Atlanta rapper JID released his third solo studio album on Aug. 26. JID is one of the Dreamville label’s fastest rising stars and The Forever Story proves he’s a force to be reckoned with.
The Forever Story is jam packed with Atlanta sound, featuring notable names such as 21 Savage, Kenny Mason, and EarthGang. He also spotlights several female artists like Ari Lennox, Baby Tate, Ravyn Lenae. JID maintains his notable groovy sound paired with passive yet brisk rhythm, inspired by the funk music and 90’s rap he listened to as a child. He pairs melodies with creative beat switches, keeping listeners on their toes.
Many songs on the project are a love letter to the city that is clearly recognizable to his audience. “Dance Now,” featuring Kenny Mason, takes listeners on a bouncy ride through daily Atlanta life. “Can’t Punk Me” featuring EarthGang is another hometown rep, with JID saying, “the audacity to think that I surpassed them from Atlanta streets, you must be crazy.”
“Crack Sandwich” tells the story of JID’s coming of age, with lyrics like, “I ain’t got cheeseburger money, make a sandwich / Why you being bad? See, your Dad’ll get ya a—whipped / Seven cracked head bad kids in a Caravan,” as JID grew up the youngest of seven children. He isn’t afraid to get political, rapping about life as a black man and police brutality in the community.
JID doesn’t shy away from skits, and even adds church imagery into “Kody Blu 31.” This song features him singing for the first time on the album. It’s a slower song reminiscent of a church choir with a praise-like undertone. “Radar” gives a peek into JID’s past life as a football player at Hampton University, with bits and pieces of a football game between bars.
One of my favorites in the album is “Surround Sound” featuring 21 Savage and Baby Tate. JID’s 90’s influence is apparent here as the song samples “One Step Ahead” by Aretha Franklin, a classic move of golden-age hip hop artists. The song switches between Franklin’s soulful melodies and each of the artist’s hardcore verses. While “Surround Sound” was previously released as a single, the song still ties the album together very well.
I also loved “Can’t Make You Change” featuring Ari Lennox. The song is an intimate, jazzy duet with both artists bringing their classic honest lyrics to the table. Ari Lennox never fails to give her strong, gorgeous vocals. It features another sexy beat change that I loved.
The only song that was a flop to me was “Bruddanen” featuring Lil Durk. I liked the soft beat and the family message, but Lil Durk’s voice and flow did not mesh well with JID’s.
Overall, I believe that The Forever Story earns its place with Dreamville’s most successful records. I love how JID has maintained his genuine, classic Atlanta sound while still allowing himself to evolve and try new things.