J.I.D is in a league of his own. Now you can hear the complete story of his journey directly from J.I.D himself. We cataloged and analyzed every published interview he has ever given, covering a timespan of over half a decade of artistry. Podcasts, written interviews, video, radio, all of it is right here for your reference.
Note: if you’re interested in learning more, we used all this research to tell J.I.D’s biographical story in an awesome, comprehensive Narrative Feature. We’re 99% sure it’s the most in-depth J.I.D biography that’s ever existed. Check it out!
Explore every J.I.D Interview, Ever
As fans and journalists, we want to get as close to our favorite artists as we can. We want to learn about their lives from the events that molded them into the icons they are to the small details that make them feel relatable. Interviews alone can’t substitute for genuine connections but they can help us reach a better understanding of the real people who work to bring us the music we love.
Since 2012, J.I.D has been steadily climbing through the ranks of hip-hop. The Dreamville artist has become well known for his clever lyricism and ferocious live show energy. We have compiled below outlines of every interview the rapper and R&B singer has given, sorted by category for your convenience. While digging through the crates check out this playlist that features a collection of J.I.D’s musical influences and inspirations.
Explore by Category:
- Top five interviews to watch or listen
- Top five interviews to read
- Interviews about J.I.D’s career
- Interviews about J.I.D’s personal life
- Narrative style interviews
- Radio interviews
- Interviews on tour
- Interviews with a gimmick
- Brief interviews (About 5 minutes reading/ listening)
Explore by Era:
Top Five J.I.D Interviews to Watch or Listen
J.I.D Brings East Atlanta to ‘Rap Radar’ Ep 7 – TIDAL
Date: August 15, 2017
Overview: This is a great longer interview if you have TIDAL and you have the time to listen or watch. There’s a lot of exclusive angles and elaboration on stories that he’s mentioned elsewhere in interviews. Along with diving into the time that he spent living out of his car and how he got there, they go in depth about some of his music taste and how he moves in the industry.
Details: Not only does J.I.D study rappers with the same intensity that he studied football, but he broadly studies anyone he respects as a writer in general; like Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys and the poet, Langston Hughes. After being kicked out of his house, he says that there were places he could’ve been but he just felt like he needed to be on his own and away from people for a bit. J.I.D has always been extremely sensitive to his surroundings and takes opportunities to absorb his environment for inspiration. In fact, the track “Somebody” came to be when he and EarthGang overheard Dame Dash giving a motivational speech through a closed studio door. Even after getting access to Dreamville’s resources he still always sends his stuff to Cristo, EarthGang, and Hollywood JB for their opinions, but he doesn’t share with many people outside of that.
Key Quote: “This shit is a blessing but I’m not finna settle cause I see how n***as can get fucked up out here. I’m not finna let this game fuck me up. I wanna stay ahead of the curve and if I can’t then it ain’t for me… I have been there, I feel like I seen a lot of this shit, and I feel like a lot of it common sense, but fame is another mother fucker. It’s something I ain’t never dealt with.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
Joey Bada$$ x NasteeLuvzYou: 47 Minutes Podcast | Episode 4: J.I.D – Pro Era – YouTube
Date: February 23, 2019
Overview: J.I.D and Joey talk about the industry as a whole and how they think things are going to progress. There’s a broad range of topics, from how he met J. Cole to what they think about aliens and the hollow Earth theory. There’s an interesting discussion about Kanye and music influencing politics.
Details: Earlier the same day J.I.D spoke with Leonard DiCaprio over the phone at Q Tip’s house. J.I.D and Joey are really tight and are planning on working together in the near future. J.I.D’s cousin, Johntá Austin, wrote “Sweet Lady” for Tyrese. He was really inspired by iconic generational music like Earth, Wind, & Fire and Sly & The Family Stone. Growing up J.I.D was religious, but now he’s really spiritual. They both really respect Colin Kaepernick.
Key Quote: “When you don’t have the information you don’t have the power. Information is the key. Love and knowledge. If you figure those two things out you probably in the top five.” – Destin Route, J.I.D
The J.I.D Interview – No Jumper – YouTube
Date: July 18, 2018
Overview: J.I.D discusses certain career moves that he’s made and how he’s going to make his spot in hip-hop.
Details: Out of his six siblings he is closest to his older sister, who is six-years-older than him so his siblings weren’t around much when he was growing up. J.I.D talks about how creative mindsets have different ways of learning and not everyone retains information in the same way.
Key Quote: “They say your first project is like everything you’ve been working on your whole life before. N***a was just broke as fuck bruh. N***as was tryna god damn feed yourself. N***as was tryna god damn, just make something happen. Something that had never been done, as far as my bloodline, my family and shit. We got talented mother fuckers in my family but I was tryna do something, my squad, n***as I grew up with. Just change the complexity of n***as lives bruh. That shit just came from a real ass place bro. Everybody ain’t rich and shit like that.” – Destin Route, J.I.D
J.I.D Interview – Is he a Grandad??? Talks DiCaprio 2, Mac Miller, The Never Story & J Cole – DJDUBLTV – YouTube
Date: September 24, 2018
Overview: A UK interview. They cover a bit of J.I.D’s background as an artist, how he moved from sports to music and how he met J. Cole. This is a great interview to get a feel for how J.I.D’s approach is unique. He’s studied and driven to be something very direct and he’s made intentional moves to go beyond an artist that just hits streams. He wants to have identity and staying power.
Details: J.I.D is NOT a grandad (this is a reference to an interview where he made an odd joke about being a grandad that was never really covered). Due to having six older siblings he got a lot of trickle down music from all kinds of genres. At this point he still has the Pontiac but it no longer runs. He was living and working in his car while working for Dominos after being kicked out of school. J.I.D works by himself most of the time but he overwhelms his managers with recorded projects when they’re done. DiCaprio 2 is based on the energy that he gets from seeing how crowds reacted to certain things within his music. J.I.D does the “We gon be all-right” section of Mac Miller’s “Self Care.”
Key Quote: “I always seen like the people who have these hits or have these songs and then get forgotten about and nobody cares about em. You just become that song you don’t become the artist, which is like the scariest thing in the world… I never wanted to be that so I always tried to base my whole image on being an album artist, a touring artist, but not just a person known for singles.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D Wants to Become the Next Big Script Writer – HYPEBEAST
Date: November 13, 2018
Overview: This is a really compelling podcast episode interview that discusses DiCaprio 2, J.I.D’s love for sports, and his favorite movies and goals in the film industry. J.I.D sees his dream as a scriptwriter more clearly than he ever saw being a musician. This interview has the best description of J.I.D’s hopes to get into film.
Details: To prepare for a career in the film industry, J.I.D has been getting into scoring movie trailers with original music and writing scripts together with EarthGang. He views every piece of his projects as another small part of the whole picture he’s putting out. Despite the increasing success and ambition, Spillage Village is never going to stop working together on projects. He got into nature because his parents were from the country, so he’s been fishing and shooting guns from a young age. His favorite animals are African Fish Eagles and he really loves Turtles.
