Atlanta rapper JID turned his back on a football scholarship to pursue music, working for years to develop a quickly shifting lyrical style that stood out in a sea of soundalike rappers. After time spent collaborating with the Spillage Village collective, JID signed a solo deal with J Cole's label and produced a string of highly musical and powerfully complex albums, reaching a new wave of critical acclaim with 2018's masterful DiCaprio 2.
JID was born Destin Route on Halloween in 1990. Raised in East Atlanta, JID (a name adopted and adapted from what his grandmother called him as a jittery child) had his first connection with music through his parents' collection of classic funk and soul LPs. After a stint at Hampton University playing football, JID also hooked up with fellow MCs as part of the Spillage Village collective. By 2012, he had dropped out of college to focus on music, and in 2014 he headed out on what would be a productive tour with EarthGang, Bas, and Ab-Soul. Touring allowed J.I.D. to hone his skills, and a year later he recorded and dropped the DiCaprio EP, which saw him team up with a host of producers, as well as EarthGang. While keen to distance himself from the generic abrasive trap sound that had dominated the Atlanta scene, JID wanted to deliver something that was more than just about a beat, and instead focused his time and effort on lyrics as well. In 2016, JID, with the rest of the Spillage Village crew, released the album Bears Like This Too Much, which saw the rapper displaying his unique delivery and inspired lyrics. In 2017, he announced that he had signed to J Cole's Dreamville label (a connection made with the rapper via JID's part in the 2014 tour with Bas and Cole's friend and producer Cedric Brown), which released the single Never and full-length The Never Story at the beginning of the year. In September of 2018, he issued the single "151 Rum," the first offering from DiCaprio 2, his sophomore full-length and sequel to his 2015 EP. The album arrived in late November and included cameos from 6LACK, A$AP Ferg, Method Man, and others. DiCaprio 2 was received warmly by fans and critics alike, appearing on many year-end best-of lists despite its being released so late in the year. ~ Rich Wilson