Atlanta wordsmith, 2018 XXL Freshman, and Dreamville signee J.I.D is the leading lyricist of the new school. Pressing play on his debut album, The Never Story—a top 10 album of 2017—it’s easy to conclude J. Cole signed the young man because of his pen game, but as revealed during J.I.D’s recent No Jumper Podcast interview, Cole’s reasoning is far deeper.
“The first thing is how gifted he was with putting his words together,” said No Jumper host Adam22, reading a text message from J. Cole himself. “The thing that solidified it was when I saw his worth ethic and his hunger. A lot of people want it, but they not willing to put in the work. He’s not one of those people. His potential is GOAT status.”
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What Cole is describing is far and away the most compelling aspect of J.I.D’s music. His hunger directly informs his delivery, rapping every bar like it could be his last, and as a result, every song hits and takes root. No wonder we can’t stop listening to The Never Story.
Yes, J.I.D might have the musical chops to be the GOAT, but the most important facet of his artistry is his dedication to the craft. Later on in the interview, J.I.D describes his nonstop writing and recording process, clocking in absurd hours in the studio—clearly for good reason. Greatness is an endurance test before it is a true quality check, and lucky for J.I.D, it seems he has both elements in his pocket.