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Artist Under the Radar | J.I.D

Artist Under The Radar spotlights upcoming creative talents, while giving them the acknowledgement they deserve. In this segment we pass the mic to Dreamville’s talented J.I.D.

Every once in a while, you see an artist with so much potential. Whether they have a great voice, a unique project, or even natural artistry, many of these artists only offer glimpses of what they could create. J.I.D is one of the few artists who has that potential and can actually fulfill it.

Already cosigned by J. Cole (and his label Dreamville Records), J.I.D has the mentors and the resources necessary to flourish for years to come. He is a man of many talents, and the current content he has out already does not disappoint.

In this Artist Under the Radar segment, I will showcase a few sides of J.I.D and hopefully get you hooked on him.

In this first clip, you can see J.I.D’s versatility in full throttle. While rapping over a piano, this Atlanta-based rapper switches between multiple flows. As you can see in his facial expressions, it seems as if he is flawlessly rapping as well. Not only that, he does his own hook, which only further exemplifies the range he has.

The first time I heard about J.I.D was through this song. J.I.D doesn’t hold back, and as soon as Never starts, he goes in. I was captivated by how well J.I.D’s voice complemented the production, then I heard him rap after the beat switch and I realized it was all J.I.D. Since this song was the lead single from his debut album The Never Story, I’m sure J.I.D understood how popular this song would get. In hindsight, this song is about his come up and how his background has only propelled him to be great. He didn’t have excessive resources to be where he is now.

His is never stagnant, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means he can rap in different flows and voices (kinda like a certain K Dot). One of the best bars from this track is I can die, I can fly/I can try very easily, I’m a guy and a giant/She’s a vivrant thing, I prolly won’t buy it. The bars just flow so well.

The XXL Freshman class is a group of up-and-coming rappers selected by XXL (and sometimes fans). Over the recent years, it has not been as highly anticipated as it used to be. However, the bright side of XXL is that is gives a platform for rappers to showcase their talents, and this is the case with J.I.D. Compare his freestyle with everyone else’s in the 2018 class and you will see he is head and shoulders above his generation.

Most of the newer generation of rappers fall under a new generalization of rap (mumble rap, trap rap, whatever you want to call it). It isn’t a negative thing, that kind of music is great hype music (Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage come to mind). However, J.I.D doesn’t fall into this category, but I’m sure he could rap in that style, he’s that good.

In the rap and hip-hop community, there are certain artists who are mostly respected by all, including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and more. These artists have all dropped classic albums, and are forever embedded within this culture’s history.

When it comes to this track, J.I.D, in a way, outshines the man who signed him. It’s crazy to see how compatible J. Cole and J.I.D are. They bounce right off each other seamlessly and keep up with the high-energy of this production. In much of his music recently, J. Cole affirms that he is the best in the game. With his reputation and his discography, there can be an argument made for that or not. Although, in this same “game,” J.I.D himself may prove to be his successor.

In the latest Dreamville release, J.I.D steals the show amongst a star-studded cast. My favorite bar from this track is probably J.I.D’s whole verse if I’m being honest, but the lines Board of Education vs. Brown/I was bored of education, left the town flow so well and tell J.I.D’s story. He owns his own persona and isn’t afraid to dominate.

With someone as talented as J.I.D, there is no doubt in my mind that he will have a successful career. I appreciated his recent projects, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.

J.I.D’s Discography (available for streaming)

DiCaprio 2 (2018), The Never Story (2017)

Oscar Moguel

Oscar is a current undergraduate student at The Wharton School studying marketing.

July 9, 2019

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