The best cinema performs a service of entertainment able to make the viewer feel for characters that don’t exist, love places they can’t visit, and dream of sequels to revisit a world unreal. DiCaprio 2, the second album released by Dreamville’s J.I.D, is audio cinema, a captivating world of short stories presented as a collection of stirring scenes from feature films yet to be made.
As a rapper, J.I.D is at the top of his class; he does with words what Jeff Henderson does with food, what Russell Westbrook does with a basketball, what Serena Williams does with a tennis racket. He’s the kind of rapper who is athletic yet artistic with his creative approach.
Throughout the album, J.I.D. is consistently adapting to the the beat behind him, yet maintains a steadfast pace that is barefaced and controlled. DiCaprio 2 exemplifies what the ideal student of the game sounds like — someone who’s conscious of how a hook presents itself, how to control their delivery and how to diversify their lyrical bonds. Not to be compared with Kendrick, but his fast-paced style of rapping can bring the TDE rapper to mind. J.I.D. states that Kendrick’s TDE label is the only one in any kind of competition with the Dreamville roster J. Cole has put together, and he’s right! In a Dragonball Z face-off between the two labels, it would be J. Cole vs. Kendrick, J.I.D. vs Jay Rock, Bas vs Ab-Soul, and Ari Lennox vs SZA! Who wouldn’t love a match like that?! Who would have thought years ago when the top labels Cash Money Records (Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Tyga), MMG (Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill, Stalley), and G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye West, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, Cyhi The Prince, John Legend, etc.) that somewhere out of the clouds a J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar would appear.
As for Dreamville, this was one incredible year for these guys. J.I.D. and Bas had incredible albums, and Cole and Ari Lennox made some dope features on various artists’ tracks. ————————————————————————