Dreamville and Spillage Village rapper making a splash
Jimmy Ward | Friday, February 8, 2019
East Atlanta native J.I.D’s name is getting thrown around early this year for nearly the first time in the young 28-year-old’s life. The rapper is certainly no stranger to making a splash in the music world, however: He has been collaborating with the hip-hop duo EarthGang since 2010. Together with Hollywood JB and JordxnBryant, J.I.D and EarthGang created the musical collective Spillage Village.
In addition to working with these well-molded artists for almost a decade now, J.I.D signed to J. Cole’s record label Dreamville in 2017. But now the spotlight seems to have fallen right upon J.I.D after Canadian rapper Tory Lanez called out the entirety of Dreamville on an Instagram live stream. J.I.D almost immediately shot back at Lanez on Twitter. Lanez suggested the two should make a song together and let their fans decide who has the better verse, but J.I.D denied the offer, insisting the two compare their bars in their most raw forms: individually.
This is an opportunity J.I.D claims he has been waiting on for quite some time now. In a May 2017 interview on “The Angie Martinez Show,” the artist was asked if he would ever engage in a rap battle if another rapper started an altercation. While the artist stressed that he does not necessarily want to get into a rap battle because he is more focused on spreading love, he also maintained he is not one to shy away from trading bars with fellow rappers who come after him or his friends. In fact, before he explained his position on having beef with another artist, his initial answer to Martinez’s question was “I have been waiting for years.”
J.I.D’s most recent album, “DiCaprio 2,” shows major promise for the artist’s upcoming projects. “DiCaprio 2” kicks off with one of J.I.D’s favorite phrases. “Slick Talk” starts with J.I.D chanting “activate, activate, activate.” He has tweeted this phrase several times since Tory Lanez called him out. After “Slick Talk,” J.I.D teams up with A$AP Ferg for “Westbrook.” The veteran rapper doesn’t even take a verse as J.I.D exudes energy through all three verses, while A$AP Ferg chimes in for the chorus. “Westbrook” is followed by “Off Deez” featuring Dreamville founder J. Cole, arguably the best track on the album. J.I.D steams through the first verse and hands it off to his Dreamville partner to conclude the song. J.I.D then takes the beats for himself on his anti-drug anthem “Off Da Zoinkys,” which leads into “Working Out,” which serves as a transition song as the seventh track in the 14-track album. The jazzy piano in the background pairs nicely with the vocals that come in the second half of the album through the talents of 6lack, Ella Mai, Joey Bada$$ and Method Man.
If hip hop’s best artists and producers have not taken notice of this young rapper, there is no time like the present. Of course, “DiCaprio 2” was ranked 13th on Rolling Stone’s Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018, seventh on HotNewHipHop.com Hottest Hip Hop Albums of 2018, 20th on Complex’s Best Albums of 2018 and even 48th on NPR Music’s Best Albums of 2018. Although these numbers are impressive, J.I.D may still feel like he is far from the finish line.