J.I.D Releases Sophomore Album 'DiCaprio 2'
BY ISABELLE BEAUCHAMP
Destin Route, better known as his alias J.I.D, has solidified his talented status both as a rapper and lyricist with his latest release. Last week on November 26th, J.I.D dropped his second studio album under J. Cole's label, Dreamville Records.
After his debut album release last year, The Never Story, J.I.D returns with DiCaprio 2, the title of which actually refers to his favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2016, Dicaprio finally won an Academy Award after a long and successful career which J.I.D seems to parallel his similarities in his own career: finally getting a record deal and recognition within the industry. Dicaprio 2, which is 14 tracks in length, features different artists such as A$AP Ferg, 6LACK, and Ella Mai all while showcasing the Atlanta rapper's remarkably refined abilities.
The sophomore album shows significant growth from his first release. While The Never Story created buzz around J.I.D. and displayed the potential he had as an artist, the album lacked in its production and lyrics. However, The Never Story helped to reintroduce J.I.D's talent, making his sophomore album highly anticipated by fans and critics alike.
In sum: J.I.D delivered. DiCaprio 2 fully showcases his talent as not only a rapper, but also as a talented lyricist and dedicated musician -- something not as apparent on The Never Story. The tracklist is well-balanced with songs that are equally exciting and mellow, electric and emotional, both bangers and ballads. Name a mood, and there's a song that fits it on Dicaprio 2.
The album opens with the minute long "Frequency Change" -- a short track that mimics flipping through TV channels, ranging from a soap opera to a parody of a Discovery Channel show. It's short enough to not bore the listener, but long enough that it builds anticipation for the upcoming tracks.
From there, the album lives up to the hype that "Frequency Change" builds up. The second track, "Slick Talk," is smooth and sleek with a surprise change up at the end that startles the listener. "Westbrook"," featuring A$AP Ferg, and "Off These" are undeniably bangers -- the humming bass, the swift snare, and a rapid fire delivery that will leave no one sitting at a party. J.I.D's incredibly quick and diverse cadence helps balance the minimal instrumentals on these tracks, creating a perfect dynamic between the vocals and the instrumentals
The album slows down on tracks "Working Out" and "Hot Box," featuring Method Man and Joey Bada$$. Not only are these tracks intriguing in their production, but they allow the listeners to focus on the lyrics because of the slower pace. On "Working Out," J.I.D gets personal and raps about his dissatisfaction with his life despite his success in the music industry. He solemnly raps: "Cause I been working really hard, shit ain't really working out / I been praying to the Lord, shit ain't really working out."
"Tiied," featuring 6LACK and Ella Mai, is one of many highlights on DiCaprio 2. The thumping beat and catchy verses make the track irresistibly smooth. Ella Mai's silky vocals give the song more depth and 6LACK's polished delivery fits perfectly into the tone of the track. Another song that stands out is "Off Da Zoinkys" -- the thumping bass and electric chorus make this track a winner.
Some tracks lack in certain places, like "151 Rum," the lead single off of DiCaprio 2. While J.I.D.'s flow is quick and deliberate, the repetitive, whiny beat becomes somewhat overwhelming after some time. However, there are no tracks that stick out like sore thumbs -- the weaker tracks are just that: weaker.
DiCaprio 2 had a lot to live up to after The Never Story, and while some expected the sophomore slump, J.I.D proved himself as a dynamic and dedicated artist. The album is powerful in production, includes some great vocal delivery and lyrics from both J.I.D. and his features but, most importantly, it shows the Atlanta rapper's great improvement and ability to hone in on his talents. DiCaprio 2 is anything but a slump, rather a defining moment for J.I.D's career.
Lead Image Credit: J.I.D / Instagram