It’s been a mighty long time (corny I know but I couldn’t resist) since Big K.R.I.T. released his last album Cadillactica back in 2014 (which you can check out our review for here). Since then he has released two very good mixtapes, Better This Way and 12FOR12, and parted ways with Def Jam. I found myself asking myself numerous times this year, “When is Big K.R.I.T. going to release another album?” When I found out that he had finally finished his third album, I was relieved, even without a release date. I knew I wouldn’t have to wait very much longer for my third favorite rapper’s newest offering. So I waited patiently, and then the first single “Confetti” dropped and I knew I was in for a treat. Now that the album is here, I knew I had to be the one to review it. Let’s see how it is…
DISC ONE: Big K.R.I.T.
1. Big K.R.I.T. Produced by Big K.R.I.T. The intro starts off with Justin Scott doing some spoken word where he is talking to his alter ego Big K.R.I.T. about the journey they’ve been through. Then Big K.R.I.T. comes in for the second verse and the song gets way more aggressive. I love the way he switched between the two like that. The shot at his former label for releasing All My Life to take advantage of his success for money is probably my favorite part of the second verse.
Even go as far to drop a mixtape that you re-do Never credit me, separately sold
The whole beat on this song is amazing! The way it builds up as the song progresses is what I love about it. This was a great intro to the album and I am already hooked.
2. Confetti Produced by Hey DJ The first single from the album and an early favorite for me as my favorite song. I like how dark the beat is and the switch up mid way through just makes it even better. This is definitely something that was made to be played in the car (which isn’t anything new coming from K.R.I.T.). The lyricism is perfect as well. Here, K.R.I.T. is stating that he is one of the best and is doing whatever to stay on top, all while calling out rappers who aren’t doing the same, or are just weak in general.
3. Big Bank Featuring T.I.; Produced by WLPWR & Big K.R.I.T. Another song meant to be played in the car! I love how fast this is and you can tell K.R.I.T. had fun making this one. The production is top notch so far. T.I. fits perfectly as he is able to match K.R.I.T.’s energy all while delivering a really good verse. This really gets me pumped up. I’ll have to add this to my workout playlist.
4. Subenstein (My Sub IV) Produced by Mannie Fresh, Supah Mario, & Bryan-Michael Cox Since J. Cole stopped his Dollar and a Dream song series, I don’t think I have ever gotten this excited for anyone else’s series more than K.R.I.T.’s My Sub. He always delivers when he makes these, a lot of bass, energy, and fun. “Subenstein” definitely keeps that streak going. I was having trouble figuring out which one was my favorite of the first three and it doesn’t help that this one came out and is just as good. I’m having so much fun listening to this album so far.
5. 1999 Featuring Lloyd; Produced by Mannie Fresh When I saw that Lloyd was featured on this song I was instantly excited to hear how it would sound. This one is for the ladies (duh) and is a change of pace from the hard hitting, fast paced, bass heavy production that we’ve heard so far. This isn’t a bad thing at all as the song is very enjoyable. Lloyd kills the “Back That Azz Up” inspired hook. I almost lost it when he said he sucks toes though. That’s disgusting…but oh well, to each his own.
6. Ride Wit Me Featuring UGK; Produced by Organized Noize & Cory Mo UGK made it on the album!! I don’t think I should be this surprised though since Bun B and K.R.I.T. are always doing songs together. I like how chill the chorus is. It fits the beat perfectly. Bun B and K.R.I.T’s aggressive verses don’t disappoint either. RIP to Pimp C!!
7. Get Up 2 Come Down Featuring CeeLo Green & Sleepy Brown; Produced by WLPWR & Big K.R.I.T. I have to admit I was skeptical when I saw CeeLo’s name on this song. I was instantly blown away when the song started. I don’t think I’ll be questioning Krizzle’s feature choices anymore because I love it! CeeLo killed his verse. The production on this album hasn’t been a let down at any point so far. Also, I’m guessing K.R.I.T. made a Tom Brady reference in his second verse:
Refereeing, calling plays on the sidelines Super the bowl, diamonds and gold, won a ring like five times
I hate Tom Brady but I really like the reference. A clever way for Krizzle to state that he’s the best.
