him to stay in his bubble and not evolve or develop and expand as an artist as he should. However, let’s hope that the album brings more diversity.
If I’m going to rate this mixtape as solely a mixtape I’m going to rate it on a scale of 1-5. 5 being better than most artists’ albums, and 1 being just full of recycled verses and freestyles. I feel that this is a 3.5, because you have to give credit not only for the lyrics, but the beats as well. K.R.I.T. is one of only a handful of artist who can create a beat, and lace it with an articulate rhyme. His flow is great and is not at all boring, he could switch it up more often like he does on “Insomnia,” but again he holds his own on most tracks. I liked this mixtape and I will have 6-7 songs on rotation, but ill delete the rest. I will however continue to keep an eye out for new Big K.R.I.T. tracks whenever they are released, because his heart will always be Live from the Underground.
If you haven’t yet, you can download Big K.R.I.T’s 4Eva N A Day here.
Review by Edgar Gomez for Defsounds.com