Key Quote: “I feel like everything I drop is going to be just another piece of my story. My shit, I can see it. I don’t know, when I listen to music even if it’s whatever type of song, I always see it. I always get a picture of the music. So this is just like another splat of my story and my painting and stuff like that. I’m just putting it together.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Top Five J.I.D Interviews to Read
Notes From The Road: J.I.D interviewed – Clash Magazine – YouTube
Date: November 29, 2017
Overview: This interview provides good insight into J.I.D’s mentality. He talks about getting his wit from his mother and how that translated over to his writing and his work ethic. He carries that mentality into his music career and believes that to really reach his potential he has to be better than J. Cole.
Details: While at school he was majoring in entrepreneurship. Before Dreamville, he was almost signed to Quality Control Music, the same label behind Migos and Lil Yatchy, by Kevin “Coach” Lee.
Key Quote: “When I’m creating I don’t want nobody to be around me. I know it’s going to sound crazy coming out, and I don’t want to think about somebody else’s opinion. I might think about what somebody said to me for the next three days. I overthink and second guess myself a lot – but usually if I’m doing it by myself and I get to the finished product, they love it every time.” – Destin Route, J.I.D
J.I.D: Meet the J. Cole-Signed Rapper Against ‘Happy Trappers’ – Rolling Stone
Date: May 3, 2018
Overview: J.I.D talks about how different he is from the Atlanta trap rappers even though he’s from the same area. The idea of trapping as a means of providing never appealed to him because he saw the people involved in it as being happy with where there were in life and never trying to rise above that.
Details: For a long time J.I.D was rapping with his wisdom teeth still in and they were causing him a lot of pain. He would bite the inside of his mouth and even spit out blood during/ after shows. He just got the teeth removed but he keeps them for good luck cause someone made him superstitious about it by saying he would lose his edge without them. “Lauder” is named after a friend he lost and it’s his favorite track on the album and “Hereditary” was actually written with the intention of having SZA sing it.
Key Quote: “When I grew up, drug dealers and people who was doing illegal stuff to get money, I never saw it as like a glorified thing. I didn’t see it like you sit and be stagnant – be happy with where you at in life. It was always means to a better way, to feed your family. I just never fucked with the over-glorification, but with more of the struggle.” Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D Talks ‘DiCaprio 2’ and Dreamville’s Competition With TDE – Complex Magazine
Date: November 26, 2018
Overview: This is a great longer interview to read for a picture of how J.I.D’s mentality about life applies to his career. He believes that Dreamville is competing directly with TDE. He talks a lot about the imagery and the connection he feels to movies and Leonardo DiCaprio in particular.
Details: J.I.D tells a really long, detailed story about a friend of his going missing in Barcelona, Spain while they’re on tour. At this time he indicates that “Slick Talk” is his favorite song on DiCaprio 2. Apparently J.I.D accidentally recorded The Never Story on the wrong side of the mic. His dream features are Willow Smith and Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys.
Key Quote: “N***as take themselves too seriously. Everybody’s so sensitive about shit. I don’t care. This shit is just fun to me. I’m not even supposed to be here. I’m a n***a from the hood. I’m from [Zone 6], I come from a big ass family, bro. I be just happy to be involved with cameras and boom lights and shit. This is cool, my n***a. I’m just happy to be here, and try to make great art for people to enjoy and shit. Help people out.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
Digital Cover Story: J.I.D & EarthGang – HotNewHipHop
Date: February 8, 2019
Overview: A narrative format story with the added benefit of a feature structure complete with pages and interesting photos. There’s not a whole lot of interview content, but the story covers a good bit of the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions in an overall narrative told through the lens of the Spillage Village house.
Details: Dot’s (of EARTHGANG) favorite Super Smash Bros Ultimate character is Fox. They have a cat named Frank Ocean at the Spillage Village house. J.I.D and EarthGang got popular doing live shows in Atlanta by performing live over raw instrumentals, as opposed to rapping over their lyrics. They think of themselves as “album artists.” Putting the idea of projects ahead of singles and chart chasing.
Key Quote: “We base ourselves on albums,” says J.I.D. “That’s the type of artists we chose to be. Artists that people look forward to dropping albums. Living with the album, as opposed to dropping singles. I personally think of things as a whole, but spontaneity always happens. You might make a song that you didn’t know would make an album.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D Is Becoming One Of Hip-Hop’s Most Exciting Live Acts – Forbes
Date: June 20, 2019
Overview: This is a great interview to hear J.I.D talk about the focus that he puts on his live shows. He puts his performances first and loves touring and doing shows in new places.
Details: A crowd at an Ithaca College show broke through the floor of a venue and the show had to be canceled. Quite a contrast to J.I.D’s first show opening for Curren$y that didn’t go very well and ended with a narrowly avoided a run-in with the law afterward. He lists his favorite performers in hip-hop as Saba, Ski Mask the Slump God, Tierra Whack, Queen Key, Juice WRLD, Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert. Playing sports competitively and listening to Twista helped give him the great breath control that he has. In 2020 he’s really trying to get into film with a script that he calls Any Given Sunday meets Step Brothers.
Key Quote: “I always tell people, the first form of music being made was live performance. It was all about energy and making somebody feel something. I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on that, but I’m still trying to get better with every show. Every show is like a fingerprint: it’s never the same. You’re going to get the same reaction, but it’s always a different group of people, giving you their version of the energy that they have.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
Interviews about J.I.D’s Career
J.I.D Is Hip-Hop’s Patient and Potent New Superstar – Playboy
Date: February 20, 2019
Overview: J.I.D’s interview with Playboy while he’s on tour with Ski Mask Tha Slump God talks about how he’s progressed through mentally visualizing his career.
Details: He’s definitely shooting for recognition in the likes of Prince or Michael Jackson, but he takes things as they come and respects even the slow points of his career, along with each piece that got him there. He also talks a bit about his relationship with Mac Miller.
Key Quote: “I was thinking about being a lawyer when I was in school. But I was like, Fuck all of that! I don’t even like the justice system…. I was thinking, I can work from the inside. Artists these days are like the Martin Luther King or Malcolm X—we have the same power.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D On Lollapalooza Debut, Working With J. Cole & Dreamville, New Music & More – Recording Academy
Date: August 7, 2019
Overview: He talks about how the Dreamers sessions and being around Cole helped him to grow and how excited he’s been to perform DiCaprio 2 songs in big festival settings.
Details: The Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions helped him to progress to a point where he’s able to work on stuff without being alone. He thinks Young Thug is one of the greatest artists ever, but he really wants to work with Beyonce, Little Dragon, and James Blake.
Key Quote: “See I’m kinda weird. I work like super alone, I record myself. I wanna be like a one stop shop. But at that time period it was a group effort. Everybody’s working, everybody’s coming with their different energies… I can get to the result that I want when I work by myself or use another method when working with a lot of people, which the Dreamers sessions showed me. So it just gave me a different perspective on music.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D Talks New Album ‘DiCaprio 2,’ What Makes Bhad Bhabie an Exciting Rapper & Mac Miller’s Genius – Billboard
Date: November 1, 2018
Overview: This interview mostly talks about J.I.D being in the XXL Freshman Class and what he thinks about a lot of other artists coming up like Bhad Bhabie, who he really fucks with.
