Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Big K.R.I.T.: 4Eva N a Day [free download, 2012]
He was just Kritikal, but the Mississippi underground had trouble pronouncing that word--check out the consonant-averse "1986" intro to understand why--so he made it Big K.R.I.T., claimed it stood for King Remembered in Time, and continued a rapping career that imagined high school coaching as a fallback. No hip-hopper has ever been bigger on getting up when you're down and making every minute count. Could get tiresome, but on a no-cameos mixtape Def Jam couldn't clear, his proudly drawled, lucidly conceived preachments go undefeated. Almost every soulful track grew on me, with the clincher "Down & Out," one of his periodic explanations of why sometimes he sips and smokes instead of trying yet again. A-