Album birthdays always come with a little bit of existential dread. Wait, Jay Z’sThe Black Album is 13 years old? College Dropout is 14?! Stankonia will be 16 this year, that album just got its learner’s permit to drive. See what I mean? Feel old?
Earlier this month Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva N a Day turned four years old, and instead of being met with that same “fuck time flies,” I thought, “It’s only been 4 years?!” Considering how much I’ve listened to that mixtape and how important it has been in my life, it feels as old and as important as projects that dropped over a decade ago. It may not be timeless in the way we talk about albums that dropped in the ’90s, but 4eva N a Day defies the laws of time as any truly great project does, just in a different way. In it’s own way.
Big K.R.I.T. is different. It’s hard to call him a legend because his career is happening as we speak and we don’t have the luxury of hindsight. Illmatic was released on cassette, College Dropout on CD, 4eva N a Day was a free project released online. It doesn’t fit the mold of any “classic” project release, and so in a way trying to craft a tribute article for an album that’s only four years old is a lot harder than one turning 15 or 20. So instead of trying to convince you of it’s “classic”ness, instead of fitting K.R.I.T. into a mold I love him for never fitting into, I thought I would speak to my experience and why I love it so much. Shades of Nujabes.
For me 4eva N a Day’s legacy can be encapsulated not by saying it made people take Mississippi hip-hop seriously, not that it helped usher in the free album (instead of a “mixtape”) era, but one three song stretch, a series of songs that goes toe to toe with any three song stretch in hip-hop history. For me, 4eva N a Day’s lasting legacy is “Boobie Miles,” “4EvaNaDay (Theme)” and “Me And My Old School.”
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