Details: Most of DiCaprio 2 had been done for awhile before it was released. “Skrawberries” had been in progress since 2015 and Mac Miller just came in and arranged the final product. Mac Miller’s passing gave him more time on the album because he didn’t have to rush it for the tour. J.I.D was there while Mac was working on “Self Care” and it really gave him a respect for Mac not just as a producer but as a composer. If he could pick any soundtrack to his life he would choose “As” by Stevie Wonder, which he claims is the best song ever written. “Hereditary” is about a girl he dated in highschool who learned a toxic lifestyle from her mother and her sisters.
Key Quote: “N—as don’t freestyle. I don’t wanna hear about no n—a freestyling. The last freestyle that I literally saw was Vince Staples, when he went on Flex and you can tell it was a freestyle. You can literally tell. Freestyle ain’t the same shit. Who really freestyles? Like, saying some shit? You was talking about shooting guns, you’re talking about fucking bitches. Who gives a fuck, for real? I don’t know. I think that shit is just a waste of time.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Interviews about J.I.D’s Personal Life
The Never Story (Mini Doc) – Dreamville – YouTube
Date: February 19, 2017
Overview: J.I.D is showing off his old Pontiac G6. He lived in the car at one point after being kicked out of the house and it got him all through college.
Details: The Pontiac was finally cooked on September 15, 2018 according to Twitter and Instagram. During the car’s lifetime it went through many struggles, including a robbery attempt that left the driver’s side door handle laying in the street.
Key Quote: “I drove it all through college back and forth. I lived in it a little bit. It’s been through like every phase of my life. From me not having anything at all to me having the little bit I got now.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
Dreamville’s J.I.D Opens About His Childhood & Journey to Dreamville – VIBE Magazine
Date: March 10, 2017
Overview: Being from the same neighborhood in East Atlanta as Gucci. He talks about being around the trapping environment that Gucci made east Atlanta infamous for.
Details: J.I.D was able to stay away from the negatives in his environment by focusing on sports. He has movie scripts that he wants to turn into films once he’s more established in the music industry.
Key Quote: “It’s the same type story. I’m just telling it from my perspective, you feel me. Like everybody thinks Atlanta is correlated with like trap and ‘woo woo woo,’ but it’s just a different perspective cause I wasn’t into that shit. I was into some other shit, but I was around some people who were into that shit… I was sensitive to my surroundings so it kinda helped me form my own ideas and then push it forward, and I just started to do music and stuff.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
J.I.D On Kendrick Comparisons, Turtle Tattoos & Wanting To Work With Jessie Reyez – HIPHOPDX
Date: August 24, 2017
Overview: J.I.D shows a weird balance between humble and arrogant. He believes that he’s the best at what he does but that it comes with intense practice and he knows he still has a long way to go to live up to that expectation of himself.
Details: In past interviews J.I.D has referenced having to write a verse for J. Cole as an “initiation” type deal at his Dreamville interview but he reiterates that it was more an opportunity and not a requirement to write the verse. Turtles are one of his favorite animals because they remind him of EarthGang. On tours he loves to see that people at his shows know the words and try and rap along to them because of the crazy technical aspects of his songs.
Key Quote: “It’s not really up to me to try to stand out. It’s for the people to decide I’m the person that stands out to them. I like all the music being put out of my city and really liking all music. I’m a fan of everything first so that helps me do what I want do. So that’s not really up to me to decide that. I’m trying to put out my story the best way and just be like me.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
A POLAROID STORY x J.I.D – INTERVIEW – A POLAROID STORY – YouTube
Date: June 29, 2018
Overview: This interview is in Brussels, Belgium, his second time touring in Europe. The interview is split with video clips from the tour, making it exciting to watch J.I.D perform for a different crowd. The interview covers a broad range of topics and is meant as an introduction for J.I.D on the European scene.
Details: The Never Story is a project J.I.D has been working on his whole life and he saved it for this moment because signing with Dreamville and Interscope gave him the chance to reach a larger audience. J.I.D and 6LACK connected right away and hopped right on a track that 6LACK sent him the same night that never came out. He also wants to work with Tierra Whack, Ella Mai (which he did later on DiCaprio 2), and Willow Smith (they share the same birthday). He discovered his singing voice by singing along to Frank Ocean and Arctic Monkeys. On religion, he says, he takes what he loves from different religions and applies them to his life, so he’s more spiritual.
Key Quote: “I just try to be myself more than I try to be a part of the current wave of stuff. Cause they’re amazing at what they do, I think Little Pump is a genius. “Gucii Gang,” he said that so many times and it’s a big hit; I said so many words in “Never.” It all has its place in music, and it makes sense for the duality of music.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
The Story How Leonardo DiCaprio Invited Dreamville’s J.I.D To His Birthday Party After Hearing About “DiCaprio 2” – HIPHOPDX
Date: November 16, 2018
Overview: J.I.D was hanging out with Q Tip, who is a good friend of DiCaprio so they got to talk with him over the phone while they were listening to the album and Leo invited J.I.D to his birthday party.
Details: DiCaprio 2 was under more pressure because it was made on the road. When everyone in Spillage Village was living in the house they all had to work shitty odd jobs just to keep the lights on but they prioritized their recording equipment.
Key Quote: “I knew what the sound was and I know what the sound is right now, I just don’t give a fuck. I don’t really care what everyone else is doing because that’s just not me. That’s not my personality. Not like, “Oooh, everybody wearing blue today? Bet. I’ma throw on blue.” I don’t give a fuck. I always wear all black. That’s just me. I’m just not no conformer or wave rider. I just do my own thing.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Dreamville’s J.I.D Talks 2K Gaming, OutKast And More – The Shadow League
Date: November 19, 2018
Overview: Verizon sets up a 2K tournament for fans to get the chance and come play with J.I.D. In the interview he talks about how gaming and how his football career translate over to a mentality that himself and others can use to get on top of anything they want.
Details: He gets through roadblocks by listening to music, playing games and watching documentaries. He’s watching a documentary on mind control and says that it’s “kind of the concept he’s making his album around.” He loves how gaming can bring people together who aren’t connected by anything other than the game.
Key Quote: “In football, I’d normally have to go against this crazy tall, fast person or whatever. I have to use what I have to beat him. But there are limits. No matter how strong my mentality was, it doesn’t even matter. If you’re small as hell, you not running over Vince Wilfork. But I treat my rap craft like a defensive coordinator. I can be so strategic in music in what I say and in my preparation I could be the biggest guy on the “field” if that makes sense. I can paint those pictures. I can give stories that can move people. Music is just way better for my psyche.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Date: Dec 2, 2018
Overview: This interview in Berlin, Germany goes over a lot of J.I.D’s relationships with other artists in the industry. From close relationships with Mac Miller and EarthGang to relationships that he wants to have in the future like with Kendrick Lamar.
Details: He answers the question of “why Dreamville,” because he really fits in with the people on the label. A huge amount of the work on his first couple albums was done even before Dreamville, DiCaprio 2 just needed some finishing touches on it. When the interview shifts to Mac Miller it’s easy to see how emotional the subject gets for him. They talk about a past relationship that was the inspiration for “Hereditary,” where J.I.D dated a girl for years who was part of an all female family that he thought treated men really bad. J.I.D and Denzel Curry are really close and was one of the first industry people that he got really involved with.
