The Rickety Old Shack

JID — DiCaprio 2

album cover

For an up-and-coming rapper, things probably don't get much better than the year JID had. Emerging from this year's XXL Freshman Class standing head and shoulders above his peers in the group, JID ends a year of massively increased exposure by dropping DiCaprio 2, a follow-up to last year's A Story Never Told LP. Despite the short window of time between the two releases, JID demonstrates a lot of improvements across the board and easily surpasses all past efforts with this new collection of material.

In contrast to a lot of today's rap, JID isn't indulging in the trap phenomenon, and instead serves up densely lyrical verses laid over traditional hip-hop style beats. A single JID verse probably contains more words than an entire Lil Pump album, covering stories of hood violence, living in poverty and the typical rap bravado. There's little-to-no bragging about material wealth, but the rest of the rap genre's mainstay topics are all tackled. DiCaprio 2 is a serious effort but it doesn't take itself too seriously, the end of "Workin Out" has a genuinely hilarious bit about J Cole — who signed JID to his label — needing to "share some of that Dreamville money."

JID's rapid-fire delivery style takes a little but of getting used to, to properly parse the verses as he rattles them off in machine gun fashion. At times, JID sounds a little nasally, but it's not for prolonged periods of time, and it does serve as another means to differentiate him from everyone else. The lead-off singles for the record, "151 Rum" and "Off Deez" were both excellent tasters for the ensuing album. "151 Rum" is the shortest track on the album, and feels even shorter because of the speed at which the verses are delivered, but it's also an earworm that demands repeat listens. "Off Deez," despite the cringe-worthy refrain of "get offa my dick" that gets repeated throughout, has J Cole and JID trading incredibly technical verses, and it's easily my favourite track on the album.

The rest of DiCaprio 2 is of similar quality; and even the bonus track, "Hasta Luego," could easily have been included on the regular release. JID puts on a strong vocal performance throughout, even managing to sing relatively well on "Workin Out" without resorting to cranking Auto-Tune and letting the chips fall where they may. "Tiiied" (prounded like a belaboured "tired") is an impressively soulful track, lamenting failed relationships with a mix of beautiful singing and blistering verses. Every track is a wholly unique piece, and even when JID is paired with veterans like ASAP Ferg and Method Man he holds his own and doesn't even come close to being out-performed on his own tracks.

Everything about DiCaprio 2 fills me with excitement; this is a high-energy record that exudes an impressive amount of charisma. JID seemed destined for stardom already, and this new studio album just confirms those suspicions. For a young artist, JID displays a sense of maturity and craft that is already razor-sharp and I'm very keen to hear what he does next. For now, though, DiCaprio 2 will be keeping me occupied for quite a while. This album is as hook-laden and compelling as I wished Ski Mask The Slump God's efforts would be. I'm still a fan of both — and enjoyed their collaborations in the XXL Freshman Class performances — but it's clear that JID is leaps and bounds ahead of Ski Mask and almost everyone else for that matter.

Summary

In a year innundated with interchangeable trap records, JID drops a solid collection of lyrically dense, hip-hop bangers. Eaaily one of the year's best rap releases, and a real treat for fans looking for more lyrical material than the mainstream is currently offering these days. JID is a young artist but already demonstrates the ability to put out quality tracks, and continue to improve as an emcee rather than just coasting on what was already considerable talent. DiCaprio 2 is excellent for its content but also for what it portends for future material from such a gifted artist.

Album Information

Release date: November 26th, 2018
Record label: Dreamville Records

JID — vocals
ASAP Ferg — vocals (track 3)
J Cole — vocals (track 4), production (track 9)
6lack — vocals (track 8)
Ella Mai — vocal (track 8)
BJ The Chicago Kid — vocal (track 9)
Method Man — vocals (track 10)
Joey Badass — vocals (track 10)
Christo — production (tracks 1, 3, 5, 6)
EWonder — production (track 2)
Kenny Beats — production (track 2)
ChaseTheMoney — production (track 4)
Nice Rec — production (track 5)
2thirty5 — production (track 7)
Elite — production (track 8)
Skhye Hutch — production (track 10)
Zorro — production (track 10)
Hollywood JB — production (track 11)
Bobby Kritical — production (track 12)
Frankie P — production (track 13)
Wondagurl — production (track 14)

Track Listing

  1. Frequency Change
  2. Slick Talk
  3. Westbrook
  4. Off Deez
  5. 151 Rum
  6. Odd Da Zoinky's
  7. Workin Out
  8. Tiiied
  9. Skrawberries (For Da Ladies)
  10. Hot Box
  11. Mounted Up
  12. Just Da Other Day
  13. Despacito Too
  14. Hasta Luego (Bonus Track)

—by Derek

Published: December 23rd, 2018.