J.I.D – “The Forever Story” review

This is the 3rd full-length album from Atlanta emcee J.I.D. Emerging in 2010 off his debut mixtape Cakewalk & joined the Spillage Village collective lead by the EARTHGANG around that same time frame, he dropped 2 more mixtapes as well as then an EP after that & signed to J. Cole’s very own Interscope Records imprint Dreamville Records in 2017. He has since made himself home there with The Never Story & DiCaprio 2, but is returning after 4 long years in the form of The Forever Story.

After the melodic “Galaxy” intro, the first song “Raydar” kicks off the album with a heavy bass-line & some hi-hats provided by Nonstop da Hitman talking about how “when it rains, it pours” prior to the beat switching up into more dramatic saying he’ll “steal the cattle then burn the farm”. “Dance Now” however samples “Yoel’s Niggun” by Zusha talking about making ‘em dance with his 9 whereas “Crack Sandwich” takes a more rugged route acknowledging that you can tell that he never had shit.

The EARTHGANG tags along for the KAYTRANADA/JD Beck-laced “Can’t Punk Me” reminding everything that nothing will stop them leading into Baby Tate & 21 Savage coming into the picture for the chipmunk soul/trap banger “Surround Sound” produced by DJ Scheme talking about putting the rap game on their backs & snatching crowns. “Kody Blu 31” incorporates a crooning sample in the mix encouraging listeners to swang on, but then the Lil Durk-assisted “Bruddanem” shoots for a more mellow aesthetic thanks to DJ Khalil talking about loyalty.

Meanwhile on “Sistanem”, we have J.I.D over some spacious boom bap production describing the tour life leading into the romance-driven “Can’t Make U Change” that starts off with a funky instrumental from Dreamville in-house producer Elite & switches into a melodic vocal loop. “Stars” opens up with a hazy BADBADNOTGOOD beat & J.I.D talking about having his goals set with E. Jones changing it up into boom bap turf as well as a stellar Yasiin Bey verse for the outro while “Just in Time” with Lil Wayne takes a more symphonic approach talking about having the time today.

“Money” throws a guitar & some live drums courtesy of Khrysis into the mix confessing that’s all he really needs while the song “Better Days” weaves some piano chords into the chord talking about balancing the highs & lows. The closer “Lauder Too” is a futuristic sequel to a highlight off The Never Story laced by James Blake & Thundercat with the bonus cut “2007” ends the album is a 7 & a half minute epic looking back on J.I.D’s life throughout the past 15 years & it’s a shame that the sample couldn’t get cleared because it’s a great choice for a closer.

I’ve gone on record numerous times saying that J.I.D’s the future of Dreamville & if The Forever Story doesn’t further prove that, then I don’t know what to tell you because it’s a great sequel to his full-length debut & I’ll even say it’s arguably better than The Never Story. I admire that he comes through with more in-depth stories throughout, the production is incredibly dynamic & the feature list is pretty tight.

Score: 4/5

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