Key Quote: “He [Mac Miller] came to the studio in LA. We’d been already like working together, just chilling going to get sushi and stuff like that. We already knew each other but we started getting closer and closer as this year went by. So he came to the studio one time, he would listen to all of the records and just, ‘stop it right here! You should take this out!’ and dadadada… just tried to help out, just like a friend would.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D talks battling writer’s block, a new album with NO I.D. and more – REVOLT
Date: September, 4, 2019
Overview: Since his grandma passed on August 8 J.I.D has been struggling with writer’s block, but he’s really excited for this upcoming project with NO I.D. and thinks it could be his best yet.
Details: After the Revenge of the Dreamers III recording sessions he’s reconsidered his previous approach about mostly working alone. Working with NO I.D. is pulling stuff out of him that hasn’t come from working with anyone else. He wants to go deeper. This album with NO I.D. is going to be his best project yet. Says he’s getting ready to drop a three pack of songs and Kenny Mason from Atlanta is on one of them.
Key Quote: “This is going to be the best album I’ve ever done. I’ve been working on it for what feels like all my damn life. I’m using songs from years ago… There are so many different ways I’m attacking this project that I’ve never done before, so it feels special.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
Narrative Style Interviews
J.I.D. Wants You to Think Differently About Atlanta Rap and His ‘DiCaprio’ EP Might Help – Vice
Date: January 26, 2015
Overview: J.I.D’s focus on lyricism gives an alternate view on Southern Hip-Hop, providing relief from the typical Atlanta trap sound.
Details: He’s taking his time because he has his sights set on the top and he knows that it takes awhile to get there.
Key Quote: “It never really mattered to me trying to get somewhere fast because if you get somewhere fast you probably won’t stay there too long.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2015)
J.I.D Doesn’t Just Plan To Score Films, He Intends To Write Them – VIBE
Date: July 10, 2018
Overview: J.I.D is trying to get involved in films now so that later down the line it won’t be strange when he drops a movie. He made an original song just for the trailer of “The Hate You Give.”
Details: J.I.D’s custom XXL Freshman Class cover is Jaden Smith, Lil Baby, Gunna, Bhad Bhabie, Tierra Whack, Rico Nasty, EarthGang and Lou the Human.
Key Quote: “The easiest way to get me upset is to critique some sh*t before I’m done with it. [That’s] with anybody, whether it’s [J.] Cole or goddamn Mary Magdalene or whoever.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D Is Winning at Life By Feeding Off Your Energy – Complex
Date: September 19, 2018
Overview: Part 1 of 3 of Complex’s Run the Show series on J.I.D is told in a narrative format about the start of his career, from his musical influences when he was just a child to him getting kicked out of school.
Details: J.I.D’s family used to sing in the car because they could never find a radio station that all 10 of them could agree on. He didn’t start writing music until he was 20 but he’s always felt like he was a good writer even when it came to essays.
Key Quote: “I was kicked out of school, I was living in my car. I was super afraid of the mediocrity, but I wanted to do something creative. I remeber my pops said ‘I knew you were gonna fuck up.’ Getting through that mindset of hearing that, I gotta fight through that everyday when I’m writing a verse. I was fueled by the doubt.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
How J.I.D Found Success in Being a Late Bloomer – Complex
Date: September 20, 2018
Overview: Part two of three of the Complex Run the Show series on J.I.D. It’s very similar to part one with a short video and a narrative interview.
Details: Briefly covers how J.I.D was still able to succeed in the industry despite starting on music late and being homeless when he really started taking it seirously.
Key Quote: “I started writing music when I turned 20. Just being able to put my ideas, or say things the way I wanted them to be said was always easy for me. I’ve always been able to say whatever I wanted to say through pen and paper.” – J.I.D for ‘Complex’ (2018)
Moment of Epiphany: Inside the Booth with J.I.D – Complex
Date: September 21, 2018
Overview: Part three of three of the Complex Run the Show series on J.I.D.
Details: J.I.D puts his mind to the industry in a strange way. He gives 100% of his focus and intensity but in a calm way. He knows that’s what it takes and he knows that’s what he has to put out to be the greatest and he just believes it’s that simple.
Key Quote: “All the money and all the fame and all this shit is placed in front of you. You just gotta be real with yourself. I don’t really worry about myself until I’m done with what needs to be done.” – J.I.D for ‘Complex’ (2018)
J.I.D Wants to Take You to the Movies – DJ Booth
Date: November 16, 2018
Overview: It’s been a few years since DJ Booth staff writer Yoh first interviewed J.I.D so this piece is about catching back up with him now that he’s had more time to develop as an artist.
Details: Once in 2016, J.I.D, EartGang, and 6LACK arrived at a venue for a concert just to discover that no one had bought a ticket to the show. J.I.D compares himself to the New Orleans star football player Alvin Kamara. An injury to his hip in his senior year of high school affected his full ride scholarship to the University of Georgia so he went to Hampton instead.
Key Quote: “Me being where I’m at, in a middle place, it helps me write. When I get on and have more flashy things to say, it’s going to change the story a bit. It’s just going to add on the foundation that’s being built. I want to start, literally, start where I am right now. I want y’all to see me as an artist at this stage in my career so you can appreciate where I go. We going to do it right. I’m going to play my role. It’s going to be a time when I’ll release music and you’ll feel that it’s coming. That you feel it’s going to be big.” — J.I.D (2016)
How J.I.D Got Better, Faster, and More Brutal – Rolling Stone
Date: November 27, 2018
Overview: The interview is told in a narrative format about the release of DiCaprio 2. There’s not a whole lot of content from J.I.D directly but it’s a good read.
Details: The only people who took him seriously about becoming a rapper were his mother and his sister Rachael, and his dad kicked him out of the house. The only reason J.I.D didn’t sign with Quality Control Music is because J. Cole moved in at the last minute.
Key Quote: “There’s a song I did called ‘D/vision,’ I did on Never Story. It was the first beat he did. When we [EarthGang] came in the house he was like, ‘Alright, first thing y’all put your stuff down, write a verse.’ That was the first verse I wrote, barred that shit up,” he says. “I’m not nervous about no beat. I bar Cole up. I bar the beat. I don’t give a fuck like. I came to work.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D’s Radio Interviews
J.I.D. (Spillage Village) Talks about his gifted penmanship with DJ Trexxx – Dean Perez – YouTube
Date: September 20, 2016
Overview: J.I.D and Trexxx talk a lot about the Atlanta sound and how he stands out and what that means for Atlanta hip-hop.
Details: Up until 2012, he thought he was going to be a professional football player. As a young kid his father made him read all the time which later translated into his gift for writing. When it comes to music he thinks “Rewind” by Nas is one of the greatest songs ever written. His first big single “Underwear” was inspired by watching TV with Venus and 6LACK when they saw the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercials that made him look so fly. The original name for The Never Story was going to be The Never EP Pt 1, but the name was probably changed when Dreamville got involved.
