Rapper J.I.D brings Q&A session, spontaneous performance to campus

by Brenden Tuccinardi, Staff Writer

Audiences were treated to an impromptu concert by rapper J.I.D the night of Friday, Nov. 30, in the Conrad Prebys Student Union Theater.

The Music Appreciation event, hosted by the Aztec Student Union Board and Aztec Music Group, was intended to be a Q&A followed by J.I.D performing his two most popular songs “151 Rum” and “NEVER,” flyers advertising the event stated.

However, two songs eventually turned into six as the rapper performed several songs off his most recent album “DiCaprio 2,” released Nov. 26.

To start off the event, J.I.D answered questions from ASUB Music & Entertainment Committee chair Kudzai Kachingwe, as well as the audience.

The questions covered a wide range of topics from the rapper’s rise to fame to finding success in the music industry, and J.I.D held nothing back, giving advice and sharing wisdom with fans and aspiring artists in the audience.

“The internet is making it so you can be anywhere you want to be in the world on your phone,” the rapper said. “You can be a star overnight, you can become a viral sensation, and I think that is a good and a bad thing.”

J.I.D, whose name comes from a nickname his grandmother gave him because he was a jittery child, began his music career in May 2010, releasing his first mixtape, “Cakewalk.” Leading up to that, the rapper joined the musical collective Spillage Village and financed his music by working in call centers and delivering pizza in East Atlanta before playing local shows.

Several tours, mixtapes and an EP later, J.I.D signed with J. Cole’s Dreamville label in Feb. 2017. In March of the same year, he released his first full-length album, “The Never Story.”

In Nov. 2017, J.I.D embarked on the “Never Had S–t Tour.” He co-headlined with Earthgang, also a part of Spillage Village, performing over 34 shows across North America and Europe.

In June of this year, J.I.D was featured in XXL Magazine’s 2018 Freshman Class, honoring the best among the new wave of hip-hop artists, marking the rappers entrance into the mainstream rap scene.

When asked by a member in the audience how it felt releasing “DiCaprio 2” compared to “The Never Story,” J.I.D said the two feelings were very different.

He explained how when “The Never Story” was released, people did not know what they could expect, but with “DiCaprio 2,” fans had a precedent.

“Everyone likes the new kid,” J.I.D said. “But when you’re known, you have expectations to live up to.”

After J.I.D was finished answering questions, he decided to let the audience decide which songs he would perform, and this was when the crowd went wild.

The audience members jumped out of their seats and rushed toward the stage to get a better view of the rapper.

J.I.D performed some of his biggest hits off “DiCaprio 2,” including “Off Deez” and “151 Rum,” as well as “Slick Talk” and “Workin Out.”

The vibe was electric, yet intimate, as J.I.D played off the crowd’s energy.

During the majority of the performance, the crowd rapped along with J.I.D. At one point, the theater was completely silent as the audience was entranced by the rapper’s verses.

Kevin Johnson, a sophomore finance major, has been a fan of J.I.D for quite a while.

“It was cool hearing (J.I.D) talk about his experiences and his music-making process,” Johnson said. “I was able to listen to his performance with a new appreciation for some of my favorite songs.”

J.I.D ended the show with his most popular song “NEVER,” which served as a bittersweet end to a night full of surprises.