IDK – “F65” review

This is the 3rd full-length album from British-American rapper, singer/songwriter & producer IDK. Beginning to make waves in the spring of 2014 off his first 3 mixtapes profile began to significantly increase in 2017 when he signed to Williams Street Records in order to put out a 4th tape IWasVeryBad to critical acclaim. He continued the grind by putting out a debut EP IDK & Friends as well as the full-length album Is He Real? & his 2nd EP IDK & Friends: Basketball County, but the sophomore effort USEE4YOURSELF a couple summers ago was very underwhelming. Simple. however fully produced by KAYTRANADA wound up being his strongest body of work to date & was enough to have me anticipate F65 over here.

“Cape Coast” is a jazzy opener to the album about keeping it inside sometimes yet still he cries whereas “Pit Stop” admits that the last time he shed a tear was when Prince passed away 7 years ago by now with a bouncy trap instrumental attached to it. Fat Trel tags along for “Thug Tear” blends some strings & hi-hats clarifying that it’s on sight because that’s exactly what you get when you slip just before “Champs-Élysées” brings back the saxes & keys talking about still having to be on his hood shit when he’s on his boujee shit.

NLE Choppa’s contribution to “Salty” is underwhelming to say the least & the subject matter of making bitches bitter doesn’t really help despite the wavy trap production but after the “D.S.T.P.” interlude, “Mr. Police” works in a bare piano instrumental basically telling the feds to go fuck themselves.Jucee Froot & Saucy Santana both come into the picture for “Pinot Noir” obnoxiously sampling “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)” by Khia to deliver an mediocre ass-shaking anthem leading into “Paperchaser” talking about keeping the block hot over a reverberated beat.

“Elmina” with Tay Iwana almost as a bit of a more tropical flare to the beat making it clear that he wants to see his girl’s bodying grinding to the rhythm while “Georgetown” is a spacious boom bap ballad about being ready at anytime. “Radioactive” goes full-blown Philly club having the glocks on up with the switches & after the “Know” interlude, “Télé Couleur” fuses jazz with boom bap very well talking about his side & theirs’ never been symmetrical.

Meanwhile, “Rabbit Stew” has an intriguing dance break with a spacious instrumental discussing rather wanting to love this woman on the low while “We on Top / 850” starts off with some hi-hats & strings before later swapping out the strings with synths during the 2nd half switch-up as he & Rich the Kid talk about running shit. After the “Middle Passage” interlude, “Still Your Man” jumps on top of a bass guitar reminding that he even said at the beginning that his thoughts don’t change.

After the “St. Nicholas & 118th” interlude, the song “Up the Score” with Benny the Butcher finds both MCs calling out motherfuckers who be cooperating with the feds & that they simply tryna win out here over an orchestral beat while the penultimate track “Superwoman” is a lavish 7 minute pop rap ballad about knowing the woman of his dreams very well. “Freetown” however primarily comes off as an instrumental outro to the album with a spoken word bit at the backend of it.

Even though I still think that Simple. remains as the best thing that IDK has ever done respectfully, it’s worth noting that F65 at the end of the day will satisfy listeners for being a mature sequel to SubTRAP. The excessive amount of interludes are honestly annoying & a few performances from the features don’t quite stick the landing, but the concept of him creating a place to be free & honest where everyone is respected reminds me of the P.Y.U.N.E. concept of Tech N9ne’s 20th album Planet.

Score: 3/5

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