Conscious rap is my muse, because I believe in the power of thought, and when lyrics are internalized, studied, and broken down to the point of where I can find relation to my life, that’s what I gravitate to in a thirst for more. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being entertained, and I love to dance at any given moment, but the power of the written word in the form of song lyric has a different value that not many would appreciate; those who don’t appreciate the art of Rap. New artists who can give me the feeling that they can consciously breakdown their lives with a level of entertainment continue to prove that Hip Hop is not a dying genre, and frankly never will be, because there will always be stories to tell. And here’s where J.I.D comes into the picture. The newest signee to Dreamville Records (shout out to J. Cole) comes out of nowhere (to me, at least), and because of the label that Dreamville is, it’s not a farfetched idea to say that the expectations weren’t really high. That’s not a knock on Cozz, Bas, Omen, or Ari Lennox, but there isn’t an I gotta listen to them ASAP moment that transpires. Dreamville still has time to grow into a respectable label with a wide array of talent, and for the first time, that excitement comes to fruition with J.I.D
After hearing NEVER on its own (although it’s still great within the landscape of the album), I had to check out his older stuff (which I wrote about here). I wouldn’t have guessed he was from Atlanta, because his bars are exceptional, the flow is fluid, and the array of style he presented, I was very impressed. General presented J.I.D in an aggressive nature that brought me back to the first time I listened to Cilvia Demo (which I compared this album to for sonic purposes). What I love about The Never Story is that there’s solid energy that you don’t really hear with Dreamville artists. It’s usually laid back (which some tracks are on this album), but not a lot of high-octane energy that can translate across different fans. Those who gravitate towards older southern sounds, and those who dig modern trap influences. He bounces between, and he’s certainly the spark plug for this label that is necessary moving forward.
Favourite track on this album (although they jump around depending on mood) is Underwear because of the haunting beat, but the flow? Disgusting. Simply, purely, truly, honestly. I don’t know how long he’s rapping, but his wordplay is wild. But where the appreciation lies in his artistry comes on songs like 8701, All Bad, and Hereditary. These songs I particular are executed with no difficulty; it’s beautiful to hear a project that doesn’t just one distinctive sound that you can lay your head on. Those are the artists who are able to branch out, especially if the consistency moves forward with the progression of their careers.
“I guess I’m just out of my lane, I know I’m losing my brain
But, I know it’s hereditary baby ’cause your mama was a G and your daddy wasn’t there so you be trying to play with me
But, but that ain’t the wave
But if I’m keeping it true, I know why I be this way now
We don’t speak, we say evil things now
We don’t sleep no more, we need space now”
J.I.D is an emotional being that is able to bob and weave his words as though he’s an old school artist. He’s the very reason why I called him Dreamville’s version of Isaiah Rashad. I see a lot of similarities in their music, but overall they are great records. I hope to hear a lot more from him, because this is a very strong debut and welcome to the game. If you haven’t listened to the album yet, I truly suggest that you do. But for now, this is my opinion, this is my review,
That’s My Word & It STiXX