J.I.D & J. Cole Are Out To Prove Dreamville Is The Most Lyrical Crew In Hip-Hop
Today (December 4), Dreamville’s J.I.D announced the first leg of his “Catch Me If You Can Tour.” It’s the latest development in what has been a milestone of a year for the Atlanta, Georgia artist. On November 26, he released his second solo album, DiCaprio 2, a follow-up to 2017’s The Never Story and his 2015 EP, DiCaprio. On it, he amassed a a collection of featured guests that speak to his rising star power: 6lack, A$AP Ferg, BJ The Chicago Kid, Joey Bada$$ and Method Man. On his debut, 6lack and Earth Gang were the only guests. In October, the Spillage Village member was featured on COLORS, an accomplishment preceded by his inclusion in an XXL cypher over the summer. In April, Dreamville had what was, up until that point, the best opening week of the year. Though it was J. Cole’s KOD which earned it, it’s a testament to the support structure supporting the label’s roster members, including J.I.D.
DiCaprio 2 also features J.I.D’s label’s founder, J. Cole, who is largely responsible for navigating J.I.D’s budding career. Their relationship dates back years, and Cole contributed his talents as a producer on The Never Story‘s lead single, “D/vision.” Cole has made Dreamville a place for visible, public support of all signees, and J.I.D has been the recipient of a lot of love. When DiCaprio 2 dropped, Cole took to Twitter to lend some supportive words behind its release, saying “Do your life a favor, don’t disrespect your existence.”
J.I.D., in turn, has made it clear that Dreamville is competing to be the best crew in Hip-Hop. In a recent interview, he said “Being signed to Dreamville is cool. We came into the Dreamville situation with the mindset already [as far as] what we wanted to do. We’re really just competing with TDE; this is a whole other thing. We’re competing with TDE. That’s what needs to be known. Dreamville, we gotta step this sh*t the f*ck up, ’cause them ni**as is fire. [Laughs] We gotta step it up. Facts.”
For their latest collaboration, the two go toe-to-toe on “Off Deez,” produced by CHASETHEMONEY. It’s an aggressive, fast-paced duet showcasing a characteristic which both MCs share: an ability to spit at a dazzling speed, when called for.
In the Cole Bennett-directed visual treatment for “Off Deez,” J.I.D and J. Cole’s animated verses are accompanied by touches of cartoons and inventive camera techniques. Mostly black and white, the video plays with the bizarre in its touches of color, namely red, orange and yellow. However, the two rappers are notably subdued—even seemingly possessed. So much so that J.I.D appears completely uninterested in the women straddling him and dancing suggestively, while Cole raps while wearing earbuds. Joey Bada$$ makes a couple of cameos, too.
Though lineup details haven’t yet been announced, J.I.D is expected to make an appearance at April 6’s Dreamville Fest in Raleigh, North Carolina. For a glimpse of his live-performance style, check out his Mac Miller-dedicated performance of “Skrawberries,” featuring BJ The Chicago Kid and Thundercat.