Key Quote: “It’s [The Never Story] gonna be mainly me bro. I’m not finna just come with a whole bunch of features. I’m gonna just give you my story and let people just feed off that, live with that for a second. It’s a story, that’s what we gonna do. We gonna give off a mindset and where I’m coming from is not the same as where everyone else coming from.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2016)
Dj Kayslay interviews J.I.D. on Shade45 Sirius XM – The DJ Kayslay Show – YouTube
Date: March 8, 2017
Overview: This interview is a lot of shooting the shit. Kayslay and J.I.D talk about old artists and new artists and how J.I.D got on. This acts as a good interview for getting a feel for J.I.D’s personality. The interview also includes a freestyle.
Details: J.I.D and J. Cole met on Ab-Soul’s tour while J.I.D was performing a song with EarthGang. Cole’s longtime friend Cedric Brown was also on the tour and got pretty tight smoking with J.I.D. Without J.I.D knowing, Brown was showing Cole his music the whole time and he came through their place when he was in Atlanta for the Forest Hills Drive tour to smoke and listen to music. Even though he’s from the south, J.I.D grew up mostly focusing on New York hip-hop. His top five hip-hop all time is Biggie, Jay-Z, Nas, OutKast, and Soulja Slim. He’s also got big influences from Little Dragon, Sly & the Family Stone, and Earth Wind & Fire.
Key Quote: “This what I do bro. I’m tryna stand in the forefront for Atlanta, like lyricism, southern shit. N***as be tripping on bars bro I’m really tryna do this shit in like a major way.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
J.I.D Talks “The Never Story” and & Signing With J. Cole’s Dreamville – Durrty Daily – YouTube
Date: March 13, 2017
Overview: A short casual radio interview about how J.I.D got signed to Dreamville and how organic the process was.
Details: J.I.D didn’t feel pressured at all when Cole showed up to chill at their house and listen to music. Cole’s personality made it a really natural process. When The Never Story dropped it landed at No. 3 on the hip-hop charts.
Key Quote: “I grew up on a lot of different shit, you feel me? I could describe my shit as a cluster-fuck of good shit, good music, you feel me? I tried to pull like every emotion out with this project. It wasn’t just one sound, cause there’s like soulful R&B shit on there.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
J.I.D explains how he met J Cole and got signed – Hot 97 – YouTube
Date: May 1, 2017
Overview: This interview gives a really comprehensive picture of how J.I.D went from being kicked out of school to kicked out of his house for a neck tattoo and moving in with EarthGang.
Details: One of his inspirations is his cousin Johntá Austin; the singer / rapper from So So Def Recordings. During the interview they talk a lot about the differences between artists growing up in and being from Atlanta vs artists moving to Atlanta; he looks up to artists and athletes that come from East Atlanta because he connects with their environmental inspiration.
Key Quote: “I started recording myself every single day, I didn’t leave. Always recording, always. I still do that to this day. I’m very like, Mad Scientist-like. I have to try different sounds, I have to listen to different sounds, I have to just study the music to try and get better at it. Cause I was tryna find out how I was gonna be as an artist. I didn’t know what I wanted to sound like, I didn’t know what I would sound like, or how I would even be perceived, like this image and shit.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
J.I.D Talks Being Ready to Battle Rap + Shares Interview Process at J Cole’s House Before Signing – The Angie Martinez Show – YouTube
Date: May 8, 2017
Overview: Now that he’s on Dreamville it’s another next level of eyes and pressure, but J.I.D doesn’t really feel it. For him it’s always been about getting to the top and he’s always been ready for this kind of pressure.
Details: J.I.D takes Biggie over Tupca and Nas over Jay-Z. “D/vision” is the offspring of a verse that he wrote for his informal Dreamville interview upon walking into Cole’s house. On The Never Story he wanted to keep the features to the people who had been there with him, because the album was about his story. He would have denied Cole a verse on the album for that reason.
Key Quote: “A whole bunch of weird random shit was going on in my life, before the past three-four years. I still got the same feelings and stuff like that, I still go through the same things, but it’s transitioning to a better spot. I’m 100% in a better place, but mentally I keep the hunger about myself, I keep that chip on my shoulder so it can be expressed through my music.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
Spillage Village Interview with Moran Tha Man – The Beat ATL – YouTube
Date: December 5, 2017
Overview: This is a radio interview with EarthGang and J.I.D. For this interview EarthGang owns most of the time and J.I.D hops in on some background information.
Details: They met when EarthGang jumped on a J.I.D song before they even knew him. They built their fan base from personal interactions and doing live shows.
Key Quote: “The performing thing, that’s how we got to where we at. That’s my favorite part of being an artist, like performing; cause even before we had phones and shit like that people used to performing in front of people, dating back prolly like to Africa and whatever the fuck, way before then. So that’s the most expressive connection I feel like.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
BRUH with Awful Records: J.I.D – Awful Records – YouTube
Date: July 26, 2018
Overview: This casual interview recorded right before Rolling Loud is in radio-style with Zack Fox. A really good casual conversation, you can tell J.I.D is having fun with it. They cover a lot of background information and how J.I.D grew up and how he operates.
Details: He gets into weird spaces when he’s making music where he makes lots of changes. Recently he quit smoking but at the same time, he started drinking heavier. J.I.D’s father, Carl Route, wrote motivational books. 2013 – 2015 culture in Atlanta really resonated with J.I.D. He believes he makes better music when he’s sober.
Key Quote: “I’m sensitive to my surroundings. I could see him over there in the corner, he could say something and that shit would resonate with me and I wouldn’t even say nothing to him but I would go back and oh shit this is what I saw; always a seed for the production. That shit helps me with everything. I steal from everybody, every single person. I could see a little kid say something on the corner, oh shit I’m using that.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D. talks Growing up w/ 6LACK & Earthgang, ATL Influences, ‘DiCaprio 2’ & More! – Real 92.3 LA – YouTube
Date: Dec 6, 2018
Overview: This is a good one for just getting to know J.I.D. They talk a lot about his process and how he feels about a lot of Atlanta rappers and athletes.
Details: Stankonia is his favorite OutKast album. Talks about the comparison to DiCaprio. He says that DiCaprio 2 was made to be a live performance album. He’s a football head but he doesn’t like the NFL for what they represent, and he’s a huge Falcon’s fan but he hates Mike Vic. His two favorite rap albums of 2018 were Some Rap Songs and Pieces of a Man. Apparently Cole didn’t have a whole lot to do with DiCaprio 2, most of it was recorded already. He does his music work solo and doesn’t like other people to be involved really.
Key Quote: “Sometimes I like having different ears on it, and guidance before I start the process, but when I’m into it, it’s kinda like let me get to the end. And if you hear something at the end you can let me know, but not while I’m in the thick of it. I gotta start with you. If I’ma start with you I’ma finish with you.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D Talks Working w/J.Cole, Explains ‘Dicaprio 2’ Cover Art + Lists Top 5 Projects of 2018 – Power 106 Los Angeles – YouTube
Date: Dec 6, 2018
Overview: J.I.D talks about the changes in his life style from how he grew up to being a big rapper now. These changes correlate to how he feels about his comparison to DiCaprio coming from being underrecognized to winning an Oscar.
