Written by Thomas Herron


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There’s always debate as to who the next great rapper is going to be. The difficulty in predicting who it will be comes in part due to the problem of predicting which artist will be versatile enough to draw enough attention while maintaining the essential qualities of a great rapper; lyricism, staying power, etc.


This is why J.I.D. is next up.


The Atlanta native has been around for a lot longer than people know as a member of Spillage Village, a collective including himself, Johnny Venus and Doctor Dot of EARTHGANG, as well as Hollywood JB and JordxnBryant.The collective began during J.I.D.’s time as a student and football player at Hampton University, where he met the other members of the Village.


Since The Never Story is J.I.D.’s only solo album, his body of work is limited. This does not mean the listener is given any less of an idea of J.I.D. as an artist. His debut album has made evident his versatility. J.I.D. comes with ridiculous energy on “NEVER”, a lyrically and intentionally ignorant piece of work reflecting the former football player’s careless attitude.


Songs like “Doo Wop,” “Hereditary,” “All Bad,” showcase the melodic side of J.I.D., while the latter pairing answers the question of whether or not J.I.D. can make emotionally relatable music.


The other side of J.I.D. is exemplified through work such as “General,” “EdEddnEddy” and “Hoodbooger,” in which we see the aggressive flow proving he’s capable of spitting with the finest as well as being just ignorant enough to draw party-type appeal. The Dreamville rapper also already has found the key to balancing melodies and flow, such as on “D/Vision” featuring his Spillage Village counterparts, EARTHGANG.


J.I.D has also publicly stated that “Boom Bap” New York rap has influenced his own art, and “Somebody” shows that despite his Southern Drawl, he can master that as well. Not to mention, the same song has an element of inspiration in saying “Everybody wanna be somebody,” showing that the 27 year old has already found a way to make music with substance beyond simple emotion.


The young artist’s work so far earned him a spot on a BET Cypher along fellow Dreamville rapper Cozz, and J.I.D., anchoring the cypher, blew all expectations out of the water. On a verse consisting of a Ricky Bobby-Tay K comparison, an Afrika Bambataa reference, and calling himself a paramecium because nobody can see him, J.I.D. calls for beef because he says of other rappers, “them boys vegan.”


J.I.D. is currently working on his next tape, and we’d like to see him work on his weaknesses, such as expanding on his social consciousness and improving wordplay. J.I.D. is at a point so early in his solo career, it’s hard to see glaring weaknesses, but look for him to delve deeper into the aforementioned aspects of his rapping.


At such an early point in his career, J.I.D. is primed him for success, and J. Cole’s support can only elevate his discography.