An Intro To JID
JID Is a 29 year old rapper from East Atlanta who is one of the most talented and exciting artists to hit the scene in the last decade. JID turned his attention from football to rapping as a teenager, releasing his first mixtape ‘Cakewalk’ in May of 2010. Later that year he formed the rap collective Spillage Village with a number of fellow rappers including now label mates Earthgang. He followed up Cakewalk with a sequel in June of 2011, and then released his third mixtape ‘Route Of All Evil’ in 2012. JID continued the steady grind, releasing his fourth mixtape ‘Para Tu’ in 2013, and then in early 2014 dropped the first collaborative album with Spillage Village, ‘Bears Like This’. JID followed this by opening up for Ab-Soul on his These Days tour alongside Earthgang & eventual Dreamville label mate Bas, and then in January of 2015 JID dropped his first EP ‘DiCaprio’. In July of 2015 Spillage Village released their second mixtape ‘Beats Like This Too’, and then later that year he toured with both Bas and Omen on their respective tours. In 2016 JID along with Spillage Village releases their first collaborative album ‘Beats Like This Too Much’ with features from Bas and J. Cole.
2017 was the year that JID really started to make his mark, starting in February when he announced he had been signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville label. He released his album ‘The Never Story’ in March, led by the amazing single ‘Never’, and later that year toured with both J.Cole and Earthgang on their respective tours. 2018 was another big step forward for JID, with him being announced as a 2018 XXL Freshman, shortly followed by him releasing a couple of singles to hype up his upcoming album. He released his second album ‘Dicaprjo 2’ in November and it was his most successful release to date, and he spent the first few months of 2019 touring to promote the album.
In 2019 JID didn’t release any solo albums or mixtapes, with his most notable presence being on the collaborative album released by his label Dreamville, ‘Revenge Of The Dreamers III’. Regardless of that, JID had a strong presence throughout the year largely due to his ability to deliver an adequate amount of features of a high quality. And that brings us to today’s topic!
But Was JID Good Enough To Be Considered The Best?
In 2019 I feel JID was one of the exciting and polarising artists to have featured on a track, and even seeing his name listed on a track list was enough to build hype. I personally think JID is one of the most talented artists in hiphop currently, both in terms of his rapping and singing, so really it comes down to how well he applied those talents to his features throughout the year. Similarly, if someone like Kendrick or J. Cole or even Drake was featured on a lot of songs within one year there’s a good chance that they’d be a front runner for ‘Best Feature artist of the year’. Fortunately for JID, none of the above listed rappers had many features in 2019, whereas JID had a steady stream of features, showcasing a range of talent and often being the standout of the track.
Below I’ve listed all the songs I’ve taken into consideration whilst working on this piece, all of which were released in 2019 and feature JID as a feature artist. I’ve included songs from the Dreamville album ‘Revenge Of The Dreamers 3’ as he isn’t listed as the main artist, and have done the same for other artists (Lil Baby/Quavo on the QC album, Rich The Kid on the Rich Forever album).
• Bas – Fried Rice (ft. JID)
• Dreamville – Rembrandt… Run It Back (ft. JID, J. Cole & Vince Staples)
• Dreamville – 1993 (ft. J. Cole, JID, EARTHGANG, Cozz, Buddy & Smino)
• Dreamville – Costa Rica (ft. Bas, JID, Guapdad4000, Buddy, Jace, King Mez, Reese LaFLARE, Smokepurrp & Ski Mask The Slump God)
• Dreamville – Ladies, Ladies, Ladies (ft. JID & T.I.)
