It may sound a little premature after just two albums, but if you were to ask me which one rapper active right now has a chance to match or exceed Kendrick Lamar’s prowess over the next five years, I’d say it’s JID.
While there isn’t one thing sound-wise that really stands out that makes DiCaprio 2 special, it showcases one of the finest young MCs out there today. JID mixes a Kendrick-styled flow with Lil Wayne-esque swagger and a storytelling ability well beyond his years, layered on top of pretty immaculate production.
The album is super solid and tight, with every track bringing something to the table. “151 Rum,” “Westbrook” and “Hasta Luego” go hard. “Slick Talk” is smooth and laid back. “Off Deez” puts JID right up against J Cole, one of the best in the game, while he holds his own alongside Method Man and Joey Bada$$ on the gritty, old school “Hot Box.” The upbeat and soulful “Skrawberries” is my favorite track on the album.
With DJ Drama as an executive producer throughout, DiCaprio 2 does come across a bit like a really refined, but kind of basic, in-your-face mixtape, instead of a record with an overarching vibe or theme. A minor criticism in the grand scheme of things and for what’s probably one of the 15 or 20 most enjoyable hip-hop records of the 2010s.