Church. Speak on it. Tell em. Gospel. Cook. Get it. Pick your adjective of praise and apply it, but K.R.I.T. is speaking that truth, and I don’t see how you could not be affected. I approached this release with caution. After “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here” I wasn’t particularly taken by any of the singles that dropped, and this release is a little on the lengthy side, but those are really the only downsides. And further, my opinion on American Rapstar (one of the singles) has definitely changed. ReturnOf4Eva goes from chill to mash, from flex to refrain, from hesitant to brash, and transcends more than moods as it goes. K.R.I.T. has put out the record that we’ve been waiting for.
I’m loose with the hyperbole, I know that, but rap has been needing K.R.I.T. for a while. I think this record shows that you can make music that meets people’s expectations, is not offputting or preachy, but simultanesouly challenges listeners to re-understand hip hop. And it isn’t about making crazy hits, just music that is the product of a rich life. K.R.I.T. has had that air about him since he hit the scene, but I think this record really gives something tangible to that sentiment. I mean, look at “Another Naïve Individual Glorifying Greed and Encouraging Racism.” That track is as heavy as anything Lil Wayne ever spoke, but it turns all the force from dropping that heavy shit right back on hip hop itself. Yeah K.R.I.T. is here in the mix, and he’s talking a lot of the shit that rappers talk, but he’s being responsible about it. He’s like the weed-smoking dad that passes you a couple doobies and tells you to smoke em at home. We all want money and the fine things in life, but there are responsible and irresponsible ways to go about it. You can buy another chain or you can feed folks, and it takes a lot for a dude in K.R.I.T.’s shoes to say the things he’s saying. They just let him into the party, he’s crossed into the exclusive club, and he’s immediately set to work criticizing the things that are awry. He’s like Obama, but more bout the change than the ride. You can’t tell me that K.R.I.T. is not the man right now.
To say K.R.I.T. is doing it all would be an understatement. He does the beats and the raps, but it’s more than that. For instance, “My Sub” is that banger, but it’s also a quiet indication of something deeper. The track seems to start out with a scratch recording, a sketch for the idea of the song. At first it seems just an aesthetic implication, but let’s look a little closer. Where did this recording come from? By the sound of it, it probably came from a Zoom, or other similar handheld recorder. Not the kind of gear you typically find in a studio. It’s usually the kind of thing a musician engulfed in the flames of passionate art-making keeps on hand at all times in an effort to capture the slightest vapors of creativity that may try to escape. I’m gonna make a leap hear and assume that I’m guessing right on the source of the recording. So that means K.R.I.T. isn’t headed to the lab to fulfill the obligation that his money is contingent upon. Nah, if K.R.I.T.’s working like this he’s gotta be on something that overflows what has come to be status quo in hip hop. A studio can’t capture all K.R.I.T. has to give because he isn’t a simplified reduction of what a rapper can be. This dude is real as fuck, and this record proves it. Hold it high dude, because you’re a fucking hero right now.