Details: J.I.D mentions that he wants to be a writer and director. He thinks it’s really difficult for rappers to make the transition from younger into their older years, and HOV has done it really well. Mentions that he’s working on a project with No I.D.
Key Quote: “They [Dreamville] got genius level intellect. I like being around smart people like that. I don’t want everybody to feel like I’m the smartest person in the room. I wanna be like ‘oh I didn’t know that, let me shut up and listen.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Interviews with J.I.D on Tour
J.I.D. talks Spillage Village, sports, life lessons, and Cousin Stizz – Artistic Manifesto
Date: December 4, 2017
Overview: Before a show in Boston, J.I.D talks about sports and random takeaways.
Details: J.I.D has a record with Cousin Stizz that he cryptically says will never come out because of Stizz and he believes that performing is the most important part of being an artist.
Key Quote: “We’ve been touring for a minute. That’s how we got our feet in the game, so I guess we’re kinda used to it by now. Just touring and doing shows like locally is how we started because, to us, that’s the most important part of being an artist – just performing.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D and the Art of Storytellin’ – The Source
Date: December 6, 2017
Overview: This is another pre-show interview about J.I.D’s background.
Details: A dude named Mark from California was the first to tell him he could rap while he was in college. He loves Atlanta because it represents the full range of black culture from the richest black people to the poorest. He never feels pressured to shape his music based on what’s popular or what’s successful.
Key Quote: “I was blessed with a platform to have a lot of people hear my music. That’s all I really wanted, not money, not fame, just a platform. A place where I could get my shit heard, and the people could respond organically. Luckily, they responded to it positively which is like the best shit ever.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
J.I.D. ‘Southern lyricists don’t exist’, lyrical content going over heads, DiCaprio 2 – SK Vibemaker – YouTube
Date: October 29, 2018
Overview: This interview is in the UK for J.I.D’s tour. It’s a pretty casual talk about J.I.D’s approach to his music but has a lot of good exclusive content too.
Details: J.I.D writes all of his lyrics with pen and paper and he has tons of books of material he’s written. He believes EarthGang is his biggest competition and makes the reference, “iron sharpening iron.” Touring is hard because of missing family and missing moments; if someone he was close to died right now he wouldn’t be able to make it home right away. He fully plans on getting better at singing and is considering an R&B EP in the future. DiCaprio 2 should be pictured as if each single is an individual film.
Key Quote: “We [EarthGang] learn from each other. We been iron sharpening iron since we met each other. Those are the only people I would consider competition for real. They’re great and I’ve seen what they can do they saw what I can do.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D Talks All Things DiCaprio and Dreamville – Life Without Andy
Date: March 5, 2019
Overview: An interview from Australia while J.I.D was in the country for Hidden Festival.
Details: The man on the cover of DiCaprio 2 is a Swedish look-alike to DiCaprio, but they paid for the likeness to his face. The album was made for performing live. He learned a lot from watching his six older siblings grow up. He was really aware of what to do and what not to do. The next step for him after music is to become a screenwriter.
Key Quote: “I always had a super perceptive ideal, watching people and stuff like this, so I’m super in my head a lot, but I just watch stuff, you know what I’m saying? I learn from other people’s mistakes as opposed to me just making a mistake and moving on. But that happens.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D Interview: “I Focused On Music… It Levelled Everything Out, It Centered Me’ – FILTER
Date: March 22, 2019
Overview: This interview came with J.I.D’s 2019 performance at Australia’s Hidden Festival. The interview covers his brief history getting into music and his relationship with J. Cole.
Details: J.I.D and Cole’s relationship was built very organically. Cole didn’t just sign him because of the music but because of his mentality. The focus he gives to his music now is the same focus he used to give to his athletic career. When he sets his mind on a goal he gives it everything. He talks a lot about pursuing the features that he wants. He mentions Beyonce, Steve Lacy, Little Dragon, D’Angelo, Adele, and Brittany from Alabama Shakes.
Key Quote: “I got kicked out of school. It started as a necessity, “Oh I gotta get this done, I gotta figure out something.” When I lock in on something, its like, “Okay, I really got to focus on it,” and I make something happen of it. So, that’s how it was with football, because if you saw me a few years ago, I was a super athlete. I was a whole different person, I was crazy as hell. But then I focused on music and I found something there. It leveled everything out, it centered me.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
Live at TIDAL x Dreamville Fest – Rap Radar – TIDAL
Date: April 8, 2019
Overview: The unity within Dreamville and between EarthGang and J.I.D is part of the reason they can make the moves that they do. They talk about the festival and about J.I.D’s upcoming plans and why he fucks with Saba.
Details: He’s happily surprised at how well people are receiving DiCaprio 2 because he didn’t come at it with the same conceptual energy that he did The Never Story and it was meant more for shows. The song “No Love Allowed” written and produced by NO I.D. is what made J.I.D really want to bridge the gap between the younger and older artists by working with NO I.D. He’s looked up to Q Tip since even before he got into music.
Key Quote: “It’s just love you know what I’m saying. I wouldn’t be around if it was anything other than that. I only fuck with organic shit, only shit that feel real. It’s being a part of that people that make me get that southern hospitality feel, you know what I mean?” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D Interview: Talks Performing at Rolling Loud, New Music and More – Audiomack – YouTube
Date: May 21, 2019
Overview: This interview is an offshoot of J.I.D’s second time performing at Rolling Loud. They talk about how J.I.D’s particular style can be difficult to perform live because of the density of words.
Details: J.I.D has a feature coming up that he thinks is going to be huge (was this the T.I. feature on Revenge of the Dreamers III?). Having National Geographic on the TV helped him record every time he was in the booth at the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions.
Key Quote: “Everybody just people. At the end of the day we all just people bro. I don’t look at nobody too high up to make me change what I do. I just try to stay level headed and do my thing.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D on ‘Revenge Of The Dreamers 3’ & Performing at Big Festivals | Lollapalooza 2019 – YouTube
Date: August 4, 2019
Overview: A brief interview at Lollapalooza where J.I.D performed. They talk about the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions and how they influenced J.I.D’s process.
Details: J.I.D is more comfortable working with groups now, whereas before he would only be comfortable working alone.
Key Quote: “I never been through nothing like that before. I usually do stuff by myself, so being in a whole situation with a bunch of people that I know and knew of, and some people that I didn’t know, it was just like eye opening, it showed me different ways I can get to a final product.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D Interviews with a Gimmick
J.I.D “NEVER” Official Lyrics & Meaning | Verified – Genius – YouTube
Date: May 22, 2018
Overview: J.I.D breaks down the meaning behind the lyrics of “Never.”
Details: While he might be more successful now, he still humbly sees himself in the same vein as guys he grew up with who are still selling drugs. With his rapping, he’s still doing the same shit he was doing just trying to come up. He was born on Halloween so he’s a little superstitious.
Key Quote: “In the hood you still got people that you know from back that’s still doing the same shit. Same n***as selling drugs since high school and still doing the same stuff. So when I wrote it, I was just feeling like I’m doing the same shit, like I’m not too far removed. I’m still tryna become what the fuck I’m tryna become.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D. Does ASMR & Discusses DiCaprio 2 | Mind Massage – Fuse – YouTube
Date: July 24, 2018
Overview: This interview is an odd one. J.I.D whispers into a mic and does Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) sounds like eating chicken and crinkling money over the mic.
