Big K.R.I.T.’s mixtapes have always included a healthy dose of dirty south, trunk-thumping rap tunes with a few more personal, intimate tracks. But he has never poured as much feeling into his music as in his latest mixtape, 4eva N A Day.
The mixtape’s cover art shows a young K.R.I.T sitting on a ledge, sandwiched between a Bible and a bottle of liquor. A church stands to his left, but he is facing the strip club on his right. The illustration embodies the overarching theme of the mixtape: K.R.I.T’s efforts to live life as a good Christian while struggling against impulses of greed and lust.
“Package Store,” for example, describes a pastor who is at a crossroads and, much like K.R.I.T., whose gaze is inclined towards a world of sin. Of all the tracks, however, “The Alarm” best encapsulates the emotional crux of the mixtape. The song features K.R.I.T.’s lengthy self-interrogation about the way he lives life and the things in which he believes, and culminates in K.R.I.T. screaming “wake up.” The track comes at the end of the mixtape, leaving the listener to wonder if K.R.I.T. has in fact woken up and realized the need to reject his current lifestyle.
Profound and accessible hip hop might seem like mutually exclusive entities these days, but 4eva N A Day is as a potent reminder that it’s not always necessary to choose between the two. I have yet to listen to K.R.I.T.’s debut album, which was released a few days ago; I hope it stays true to the emotional integrity of 4eva N A Day.