Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2017 (The Final 4): Big K.R.I.T. vs. Rapsody

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We have our opinions on the best albums of 2017, but rather than simply list them, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2017. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2017 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Over the course of the next several days, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and the winners will be determined by your votes.

After the tournament began with 16 albums, only four remain: Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time , Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom and Joey Bada$$’s All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$. In the first semi-final contest, Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time and Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom face off. Which is the better album?

Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time

Two of 2017’s more memorable Rap narratives urge listeners to trust the process and invest in themselves. Big K.R.I.T. transitioned from a major label rapper with back-to-back Top 5 album appearances to a creative who admittedly emptied his savings to make 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time. Now, more than any point in his career, the music is all his—and he’s generous about giving it out. Krizzle’s first album in three years acts as a double serving of more soul food. A conceptual visionary since his breakthrough mixtapes, this 2LP carefully separates the custom cars, table dances, and nights out from the reflective, exposed, and sometimes tortured soul across its two discs. The Big K.R.I.T. side of the double album is a celebration. He’s throwing “Confetti,” toasting and boasting, all while honoring Juvenile, UGK, Dungeon Family, and Bone Thugs. The heavier half of the 22 songs come on side 2. On the Justin Scott disc “Keep The devil Off” is a fervid charge against negativity, told with Southern Gothic imagery at an intersection of Rap, Gospel, and Funk. “The Price Of Fame” unpacks the disillusion the MC/producer has felt, and the toll a public career has taken on his joy. This gets followed by another lucid soliloquy in “Drinking Sessions.” K.R.I.T.’s Multi Alumni movement makes sense for an artist who spits as well as he makes beats. This double album is multi-faceted too in its refined ability to make a section for those nights out, and provide another for those examinations within. – Jake Paine

Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom

As the adage goes, you are the company you keep. Aligning yourself with the proper team is vital, and a mutual vision of greatness between teammates is an indestructible power. Rapsody is a modern day musical model of fusing indisputable skill with an optimal circle of collaborators, and Laila’s Wisdom is the magnificent product of every moving part along the way. Make no mistake though, Rapsody’s intellect and lyrical dexterity are the captains of this ascending spaceship. The North Carolina MC covers subjects ranging from the confidence in her own abilities (“Power”), to the importance of men facing their emotions (“Chrome (Like Ooh)”), digesting her family’s pain and being a hopeful example for them (“Ridin”), her self-image (“Black & Ugly”), and the key to unlocking her love (“Knock On My Door”). She showcases a powerful voice laced with awareness and compassion, gracefully leaving it up to the listener to digest the wisdom presented. While Rapsody humbly tends to credit others with the knowledge gained, if the following lyric from “Nobody” can be an example, it would benefit us all to embrace what Marlanna Evans is saying: “Nobody knows if tomorrow is promised, live like it’s your last.” – Michael Blair

Released: September 22, 2017
Label: Jamla Records/Roc Nation
Guests: Kendrick Lamar, Lance Skiiiwalker, Anderson .Paak, Black Thought, Moonchild, BJ the Chicago Kid, Busta Rhymes, Musiq Soulchild, Gwen Bunn, Terrace Martin, Amber Navran
Producers: 9th Wonder, Nottz, Khrysis, Ka$h Don’t Make Beats, Eric G.