• Dreamville – Wells Fargo (ft. JID, EARTHGANG, Buddy & Guapdad4000)
• Dreamville – Down Bad (ft. JID, Bas, EARTHGANG, J. Cole & Young Nudy)
• IDK – Porno (ft. JID & Pusha T)
• Higher Brothers – Do It Like Me (ft. JID)
• Boogie – Soho (ft. JID)
• Rapsody – Iman (ft. JID & SiR)
• Buddy – Link Up (ft. Guapdad4000, Bas, JID, Kent Jamz & Ari Lennox)
• Mereba – Sandstorm (ft. JID)
• Ari Lennox – Broke (ft. JID)
• BJ The Chicago Kid – Get Away (ft. JID, Kent Jamz & Buddy)
• Aloe Blacc – Getting Started (ft. JID)
• Free Nationals – On Sight (ft. JID, Kadhja Bonet & MIKNNA)
• Wynne – Ego Check (ft. JID)
If you’ve kept up to date with these posts, you’ll realise that this list alone proves that JID has been the most consistent feature artist of the 7 I’ve assessed so far, with a total of 18 features, 17 of which are great. He may not have as many features as artists like Lil Baby and Gunna, and he may not have as many big name collaborations as someone like DaBaby, but he was easily one of the most (possibly the most) consistent artist at delivering quality features on quality tracks. I’ve also mentioned in earlier posts that consistency is one of the most important things I take into consideration, and JID is the perfectly example of consistency. I’d compare his run in 2019 to that of J. Coles in 2018, with 10-20 features, all of a high quality, and with a wide range of different sounds being showcased throughout.
I could honestly write a paragraph about each of JID’s features, each one is impressive and enjoyable in its own right and despite having like 30-40% the amount of features as artists like Gunna and DaBaby I think he had more top quality verses than either of them. 17/18 good features on good songs is impressive enough, but they’re honestly all at least an 8/10 with about half of them being 10/10 features (in my opinion obviously). JID often displayed his impressively quick flows and hard hitting bars on songs such as Higher Brothers ‘Do It Like Me’ & Dreamville’s ‘Down Bad’, he showcased his addictive melodic flows on songs such as ‘On Sight’ by The Free Nationals & ‘Link Up’ by Buddy. JID even flexed his versatility with some beautiful singing on songs such as Mereba’s ‘Broke’, and some artists took full advantage of this versatility, enlisting JID for a verse with both singing and rapping present, most notably Bas with ‘Fried Rice’. Finally, I thought he brought a really pleasant change of pace with some amazing rap verses on otherwise sung songs, such as ‘Broke’ by Ari Lennox & ‘Getting Started’ by Aloe Blacc. I could seriously go on for pages, JID literally had a superb year and I highly recommend any song on this list.
I only really have a couple of tiny criticisms, the main one being the one song I have listed as ‘Bad’. I thought ‘Ego Check’ by Wynne was an okay song, but I didn’t really enjoy Wynne on it at all, and felt JID had the far more enjoyable verse (so I actually enjoyed 18/18 features but only 17/18 songs), but JIDs verse still wasn’t on the level of his better ones and therefore not good enough to save the song. My only other criticism is that some of the JID verses are way too short, most notably his verses on ‘Soho’ by Boogie, ‘Porno’ by IDK & ‘Wells Fargo’ by Dreamville. Coincidentally I feel like this is done purposely in each case; Soho is a 2min song with a short boogie verse too and with a beat switch that makes it feel like 2 songs crammed into 2 minutes, Porno has JID handles the outro of the song after a nice little beat switch, and Wells Fargo is a 2 minute song with 5 artists listed as an interlude. So while all these minor inconveniences are made slightly better by how purposeful they all felt, it still always leaves me wanting more.
So overall it’s pretty obvious JID had at least a decent year in terms of quantity (I’d say 10+ features a year is decent), and in my opinion also had an amazing year in terms of the quality. JID really is one of the most exciting up and comers, and he showed that in droves in 2019 through his wide range of sonically deferent yet consistently captivating features. One thing to take into consideration is that unlike most of the other artists I’ve written about so far, JID didn’t have an album in 2019, which I think worked in his favour. Not only could he put all of his focus into his features, but it meant that all those features kept his name popping up throughout the year and kept his buzz going strong. As this goes on I’m looking forward to seeing who stand toe-to-toe with JID in terms of quality, but for now he is one of the front runners, and if you haven’t heard any of these songs stop sleeping!
My favourite JID features were honestly nearly all of them, to limit it to ten my top ten are ‘Fried Rice’ by Bas, ‘Do It Like Me’ by Higher Brothers, ‘Link Up’ by Buddy, ‘Broke’ by Ari Lennox, ‘Sandstorm’ by Mereba, ‘Getting Started’ by Aloe Blacc, ‘On Sight’ by Free Nationals, ‘Get Away’ by BJ The Chicago Kid, and ‘Down Bad’ & ‘1993’ by Dreamville.
What were your favourite JID features of 2019?
Who do you want to see JID work with in 2020?
Thanks For Reading!
– Shan –