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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

JID is the best rapper in Atlanta today

JID at Music Midtown 2023

The Atlanta rap scene has been a centerpiece of the development of this genre of music since rap’s inception in the early ‘90s. Over the years, prolific artists coming out of Atlanta have worked tirelessly to establish a distinct sound for themselves in the subcategory of Southeastern Rap. 

Rap oldheads that enjoy the Atlanta sound cherish classic albums, like “ATLiens” and “Aquemini” from Outkast, which released in the late 1990s. These albums have a cosmic-funk style, which creates a spiritual essence that is accentuated by the distinctly Southern rhythm of the vocals provided by André 3000 and Big Boi. 

This group popularized the rap genre in Atlanta, as both of these albums earned double-platinum certification from the RIAA, with over 2 million copies of each being sold to listeners. 

The early 2000s were fruitful for the genre as well. In this decade, popular artists T.I., Gucci Mane and Ludacris took the Atlanta scene by storm. They all released albums that have received an abundance of critical acclaim.

Gucci’s album “The State vs. Radric Davis,” Ludacris’s album, “Word of Mouf” and T.I.’s albums “Trap Muzik” and “King” have all earned spots on Beats, Rhymes, and Lists’s “The Top 25 Best Atlanta Rap Albums of All Time.” 

This era of Atlanta rap generated popularity for the modern “trap” subgenre of rap. Trap music is characterized by slow and heavy bass drums with quick hi-hat cymbals and gritty lyrics about drug culture. 

The trap sound of this time has been reinterpreted and further evolved by Atlanta rappers that came on the scene in the 2010s. Well-known trap artist Young Thug popularized the sound to rap audiences through his thrilling 2015 mixtape “Barter 6,” which takes listeners on a rhythmic and inflective journey through his life as an East Atlanta gangbanger. 

Future’s “DS2” and “Purple Reign” albums further evolved the trap genre through incorporating unique sampling, drug-infused vocals and a life-of-the-party spirit that trap lovers cannot resist. These incredible albums established Atlanta as one of the main hotspots for rap in America and added to the popularity of trap music.

Then, in the last five years, rap in Atlanta stepped up another notch. The growing popularity of contemporary rappers like 21 Savage, Gunna, Lil Baby, JID and Migos has put Atlanta rap at the forefront of the music industry today.

The recent rise of these revered artists has raised the question of who among them is the best rapper in Atlanta, and for me, the answer is quite simple.  Based off of their discography, features in other songs and affiliation and collaborations with other artists, JID is clearly the best rapper that has come up in Atlanta in the last five years. 

No one has been involved in more successful projects and collaborations with other artists in the last five years than “JID, the Kid.” He has showed up and showed out on the last two Dreamville projects, “Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director’s Cut” and “D-Day.” 

He provided memorable features, both on songs with multiple artists, such as “Up Up Away” and “1993,” while also killing it on his solo track, “Big Black Truck.” He has also showed remarkable synergy in songs with other well-respected artists, like Denzel Curry and younger artists Lil Yachty and BabyTron.

He also played an integral role in the formation and success of the hip-hop collective Spillage Village, where he worked with EARTHGANG, OG Maco, Hollywood JB, Jurdan Bryant, Mereba and Benji to produce four of the most unique and insightful studio albums I have ever been privileged enough to listen to. 

The most important of the Spillage Village albums was “Spilligion,” which was released amidst the height of the pandemic in 2020. All the members document their personal experience and interpretation of the uncertainty of the world they faced at this point. 

One song on the album, “End of Daze,” documents the anxiety the members experienced in a time where the world as a whole seemed to be collapsing and nearing its end. 

JID’s instant chemistry with any artist he works with demonstrates the remarkable adaptability of his flow, wordplay and lyricism to produce just the right verse for the given occasion. Whether it is a hard, bitter and violent verse on a Griselda song, such as his feature on “Mamas PrimeTime” by Westside Gunn, or a smooth verse that provides a relaxed vibe on a Khalid EP, JID is a true wordsmith that makes every track he is on better. 

Some of JID’s finest work as a feature artist comes in his work with Atlanta hip-hop duo EARTHGANG. Anytime these artists collaborate, the outcome is bound to be special. Some of their best work together comes in the songs “Exactly,” “Sunday,” “Can’t Punk Me,” “Mecca,” “LeHooligangs” and “D/Vision.” These artists are sure to provide infectious flows, thought-provoking wordplay, vivid imagery and an irresistibly unique sound to every song they team up on.

Not only is his feature and collaborative work nothing short of fantastic, but he has an incredible individual discography as well. Since his debut album, “The Never Story,” dropped on March 10, 2017, JID has treated his listeners to a unique employment of stylistic devices in his songs that never allow listeners to become bored. 

JID followed up this memorable debut with an even stronger second album, “DiCaprio 2,” which has several near-perfect songs, including “Off Deez (with J Cole),” “Workin Out,” “Off Da Zoinkys” and “Hot Box (feat. Method Man and Joey Bada**).” On this album, JID continues to produce successful songs, whether they are slow or fast paced. 

JID’s magnum opus, which cemented him, in my eyes, as the greatest rapper in Atlanta, came in 2022, when he released “The Forever Story.” This album is a great listen that keeps you engaged throughout with three distinct mood shifts across the total runtime of the album. 

The album opens with thrillers, like “Raydar,” “Can’t Punk Me” and “Surround Sound,” which has been certified platinum since its release as the album’s lead single. 

Stereogum’s Chris DeVille wrote about JID’s performance on the song.

“As for the track’s leading man, he’s switching up flows like it’s nothing and toying with the English language on a level most rappers can’t approach,” DeVille said.

The album then transitions into a soothing and relaxing song run of “Kody Blu 31,” “Can’t Make U Change (feat. Ari Lennox)” and “Stars (feat. Yasiin Bey).” It then closes on a sequel of the closing song on “The Never Story,” “LAUDER.” “LauderToo (feat. Ravyn Lenae & Eryn Allen Kane)” provides closure to the themes built in the album and helps juxtapose “The Forever Story” with “The Never Story” further. 

Given the strength of his individual discography, as well as his instant power and remarkable ability on features and collaborations, there is only one top dog of Atlanta rap, and his name is JID.



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