It doesn’t take long to become a believer in J.I.D. shortly after you hear him rap for the first time: He’s unapologetic, can go bar for bar with just about anyone in the game, and is hella dynamic when it comes to deliveries. In his sophomore effort, “Dicaprio 2,” the Atlanta native lets loose on the mic, blessing us with one of the most dynamic rap efforts of the year.
5. SLICK TALK
Aren’t familiar with J.I.D.’s rapping skills? “Slick Talk” will serve as the perfect cheat sheet! The track starts off as this dark banger in which J.I.D. gives the world quite the introduction to who he is utilizing this tongue-twisting flow that has him sounding eerily similar to Kendrick Lamar. Eventually, it turns into this slow-paced gem that has the Dreamville rapper taking on competition and explaining his journey to success using a sedated style of rapping. It’s almost like the first phase of the song came down from its drug high by the time it reached phase two.
A song called “Westbrook” is the rowdiest on the album… (Who would’ve thunk?)
A word I will use on this review a lot is ‘energy.’ That is because I believe J.I.D.’s energy is what allows him to be such an intriguing listen. Do you know another guy that capitalizes off of his energy when he raps? A$AP Ferg, and on “Westbrook,” we were able to link these two high-energy rappers together for four whole minutes (Expect blown fuses, folks!).
A$AP Ferg practically plays hype-man on this song, gifting it with this riot-like hook that I guarantee will make you want to jump on cars. As for J.I.D., he plays subdued spitter, for most of his verses, spewing out reckless and tenacious bars using this unflappable flow. He eventually loses it on his second verse, screaming like a coach that just thought his player got hacked on their drive to the rim, but you can definitely tell that was coming. I love the dynamics attached to this song, especially considering the vastly different styles from both artists.
3. 151 RUM
I’m pretty sure J.I.D. is possessed on “151 RUM.”
Gassed up by an instrumental that is heavy-hitting and rowdy-sounding, J.I.D. absolutely causes havoc, dissecting every aspect of the beat with flows so heinous that I almost called off work after hearing it. Aside from that, the Georgia native gets both deep and competitive lyrically on his verses, blending the two so masterfully that you might not be able to even decipher between them.
This might be one of the best rap performances I’ve heard this year.
2. WORKIN’ OUT
“Workin’ Out” is too passionate to pass up.
I believe it is imperative that every up and coming rapper has a song like “Workin’ Out.” As a listener, we love to hear our favorite artists come across as human, and that is exactly what you get from J.I.D. on this song. On it, the “Never Story” rapper spits some powerful bars about all the work he’s put into his craft, dirty friends, and how frustrated he’s been these last couple of years all over this bluesy instrumental. As usual, the flow he raps with is impressive, his bars hit hard, and most importantly, he shows this level of passion that is astonishing.
1. OFF DEEZ
Here’s the thing: J.I.D. and J. Cole are two of the hardest rappers in the game right now, and in “Off Deez,” both Dreamville artists prove my point! Throughout it, they spit like two possessed n***as over this bass-heavy/erratic instrumental. On the real, for most of J.I.D.’s verse, he sounds like a computer that is hurling out nothing but error messages, but hey, I still felt his part. As for Cole, he sounds a bit clearer on his verse, but he still goes haywire, switching between calm and madman. Lyrically, both of them put their competition in their places, boasting themselves as the best thing since sliced bread and doing lots of gun-talk.
I don’t know about you, but my mind was blown listening to this s**t… I really f**ked up canceling my health insurance.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. FREQUENCY CHANGE (N/A)
2. SLICK TALK (4.5/5)
3. WESTBROOK (5/5)
4. OFF DEEZ (4.5/5)
5. 151 RUM (5/5)
6. OFF DA ZOINKYS (4.5/5)
7. WORKIN’ OUT (5/5)
8. TIIED (4/5)
9. SKRAWBERRIES (4/5)
10. HOT BOX (4.5/5)
11. MOUNTED UP (4.5/5)
12. JUST DA OTHER DAY (4.5/5)
13. DESPACITO TOO (4/5)
14. HASTA LUEGO (4/5)
One of the biggest keys to success in hip hop is energy, and I feel like J.I.D. has a great amount of that when he raps. From the moment you press play on “DiCaprio 2,” you will feel like you’ve just entered into this Looney rap world that cares less about structure or boundaries. J.I.D. plays the perfect tour guide for this world, bouncing off the walls on whatever instrumental he is handed. On the real, it’s pretty intriguing to listen to!
If you have a chance to actually comprehend the s**t J.I.D. is saying, you would think it is ill as f**k! He doesn’t mind getting gritty, disrespectful or ghetto lyrically, taking on whichever topic he needs to whenever. However, he also has this introspective side to him that is proud of where he’s from, and takes on the challenge of opening the rest of the world’s eyes to a side of America that is put in a box. It’s almost like dude takes it personal that Atlanta isn’t getting the respect it deserves as a rap heavy-weight, and his vitriol comes out in aggressive bar-forms.
The features on this album were phenomenal! Cole slayed on “Off Deez,” Ferg did exactly what we needed him to do on “Westbrook,” and Joey Bada$$ and Method Man brought some well needed boom-bap rap to “Hot Box.” Additionally, I thought 6LACK, Ella Mai and BJ The Chicago Kid all gave the album a different tone, finding a way to incorporate some R&B into a pretty tumultuous sounding album. Matter of fact, I’ll take things a step further: I loved the random talking that you heard on a good chunk of the songs by people unknown; they instilled laughter, wisdom and weirdness into the grand scheme of the project.
J.I.D.’s “DiCaprio 2” featured a version of the rapper that was hungry, excited, introspective, controversial, unadulterated, and very competitive. It was one of the most exciting albums I heard this year.