Two years ago when Justin Scott, better known to the rest of the world as Big KRIT, dropped his classic album Cadillactica, it was like a new gospel to the hip-hop world. As I wrote two years ago, the Gospel of KRIT was solidified! Don’t get it twisted, however, KRIT has been dropping “epistles” of wisdom and good news 4eva N a day! Cadillactica peaked at number 1 on R&B and Rap charts, showing the world that this Mississippi-bred herald of hip-hop gospel had something to say, and something that needed to be heard.
Remaining true to his core fans, KRIT offers trunk-knocking, country tunes that rattle the lining in your trunk, with lyrics that rival anyone in the game. The smooth cadence of KRIT’s delivery coupled with bar-none instrumentation provides for track after track of soul-quenching music that demands a head nod and a fist pump. While some may be critical of KRIT’s southern draw, his loyalty to his southern roots, and his appreciation of black music culture and history that he litters throughout his music, it is those things and more that offer hip-hop the good news that it has been seeking!
KRIT’s latest album, independently released under his own label, Multi Alumni, 4Eva Is a Mighty Long Time, is 22 tracks of the best of both worlds: Big KRIT collide with Justin Scott to present the most honest, transparent, and lyrically balanced piece of art since Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. What happens when your older self has a conversation with your younger self about the past and the future? What does this conversation look like? KRIT offers us a blueprint with this album, with the consistency we have grown to love about his music: track after track of soul music.
With each song, we enter into the mind and heart of KRIT, and are challenged to explore the duality of who we are as we listen to KRIT and Justin tell us who he is.
“Revolutionary, although Im free/I got me a lover but I still want to cheat/Want to be saved but its fuck the police/Dont wanna be here but Im too scared to leave” (Mixed Messages)
And for those who are confused about the duality that exist within each us, tell your work self to have a conversation with your social (media) self. Or your college self with you post-college self. You get the point. We each operate with a type of duality that is responsible for our successes and failures. Justin confronts KRIT to expose the best and worse of himself, and we are blessed by the conversation!
So what makes this Gospel good news to Hip-Hop? Glad you asked!
Seldom have we witnessed in Hip-Hop an artist grow in their youth to recognize the best and worst of themselves in order to be the greatest of themselves. When the culture seems to be focused on fame, fortune, and followers, KRIT turns inward to determine the finer things in life are happiness and contentment. Candid about how fame has taken its toll on his life, he spits:
“Paparazzi after my shows asking me questions/God fed up with my soul so ain’t no blessings/Happiness can’t be bought or sold, I learned my lesson/Now I see what fame will really get you/Bottle by the nightstand, that ease the stress/Dealing with depression, pills on the dresser” (Price of Fame)
The album opens with the life that was being created in Cadillactica growing, maturing, and being nurtured by the life that created it. Justin informs KRIT of his greatness and blessings, even when the odds were stacked against him:
“…Mind, body, and soul connected to the Most High even when times got low/Uh, look how they hate me, but copy me/Possibly I was the one with components and properties/To be the greatest of all time, but you won geography lottery” (Big KRIT)
KRIT’s faith and commitment to growth is what makes this the Album of the Year (not the Grammy nomination year but 2017). He deals with growing into a young man who prefers to leave the hoes for a home:
“Ayy, excuse me shawty, if you dont mind me/Pointing out the fact you’re just my type/I mean my type like when God broke the mold and designed you from head to toe he know I’d fall in love with you at first sight” (Everlasting)
“Shit been fucked up ’cause they don’t talk about Christ/Everybody trying to die young but who gon’ talk about life?” (Drinking Sessions)
With HUMBLE royalty (as do I):
“I got a goal to be golden like King Tut/Often those pictures of that gold/They would flicker, make it hard to call me nigga/’Cause the chains can change they chained us up with/This rope ain’t the rope they hanged us up with” (Bury Me In Gold)
Okay, I think you get the point. This album is fire and full of quotable bars. Not just because KRIT provides us with banging beats and the classic consistency of tracks like Big Bank featuring T.I. and Subenstein produced the great Manny Fresh, but pays homage to the OG’s like Sly Family Stone, Atlantic Starr, and Eddie Kendricks in Aux Cord, and nostalgically embraces the original Hot Boy, Juvenile, in 1999 featuring Lloyd. This album is fire because it has soul, and as KRIT reminds us, if it dont touch the soul, we can’t listen to it!