IDK’s wizardry as a rapper, singer, producer, and storyteller is put on full display in the very elaborate “USEE4YOURSELF” (This review features the deluxe version of the album).
HONORABLE MENTION. Red
You have to have enormous kahunas to put MF DOOM, Jay Electronica, and Westside Gunn on the same song. “Red” is a very complicated track. It takes quite some time to get fully started and features an atrocious hook (The hook samples Big Tymers’ “Still Fly” hook). The song also contains lyrics by IDK that focus on the horrors that come with materialism, random-ass bars by Westside Gunn and MF Doom, and a verse by Jay Electronica that focuses on wokeness. Yea, I don’t know what the f**k I just listened to.
5. (TIE) 1995 & Hey Auntie
Both “1995” and “Hey Auntie” feature blunt, sentimental, honest, introspective, and gritty bars. “1995” sounds a lot rawer than “Hey Auntie.” “Hey Auntie” sounds like some s**t that Kanye would’ve made during his College Dropout days.
Honorable Mention. Cry In Church
IDK gets some serious s**t off his chest in “Cry In Church.” I felt “Cry In Church” in my soul. The way IDK opens up about his growth on his first verse and his rough childhood on his second verse definitely got to me. I also feel like the vocal performance that he puts up in the song is way too touching to ignore. By the time DMX’s prayer comes on, it’s impossible to not have chills galore. Speaking of serious s**t in chests, I think I have COVID, y’all.
Honorable Mention. Cereal – bonus
You get to hear rapping at a very high level in “Cereal.” If you like dynamic flows, beats made by RoboCop, and tons of lyrics about flexing and pulling up on opps, I think that you are going to like “Cereal.” In the song, IDK, JID, and Kenny Mason trade verses, each sounding like possessed muthasuckas.
5. Santa Monica Blvd.
We all know that IDK can knock heads off when he’s gassed up. Thankfully, gas isn’t cheap these days. With that being said, in “Santa Monica Blvd,” you get a very gassed-up IDK.
It’s very hard to hear IDK in “Santa Monica Blvd,” and that is because the bass that powers the song’s instrumental is heavy as s**t. After turning the treble up and the bass down on my boom box (Yes, I still have one of those), I was able to make out the raps he dropped about pushing gold diggers to the side, about not knowing who his real friends are, and about being ready to go to war with his competition.
I find it intriguing how IDK hits us with aggressive deliveries but also comes across as this sensitive dude that actually pays attention to how everyone around him moves in this song.
4. Just Like Martin – bonus
Everybody likes Martin, right? It seems like IDK liked the show a lot because he decided to pay homage to it in “Just Like Martin.”
IDK’s Martin references is not the thing that makes “Just Like Martin” dope; it’s the tricky flows, the cocky lyrics, and the bouncy beat that makes the song special. Matter of fact, “Just Like Martin” kind of reminds me of a more tamed “Mazel Tov.”
3. Dogs Don’t Lie – extended version; bonus
I gave the original version of “Dogs Don’t Lie” a 5/5. The reason I didn’t put it on my top 5 list is that it is such a short song (It’s only 1:57). Well, the extended version of the song is 2:57 (Which is long enough) and features an unbelievable verse by Royce Da 5’9.
Jesus Christ, Royce Da 5’9 goes off in this song! Not only does he hit us with his usual tongue-twisting flows, but he also hits us with ridiculously clever punchlines and deep-ass lyrics that cover everything from his pen skills to his approach to beef. As for IDK, he lets us know why he’s flier than us all using cold rap deliveries and consistent flows. All in all, there is tons and tons of bragging in this song.
IDK puts a shaky chick in her place in “Peloton.”
IDK sounds like both Usher and Kanye West in “Peloton.” If you are a fan of very infectious melodies, you are going to love this song. If you are a fan of rappers that call out thirsty chicks, you’re really going to love this song.
I think that “Peleton” is the most impressive track on this album.
1. Shoot My Shot
When it comes to shooting my shot at women these days, I’m definitely Ben Simmons.
F**k you guys for not streaming IDK’s music enough. In my opinion, the DMV rapper reminds me of a more trill Kanye West. My guess is that IDK will become a household name in 2021. With that being said, 65% of the reason that I like “Shoot My Shot” is that the song features the unicorn that is Offset (I am a G*DDAMN hypocrite).
Seriously, why doesn’t Offset do features anymore? Just two years ago, he was on everybody’s s**t (Hell, he was even on a Rich Chigga song). Anywho, on “Shoot My Shot,” the Migos member absolutely shines by hitting us with a verse that will remind you how impressive his come-up was, how much of a savage that he is capable of being, and how easy it is for him to parallel park beats. As for IDK, I think that he actually outshines Offset in the song. You’re going to love how witty, honest, and animated he sounds on the track. On the real, both rappers put up A+ performances in this song.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. 3018091821 (N/A)
2. Santa Monica Blvd (4/5)
3. Dogs Don’t Lie (4/5)
4. Truth (N/A)
5. PradadaBang (4/5)
6. Shoot My Shot (5/5)
7. Red (4/5)
8. Jelly (N/A)
9. Puerto Rico (3/5)
10. Temporary Love (N/A)
11. 10 Feet (4/5)
12. Keto (4/5)
13. 1995 (4/5)
14. Peloton (4/5)
15. Hey Auntie (4/5)
16. Cry In Church (5/5)
17. Closure (N/A)
18. Dinner Date – bonus (4/5)
19. Temporary Love – extended version; bonus (4/5)
20. Puerto Rico (4/5) – version 2; bonus (4/5)
21. 2 Cents – extended version; bonus(4/5)
22. Just Like Martin – bonus (4/5)
23. King Alfred Plain – bonus (3/5)
24. Cereal – bonus (4/5)
25. Rain – cover; bonus (4/5)
26. Dogs Don’t Lie – extended version; bonus (5/5)
IDK is a fully independent producer-rapper that shows zero fear in pushing boundaries. Throughout USEE4YOURSELF, he merges all kinds of vibes, sound effects, artists, and topics, creating a concoction that is beautifully erratic, dangerously unpredictable, and uncomfortably candid.
Do you know what makes IDK’s music such a good listen? He comes across as a very relatable dude. I absolutely love how he tackles your everyday topics such as family dysfunction, romance, and street s**t in unconventional, forceful, and tender ways in USEE4YOURSELF. It’s almost like IDK was trying to figure out mid-song how he felt about some of the topics he brought up; a tactic that definitely made the album feel deep.
Another thing that makes IDK’s music such a good listen is his versatility as a musician. There are moments in USEE4YOURSELF in which he sounds as cocky as Lil Baby, while there are other moments in which he sounds like a gentle singer that knows how to hit the right notes to make your heart melt. IDK also shows zero fear in switching vibes mid-song, putting guest features in sticky situations, and creating beautiful messes. To make a long story short, I think that the DMV rapper is really good at playing Tetris with musical elements.
Can y’all finally put respect on IDK’s name now after listening to this ultra-unique album?
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.