As I walked out of the now musky halls of the O2 Academy in Birm­ing­ham, as the cool night breeze chilled the sur­face of my wet skin, not know­ing if all of the sweat was from me or not, I knew I just exper­i­enced some­thing spe­cial: a gen­er­a­tion­al tal­ent.

JID is not new to the hip hop scene, but he is finally gain­ing recog­ni­tion in the main­stream due to his most recent album, The Forever Story, where he show­cases his lyr­ic­al, storytelling, and even singing prowess. He teamed up with his Dream­ville coun­ter­part, Earthgang, in his UK tour, embody­ing south­ern hip hop to its core.

The open­ing acts of Atlanta rap­per SwaVay, pro­claim­ing that this was his first time leav­ing the US, and the afore­men­tioned Earthgang, con­trolled the crowd and per­fectly hyped up the ven­ue in pre­par­a­tion for JID. To my sur­prise, JID pulled a left turn by using a live drum­mer and key­board­ist in his per­form­ance which made the songs feel like a once in a life­time exper­i­ence.

From the almost rock-inspired rendi­tion of “Ray­dar,” to the soul­ful per­form­ance of “Off Da Zoinkys,” JID shows off his range that his fans have come to expect from a rap­per as tech­nic­ally pro­fi­cient as him­self.

Banger after banger to start the ven­ue such as “Dance Now,” “151 Rum,” “Nev­er,” and “Off Deez,” were then off­set by a string of more laid back, chill cuts like “Brud­danem,” “Sis­tanem,” and “Wor­kin Out,” which gave a much needed breath of fresh of fresh air before jump­ing right back into the fray.

A couple of standout moments include the per­form­ance of “Kody Blu 31,” where JID shows off his under­rated singing abil­ity, while also let­ting the crowd sing the emo­tion­al anthem of “swang on swang on” which exclaims to keep going after all of our “stresses and woes” of our lives. The oth­er standout was an unex­pec­ted trip down memory lane, start­ing with Aretha Frank­lin’s “One Step Ahead,” which is known for being a legendary hip hop sample, not only for JID, but for Yasi­in Bey, formerly Mos Def. That then transitioned into the pre­vi­ously men­tioned Yasi­in Bey song, “Ms. Fat Booty,” in which they played some of his first verse before trans­ition­ing again into JIDs “Sur­round Sound.”

Wrap­ping up the show on, of course, “Stick,” before JID and Earthgang decided they should do 3 more songs that the audi­ence reques­ted, then per­form­ing “Can­’t Punt Me,” “Wells Fargo,” and “Costa Rica,” all of which include Earthgang, which made for a fit­ting sen­doff for the show.

All in all, an incred­ible per­form­ance from every­one involved. As Rakim once said “to me, MC means ‘move the crowd’,” which is exactly what they did. JID will go down as one of the best to touch a mic. His flows and lyr­i­cism are the best in the game right now, and I can­’t wait to see what he comes out with next.

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Kirin Siton

Kirin Siton

Kir­in Siton has always been a fan of hip hop grow­ing up with a dad from Brook­lyn, New York. Liv­ing in mul­tiple coun­tries through­out his life, he loves to con­stantly find new artists and genres that he not have thought we would have been inter­ested in.

About Kirin Siton

Kirin Siton
Kirin Siton has always been a fan of hip hop growing up with a dad from Brooklyn, New York. Living in multiple countries throughout his life, he loves to constantly find new artists and genres that he not have thought we would have been interested in.