Details: J.I.D believes it’s not debatable that flats are better than drums and that he’s too cheap to go to the strip clubs that Atlanta is famous for. Because he grew up lean instead of stocky, he doesn’t think his football career would have been as successful if he stuck with it. His mom was cool with it when he came back and said he wanted to be a rapper but his dad was furious about it.
Key Quote: “I grew up in a city with all black people. So my reality going to HBC was different because it’s all black people. Everyone’s talented, smart and all that shit, whatever; but the real world is kinda not like that. The world is full of different people and I was shocked when I got up and got out of Atlanta and seen like the world and shit. That’s just my personal take on it.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Punchline Quiz with J.I.D (Archive) – Nicetry Magazine – YouTube
Date: October 1, 2018
Overview: A journalist reads bars to J.I.D and he tries to guess what artist said them. Not any great information but it’s a funny interview.
Details: Big Boi blocked J.I.D on Twitter, but he’s not sure why. He thinks it has something to do with him being a troll before he was into music. The journalist says that J. Cole has rapped about poop in 30 verses. He gives Machine Gun Kelly a shout out for his diss track against Eminmen, says “somebody get him some clippers, his beard is fucking weird” was a great opening line. The interview wraps up with J.I.D receiving a perfect score.
Key Quote: “Unblock me on Twitter. Before I was doing music and stuff I was a troll so I probably said something crazy, but I love Big Boi, he’s one of the greatest ever.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D Paints His ‘DiCaprio 2’ Album – XXL Magazine – YouTube
Date: November 26, 2018
Overview: J.I.D Ross is painting a visual representation of DiCaprio 2 and talking about the album. For an interview with a gimmick there’s a lot of good material about individual songs.
Details: He calls out the producer for “Slick Talk,” E Wonder, because the entire project had to be pushed back due to a sample that he couldn’t clear and never saying that it was a sample in the first place. “151 Rum” is about him seeing one of his friends get shot in the head. He says “Skrawberry” is one of the best songs he ever made because so many people worked together on it and it was arranged by Mac Miller; the song is dedicated to all the great women in his life. Method Man and Black Thought had done a freestyle on the “Never” beat before he even met Method Man.
Key Quote: “He [Mac Miller] pulled up and he heard the song ‘Skrawberry’ that I was working on and he was like, ‘yo this is crazy but you need to do this.’ So he took some shit out, added some shit; we go onto another record, he’s like ‘no you need to do this, this need to be the first record,’ he’s giving hella advice on five or six of the records and I’m not really asking but the ideas he’s coming with are genius. I’m like oh you could really sit here and do this all day. He’s like ‘yes that’s how I work on my music. I sit in front of the computer all day for hours and I just lose myself.’ That kinda taught me something about the time you gotta put into it to make it sound the way you want it to sound.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Date: Dec 7, 2018
Overview: J.I.D rides around with Elliot Wilson in a classic Lincoln Continental playing songs from DiCaprio 2 and talking about where some of them come from.
Details: “151 Rum” is the best version of several songs with the same story about a young kid who grows up around drugs and violence from a young age and he sees a friend of his killed in front of him. J.I.D relates this story to himself and how he grew up. In the song he asks for kids’ parents to have their back and keep them safe. On “Slick Talk” he says when he was young kids used to get shot and stabbed at parties even where the oldest kids there were only 17, and this rolled over into him not really enjoying parties even as an adult.
Key Quote: “It goes into a story about a close friend of mine who was killed in front of me and it kinda fucked me up. Even deeper I go into saying, ‘son of a God, son of a bitch, son of woman and man, son of a sun in a sunken abyss.’ I’m talking about parents, take care of your kids type shit… It’s basically just saying have my back, hold me down, I’m your seed, don’t have me out in these type situations where I can be affected by the plight, fucking virtues of the world. This is all black plight in my eyes, this is something we deal with.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D “151 Rum” Official Lyrics & Meaning | Verified – Genius – YouTube
Date: November 8, 2018
Overview: J.I.D breaks down the meaning and background behind the song “151 Rum.”
Details: This song is really about kids being brought into the world without support and they learn from their situation and bad role models. J.I.D doesn’t like the situation that kids are put in by the system but at the same time he says that if that’s the situation you’re going to put us in then we’re going to do whatever we have to do.
Key Quote: “You came into this dark situation, a child born into a dark situation. ‘Summon a plan, please come with a script,’ is like the next line. It’s like, y’all brought me here, please make up a plan for me… I’m gonna need this cause I’m a baby. I don’t know what’s going on out here in this big world.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D. Breaks Down His Tattoos – GQ – YouTube
Date: November 20, 2018
Overview: J.I.D has a lot of tattoos so this interview with GQ breaks down the background behind many of them and what plans he might have for the future.
Details: J.I.D believes he’s the poster child for someone getting tattoos when they’re too young. He got his first tat when he was only 13 on his stomach that says “Route Boy.” When he dislocated his hip at 17 the doctor told him he wouldn’t be able to play football anymore, so he got a tat of a football with “laugh out loud.” He never plans on tattooing his face but he loves the African tradition of scarring the face known as Hââbré and would consider one of those.
Key Quote: “If I had to choose a favorite it’d be this angel on my neck… I was reading the bible or something. My dad made me read the whole bible when I was a kid and I noticed it said it’s no such thing as women angels. Like angels in the Bible, they’re not women. I like the unknown, I like trying to dig deeper into that kind of stuff. So that’s something that I looked up and I was like oh alright it’s a piece, a think piece kinda.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Nardwuar vs. J.I.D – NardwuarServiette – YouTube
Date: March 18, 2019
Overview: Nardwuar gives J.I.D an assortment of gifts that reference deep cuts from his life and they talk about some of the background around them.
Details: J.I.D takes a turntable with him on tour, and he loves Little Dragon. He thinks battle rap is the most talented format for rap.
Key Quote: “First off, battle rappers are the most talented level of rap there is. They the most creative, they the most visual, gun bars, all that stuff. This is how I started rapping, this why I even say certain things that I say. That’s why I just been waiting for somebody to try me. This is what I do, this is my life, this is my foundation.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
Brief Interviews with J.I.D (Less than 5 minutes reading/ listening)
The Break Presents: J.I.D – XXL Magazine
Date: February 24, 2017
Overview: J.I.D is a new artist signed to Dreamville who is doing rap differently than what’s expected from Atlanta rappers.
Details: Turtle fact: they nut like half their body weight. He thinks Atlanta gets underrated because the people there are black. He credits his large family by giving him lots of musical influence from many different generations.
Key Quote: “I get comparisons but I feel like when something is new you have to make it feel familiar to you in some type of way. I’ve gotten a few comparisons like Kendrick [Lamar], just because of vocal tones and Anderson .Paak for the same reason. I describe my music as just like a cluster fuck of good shit. I don’t try to make one thing, I really try to experiment, even if its just the vocals or the beat. I can’t really describe my sound.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
J.I.D On Signing to Dreamville & Meeting J. Cole – HotNewHipHop – YouTube
Date: March 10, 2017
Overview: A short interview about how J.I.D made friends with EarthGang and got signed to Dreamville.
