Hip-hop superstardom can still come on a rapper’s own terms. Look no further than J. Cole, who’s gone Platinum with no features by continuing to level-up－creatively and musically－on each of his last three LPs.
Dreamville’s J.I.D seems to be following in his mentor’s footsteps. While discussing his newfound fame in an interview with Playboy, the Atlanta wordsmith revealed how he plans on growing as an artist.
“I just feel like I gotta keep working. I don’t want to let nobody down,” J.I.D said. "I feel like I gotta keep thinking of better ideas, I gotta be more creative, I gotta tap into my stream of consciousness that allows me to create."
Unlike Cole, though, J.I.D isn’t shy about his desire to increase his visibility in the coming months.
“I’m not just doing this to stay with a cult following,” J.I.D added. “I wanna get all the fans I can get. If that’s not in the stars for me, if that’s not aligned for me, that’s fine. But I’m definitely gonna give my best swing at it.”
As “selling out” in the traditional sense of the word has become commonplace in hip-hop’s digital age, the ethics of selling out boil down to artistry and growth. It’s obvious that J.I.D possesses the natural talent to climb rap’s ranks on his own terms; only time will tell if he stays the course.