JID: Five Years Too Late


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What holds JID back from success?

If you were to ask some kid in North Carolina if they knew who JID was, chances are you’d hear a yes. Unfortunately for this 30 year old rapper, the same can’t be said almost anywhere else. JID is a rapper who is relatively new on the scene despite having made a lot of music. With only two albums and one official mixtape, JID has a dismal discography. As a signee of J.Cole’s Dreamville and 2018 XXL Freshmen, one could surmise that JID would have a lot of wind in his sails and a titan of the mainstream industry. However, that is far from the truth. Why is this? JID has the bars and the demeanor to be huge, but the biggest thing holding him back is himself. 

There is often a trade off between creativity and accessibility in the Hiphop industry. For example, Childish Gambino dropped a 2020 album titled 3.15.20 on the 15th of March. Along with the lack of a title, he had no album cover, simply a white screen. His track names were also not even track names, they were timestamps of the songs. Now, perhaps this fed into Gambino’s idea of letting people interpret the album, and while that is very noble, this led to very little talk of his new project and his lowest performing release since stardom. This was truly unfortunate because it was a great work. This just feeds into the grander point, that even if you have a profound message or theme, if it isn’t easily accessible to most people, they won’t take interest. This is exactly what JID needs to learn. He continues to release songs to Youtube and Sound Cloud yet holds out on actually dropping on streaming services. This combined with his heavy similarity to other rappers in his league and honestly, his older age, is what is holding him back from reaching the level of the greats.