Details: He didn’t know EarthGang before college because they were from the westside of Atlanta. When he first met them they were already recording on a song J.I.D had done in his first mixtape. J.I.D and Cole’s mutual friend, Cedric Brown, put Cole onto his music.
Key Quote: “Life, you feel me, is not really flashy, it’s not about being the most richest whatever, it’s about coming from something and trying to obtain. It’s all about progression type shit.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
UNHEARD: J.I.D Decodes ‘The Never Story’ – Starter Cam – YouTube
Date: March 13, 2017
Overview: A brief segment where J.I.D talks about meeting J. Cole and how The Never Story came about.
Details: The Never Story was his first conceptual project where he was really focusing on songwriting and full circle pictures instead of just spitting bars.
Key Quote: “I made projects before but this the first one I literally did everything you’d do for like, you know what I’m saying? Other shit I was just spitting off the hit, rachet. On this one I was crafted to make songs. Even if I was spittin a long time I was always gonna come back to the point.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2017)
ARTIST PASS: J.I.D on DiCaprio 2, Stolen Music, Dreamville + More. | Soundset x Mass Appeal – YouTube
Date: June 12, 2018
Overview: A brief video interview with some cuts from The Never Story. He talks a lot about the energy of touring.
Details: He doesn’t like recording in LA, he would rather record in Atlanta. After touring with EarthGang they sent their laptop back to LA through FedEx and it got stolen.
Key Quote: “After the tour we sent the Macbook, our desktop, back to Atlanta through FedEx. The thieves at FedEx stole our shit, and it had a lot of music on it, that meant a lot to me and EarthGang. There’s songs on there from legendary artists, amazing artists, we just lost a lot of records and never got that Macbook back.” -Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D KEEPS IT REAL IN A WORLD OF FRAUDS – 2018 XXL FRESHMAN INTERVIEW – XXL Magazine – YouTube
Date: June 19, 2018
Overview: J.I.D mostly talks about how his come up relates to his keeping it real personality. He thinks that people connect to him because he’s not trying to be someone else.
Details: He more easily relates to artists who have an impact with their music.
Key Quote: “People could relate to not having shit. That was the main thing. I noticed a change when people started following me, and started caring. They were just saying that it touched them, you know. Real shit.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D and Ski Mask The Slump God Are Perfectionists – 2018 XXL Freshman – YouTube
Date: July 9, 2018
Overview: J.I.D and Slump did this short interview after shooting the XXL Cypher.
Details: Slump says they had to take a break because J.I.D snapped on the Cypher and he needed to rethink his own.
Key Quote: “I’ma take this and just try to elevate the music and elevate everything I do. Use the platform for what it was given to us for, because you know, we here.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D – INTERVIEW “ON THE CLOCK” – Generations – YouTube
Date: November 6, 2018
Overview: This is a short interview from Paris, Francis. He talks about a broad range of topics from his football career to his recording process.
Details: He’s always listened to a variety of music, but battle rap and Jay-Z is what got him into hip-hop and rap. “151 Rum” is what he recommends as a car banger, and “Off Da Zoinkys” is a good wake up song.
Key Quote: “My whole process is: I wake up, prolly like roll up a blunt or something, start smoking, go downstairs and write to whatever production or composition that makes me feel something, and ill stay at that mic for at least 10 to 12 hours out of my day. Until I get like hungry or need something, but I don’t usually eat. I’ll drink some water and try to record the most hours I can.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Verizon Up | Offstage with J.I.D: “Starting out.” – Verizon – YouTube
Date: November 12, 2018
Overview: This is just a short interview where J.I.D talks a bit about his influences and what made him pursue a career as a rapper.
Details: His parents listened to Earth Wind & Fire, his brothers listened to OutKast and Goodie Mob, his sisters listened to Lauren Hill. He wrote his first verse when he was 14. He credits EarthGang with giving him the motivation to really pursue a career as an artist.
Key Quote: “I don’t remember the exact beat, but I remember sitting in my bed like what am I doing? It just felt kinda crazy. It sounded cool, but I hid the notebook from everybody. I didn’t even want nobody to know I was writing a rap. I wasn’t even trying to be a rapper, but I had an inclination I was gonna do something great, but I never knew it was gonna be music.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Verizon Up | Offstage with J.I.D: “Between the lyrics.” – YouTube
Date: November 12, 2018
Overview: J.I.D goes over some of his lyrics and provides the background for his mental space at the time he was writing.
Details: He was tired of having to do crazy shit just to have to eat at the end of the day.
Key Quote: “Being able to be on stage and perform and say these things I wrote when I was by myself in my most vulnerable moments, seeing somebody rap word for word, that’s the best thing in the world…. People don’t even remember their school work, they homework, and to pay they bills, simple stuff, but to let this take on some of your brain space it had to mean something to you.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
J.I.D interview by KFM981 – YouTube
Date: December 28, 2018
Overview: This is a short interview for a radio station in Shanghai, China.
Details: He thinks making a hit as a rapper doesn’t require a ton of talent or ability to actually rap. He says the comparisons between him and Kendrick are based entirely off their voices, but they’re polar opposites because they’re from different places.
Key Quote: “I wanna take it to the next level, I wanna do some alternative projects. I wanna just try some different shit before my time is like ran short, you know what I’m saying? Everybody loves the new kid in school, I’m like the new kid right now. So I just wanna stretch that out as far as it can go.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2018)
Reebok Alter the Icons: How J.I.D is Redefining Classic – Reebok – YouTube
Date: February 28, 2019
Overview: This is sort of a promotional video for Reebok with a few short adages from J.I.D.
Details: His grandmother gave him his name and he’s tried to model his style off a bunch of different older artists and his own shit.
Key Quote: “My style if probably just like a cumulation of different crazy ideas I came up with. Super inspired by old school. You gotta take the authenticity of what they created and try and reflect it in your own. I’m cut from the same cloth, you know what I’m saying? I’m just a different stitch.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
J.I.D has a story to tell – XXL Magazine
Date: March 28, 2019
Overview: J.I.D enjoyed the Revenge of the Dreamers 3 recording sessions and like the conversations that you get to have when you’re collaborating.
Details: “Off Da Zoinky’s” was written in 2016 before J.I.D was even heavily into the rap scene.
Key Quote: “That’s the most creative shit I ever did. I want to do this for the rest of my life—just collab and record, be around creatives and shit. It’s all respect, all love, no egos. It’s like losing your virginity every night for the first time. It’s that dope. You making relationships with people outside of if you get a song done. Y’all probably exchange numbers. And that’s cool ’cause I like to have a conversation before I jump into creating.” – Destin Route, J.I.D (2019)
Connect with the Journalist and “Jidiot”
Did I miss any interviews that you know of? Is this list not up to date with J.I.D’s most recent interview? What was your favorite interview or quote? Wanna talk about J.I.D? Let me know on Twitter @HooplaHill and follow for content like this and more.