8. Layup Produced by Big K.R.I.T. Another change of pace on the album. This is the perfect song to just sit in the car and chill to. So far the most inspirational song on the album. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of this song when I first heard it. When I started digging deeper and really started listening to it is when I really started to like it. Here, K.R.I.T. is talking about his low points and seeing that all change now that he is successful. It’s easy for him now to be successful after all the hard work he has put in.
Tired of seein’ my pops go to work Can’t wait ’til the day he can lounge Promise that I do it big For my family and my friends Took some losses just to win Put Multi ’til the end
9. Classic Interlude Produced by Big K.R.I.T. A little comic relief for the interlude. Here we have two men talking about an album that one guy has already said is “classic” even though he hasn’t really heard it. Then a female comes in and says that the album was wack and makes the person change his mind about it being good. Pretty funny.
10. Aux Cord Produced by DJ Khalil & Rogét Chahayed This song is all about K.R.I.T. trying to put people on to new and better music than what they have been listening to. I love this song just for that reason because that is exactly what I try to do with my friends. This is a really good, soulful song. The word play is really good as well as K.R.I.T. shouts out a lot of artists from back in the day such as Sly Family Stone, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, and Michael Jackson.
11. Get Away Produced by Big K.R.I.T. This song ends the first disc with another faster paced song. I love the “Piece on a Chain” reference at the beginning! This is a nice care-free song. It really does make you want to get away from everything, your job, responsibilities, and anything that could stress you out just for a little while.
DISC TWO: Justin Scott
1. Justin Scott Produced by Big K.R.I.T. This song is basically an instrumental that I’m really vibing to. I love the piano in here. This is something that you can just sit in the house and listen if you’re just chillin’. I’ve already added this to my “Chillin'” playlist. The only vocals come in almost halfway through and all they’re saying is “4eva is a mighty long time.” DJ Khalil is a genius for making this one.
2. Mixed Messages Produced by Supah Mario I really like the subject matter of this song. Here, K.R.I.T. is talking about the mixed messages in his songs. Being Big K.R.I.T. gives Justin Scott the freedom to rap about whatever he wants. From wanting to be with other women even tho he has a girl to wanting to be rich and splurge but he ends up giving back to the community. K.R.I.T. explains it perfectly in his interview with NPR:
We all have these mixed messages. The things that normally aren’t good for us, we do more than the things that are good for us. And I’m not the only one. We all battle with that. It’s that question: Am I wrong for this? Man, we’re human.
3. Keep the devil Off Produced by WLPWR & Big K.R.I.T. K.R.I.T. really took us to church with the second single off the album! The production is still amazing me! I can tell that this half of the album is going to be the more soulful, more on the lyrical side and I can’t wait to hear more!
4. Miss Georgia Fornia Produced by DJ Khalil & Bēkon This song is about when Big K.R.I.T. left where he grew up in Mississippi to pursue music. Since he has left and he’s gotten really busy, he hasn’t had the time to make it back home and he’s sorry about that. He’ll never forget what his hometown means to him and how it and the people in it helped him grow to be the man he is today. The song is executed perfectly. I really like Joi’s vocals on here as she sings in the perspective of K.R.I.T.’s home town, Meridian, Mississippi. The cool thing about hearing this song is that there was an article about him visiting Meridian not too long ago. Home sweet home!
5. Everlasting Produced by WLPWR Once again I love the beat on this song! It’s really a feel good beat. This is about how Justin Scott would interact with a girl. He wants to know if they have chemistry and if it will last. He meets her outside of a club and he’s speaking to her so politely that she’s wondering why he’s even at the club.
But I ain’t like most people I’ma hit you with that “How you doin’? What you vibing to and can I vibe with you? And if the world was filled with flowers surrounded by waterfalls And mountains despite the fact I just mentioned, can I lie with you?”
In his NPR interview, K.R.I.T. even said that his was a contrast to “1999” and I can see that just in the way he’s speaking to the women on both songs. It’s also cool to me that this is #5 on this album and “1999” is #5 on the Big K.R.I.T. half of the album.
6. Higher Calling Featuring Jill Scott; Produced by Supah Mario I’m really vibing to this one, everything about it is so smooth. I like the message about how the higher calling of a couple is to grow together and create life together. Now that I say that, this song reminds me of the intro of Cadillactica.
