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Big K.R.I.T.: 4eva N a Day

Self-released

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No working MC does the conscious/backpacker/thug mashup more convincingly than Meridian, Miss., native Big K.R.I.T. After topping critics' lists (including mine) last year with Return of 4eva, an album-style mixtape that flaunted his mastery of the Southern rap form, K.R.I.T. returns with the sequel, a self-produced affair that is in many ways even more steady and decisive than its predecessor. Conspicuously, this new tape is all K.R.I.T. - no guest verses to be found here. Consequently, where Return was a stylistic fun house, 4eva N a Day is more streamlined, chock-full of smooth-move saxophone samples and lazy summer cruiser jams. But no rapper is an island, and the collaborative enthusiasm that in part made Return such a classic is lost here. It's hard to label 4eva a disappointment; it's more expertly crafted than the vast majority of new mixtapes. But weighed, as it inevitably will be, against its creator's own past (and future) work, it comes up just short. (3 out of 5 stars)

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