“I got the s–t you can play for your mama, I got the s–t you can play for your h—s.” No other line describes JID better than this one from “Raydar,” the second track on his third studio album “The Forever Story.” Released Aug. 26, the album contains 15 songs with notable features from Earthgang, 21 Savage, Mos Def and Lil Wayne.
Born and raised in Atlanta, JID is considered by many of his fans as one of the most underrated rappers since his debut studio album in 2017. Signed to J. Cole under his Dreamville record label, JID is known for his rapid lyrical delivery and complex flows in rhythmic pockets.
Continuing this style in “The Forever Story,” JID adds vocal performances with complex riffs and runs, as well as jazz, blues and soul instrumentals that most rappers — unless their name is Kendrick Lamar — don’t attempt.
“Raydar ” has three different instrumentals and JID stays true to his ensemble of flow switches and clever bars on each one. The singles “Dance Now” and “Surround Sound” don’t stray from his element either.
“Kody Blu 31” is likely the most beautiful song in all of JID’s discography, with a catchy melody and great vocals. The background vocals add so much depth to the track and you will catch yourself listening to every word and every note.
JID and Lil Durk collaborated on “Bruddanem,” with JID offering head-bopping flows and excellent vocal moments. Durk tries his best to keep up with JID’s presence, resulting in one of Durkio’s best features.
The project’s best feature is “Just In Time,” the only track where JID is outshined — and rightfully so — by the legendary Lil Wayne. Wayne enters the track flicking his lighter and spits a verse that sends rap fans back in time to vintage Wayne.
The project’s final two songs “Better Days,” and “Lauder Too,” have strong verses from JID with multiple beat switches and powerful vocal performances from featured artists Johnta Austin, Ravyn Lenae and Eryn Allen Kane.
Of course, just like every musical project in the history of music, it has its weaknesses. There are inconsistencies in track length, with some songs being cut too short and some being too long and not every song is as memorable as others. “Money” and “Stars” have instrumentals that don’t quite hold verses from JID and Yasiin Bey very well.
However, the album’s strengths are so entrancing that they cancel out these shortcomings. The lyricism is exceptional, and we get more than clever bars and metaphors from an average song.
JID’s storytelling in “Crack Sandwich,” “Kody Blu 31” and “Sistanem” takes us back to his early days in Atlanta, how his life as a brother and football player influenced his art and how his success negatively affected his family.
The range Jiddy shows in this project is rarely shown in modern rap projects and only by a select few. There’s beautiful and diverse production, with elements of jazz, soul, blues and R&B. JID melds so well within these various instrumentals using great vocals and hundreds of flows reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar or Tyler, the Creator.
Though it won’t get as many streams and sales as more mainstream music, “The Forever Story” is easily the best album of the month. Maybe it sounds a little exaggerated, but JID made a better Kendrick Lamar album than Kendrick Lamar did this year and deserves the respect he has yet to receive.
Featured image taken from Instagram: @naskademini