7. Weekend Interlude Produced by Big K.R.I.T. Another funny skit. I really connected with this one because this is exactly how I feel about the clubs in Pittsburgh, the same old same old. That’s exactly why I stopped going out. Oh well, on to the next song…
8. Price of Fame Produced by WLPWR This song is hands down my absolute favorite out of the 22 songs on this album. The beat is hard and the message is perfect, I love everything about this one. K.R.I.T. is really speaking the truth on here and I’m glad he made a song like this, addressing what comes with the life of being famous. The second verse is my favorite:
I bought a bottle just to sew my soul Still crying over granny, that was some years ago I’m a man now, I came up to hold my fam down Can’t tell them about my depression cause most them fans now Got to protect myself at all times I know some partners that got sued by their bloodline Lord forbid I let my blood down The first time I say no, guess we ain’t blood now Scared, me as a businessman is like all they see Justin Scott trapped as Big K.R.I.T. screaming, “It’s really me” When it was only us it was only love, how could this be? When falling out for some is not getting the V.I.P And a simple conversation means we talking work To play a song that’s almost perfect but it need my verse You got an artist, but I’m family, but you need a purse You hit the city but don’t call me first, that’s what fame gets you
9. Drinking Sessions Featuring Kenyon Harrold; Produced by Big K.R.I.T. This is basically just K.R.I.T. venting about a lot. He talks about reminiscing about when he was younger, telling his mom he would make it as a rapper and now that he is one he barely stays in the house he bought for himself. It’s only right that he mentions signing to Def Jam and how that was a bad experience for him. He also goes on to talk about artists not talking about Jesus and life, missing his Grandmom and wishing she was still in his life to take care of him, and even people getting killed while they’re out being happy. There’s a lot in this song and he switches between each topic with ease. This has to be my second favorite on the whole album. I just love good lyricism and on this song he delivers that.
10. The Light Featuring Bilal, Robert Glasper, Kenneth Whalum, & Burniss Earl Travis II; Produced by Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, & Big K.R.I.T. I like the jazzy feel to this song. Everytime I listen to this song I can see myself sitting in a small music venue watching Big K.R.I.T. perform this with a live band behind him. Here he is talking about race in America.
Keep the lights on, front door locked ‘Cause the villains in the wilderness, lotta George Zimmermans Damned with some innocence So that mean he still out on the prowl for a black child While the judge and jury crack smile, Lord
11. Bury Me In Gold Produced by DJ Khalil & Rogét Chahayed Another song with a message that I really, really like. A fitting way to end the album too. I hate that it’s over! This is a song about K.R.I.T. giving up all the worldly possessions he’s obtained to get to heaven, to see his grandmother again, to see Jesus and to be at peace. He realizes that none of the things in this world can take away your pain or loss, only Jesus can do that.
I’m just going to come out and say it now… this is my favorite Big K.R.I.T. album so far. The way it’s executed is pure perfection. How he was able to tap into the things that makes him a great artist and execute it the way he did is what really made me love the album so much. The first half, we got the hard hitting, bass heavy songs that people love him for (Big K.R.I.T.). The second half, we get the more soulful, conscious side of him, which people like me really appreciate (Justin Scott).
There was never a dull moment on this album and that’s a huge accomplishment considering it’s an hour and 25 minutes long. And that’s another thing about it, even though it is that long, it doesn’t feel like it. Normally I would cringe at the sight of an album being that long but because it was executed so well, you kinda forget about it and are so engulfed in the music that it doesn’t matter.
Another thing about this album that I really like was the message. It’s clear that the purpose of this was to show the two sides of an amazing artist. When I first listened to it though, I interpreted the whole thing as him wanting to live a life as Big K.R.I.T., having fun doing that and making really fun music, but at the end of the day, he’s Justin Scott at heart and he doesn’t want Big K.R.I.T. to overshadow that. He realizes by the end that all the things that come with being Big K.R.I.T. (mainly the material things) are not what is going to make him be at peace with himself. He’s going to eventually give it up when he dies and goes to heaven.
This is a very amazing album and I’m glad I waited 3 years to hear it. It’s PERFECT to me. I’m going to have to see how it sits with me over time before I make a decision on it but at the moment, I’m leaning towards this as being my favorite Hip-Hop album of 2017 and yes, that means I could eventually think it’s better than DAMN. (sorry Kendrick). Only time with tell!