Big K.R.I.T., aka Justin Scott, puts Meridian, Mississippi on the map fast with top 10 rap album of the year candidate, “4eva is a Mighty Long Time.” This two-disc album has two halves — Big K.R.I.T. and Justin Scott, separating both sides of the artist’s life.
K.R.I.T. starts with a bang in less than three minutes with his Big K.R.I.T.-titled introductory track. The production and writing credits are all his, and what we find on the song are that Scott’s loyalties are to his family, God and Meridian, through lyrics like, “There’s no one as perfect as the one who invented me.” Whether K.R.I.T. is giving a shout out to his mom or a higher power is a matter of interpretation.
Scott continues to showcase his impressive flow and delivery over a tempered and deliberate instrumental. On “Confetti,” the Mississippi rapper makes piercing criticisms of lesser artists from start to finish, mocking their early celebrations and willingness to let friends take advantage of their success.
K.R.I.T. puts you in his shoes and makes you walk his block a few times to make sure you know what it took to get where he is today in “Big Bank.” The soulful sample with a speedy tempo brings K.R.I.T. to the forefront of your headphones. Atlanta legend T.I. provides Big K.R.I.T. with a strong verse sending a strong message, “My children can’t eat no excuses, my daughter can’t sleep in excuses.”
And we haven’t even hit the best song yet. Without question, the catchiest track of the release is provided by Lloyd on “1999.” Yet another Atlanta icon lends his voice to K.R.I.T. on a nightclub banger. A song that may cater more to this generation’s preference for sexual innuendo draped over a slick beat, K.R.I.T. delves into his own preferences of who he’s looking to dance with to celebrate his increased success.
K.R.I.T. rightfully brags about what hard work really means on “Get Up 2 Come Down.” While everyone around K.R.I.T. growing up was flaunting their temporary wealth, K.R.I.T. was grinding however he could. “Man, I’m just trying to get paid.”
K.R.I.T. won’t have to try for very long if he keeps pushing tracks with a Cee Lo Green feature. The Samsung cell phone explosion survivor is alive and well as he gives a rare rap verse that reveals some of the unsavory behavior that led to his own success. In a comical skit after the last Motown hook, he repeats, “it’s a classic,” in reference to the album. Lets not say things we might regret later — “classic” is a strong word.
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After an ensemble of jazz, signaling the start of the second disc with the Justin Scott-titled half of the double release, Scott acknowledges how listeners may be interpreting his music on “Mixed Messages.” He goes back and forth from charitable donations, to the firearm he may or may not have on him at the given time. Whatever two sides Scott contrasts, he’s bringing all the interpretations of his discography to let you decide what they mean for yourself.
Scott depicts what qualifies a woman to be his significant other through “Higher Calling.” Three-time Grammy winner Jill Scott lends a beautiful hook to bridge Scott’s message of how our roles in society are more than going through the motions. The production of this song in particular holds little gems throughout that require multiple listens, something an avid music listener cares about.
An additional pair of intellectual tracks round out the second disc with “Price of Fame” and “Drinking Sessions.” Scott strikes a contemplative tone as he looks back over his accomplishments, speaking over classy instrumentals. These songs are fresh takes on tired niche attempts to get sentimental at the expected end of a concept album.
“4eva is a Mighty Long Time” is full of evidence to support that Scott’s has a spot amongst the elites of the rap genre. Scott gets a lot off his chest in 22 songs, close to 85 minutes of radio and conscious rap merging together to become something you need to listen to closely, because the south is speaking.
Not quite a classic, but far more than most content being put out by recent XXL class members, I can’t give this album anything less than four and a half out of five and I can see myself playing this album for a mighty long time.