‘The Forever Story’ is an engaging meditation on JID’s past

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Since Atlanta rapper JID signed to the J. Cole-owned label, Dreamville, and released his first studio album, “The Never Story”,  he has been making waves in hip hop. JID’s latest album, “The Forever Story”, is his lengthiest project yet; he reflects on his past and covers a lot of narrative ground, from his difficult upbringing to how fame has affected his relationship with his family.   

After the short introduction “Galaxy” that introduces this album as the spiritual successor to 2017’s “The Never Story,” the second track, “Raydar”, is a high-energy call to action against corruption with multiple beat changes. Another strong highlight quickly follows in the form of “Crack Sandwich,” where JID tells a story about a brawl he and his siblings ignited in New Orleans. It’s a heartfelt tribute to his siblings and their bond with one another.  

“Can’t Punk Me” features the hip hop duo Earthgang, and has some of the best production on the album. The dynamic cut centers around the struggles the three rappers faced growing up. Highlights continue with “Sistanem” detailing how his relationship with his sister has shifted since he became a prominent figure in hip hop, and “Stars,” a collaboration with hip hop legend Yasiin Bey, previously known as Mos Def. 

The track “Money” sticks out like a sore thumb in the tracklist. I can understand its purpose as an encouragement of the hustle mindset JID partook in to make it to where he is at today.  

However, its message seems contradictory to previous songs such as “Stars,” where he raps “Are you really in it for the arts or the image? Do you really live it in your heart and spirit?”  

The song’s placement in the album, as well as its hook sung by children, make it a low point. Thankfully, the album finishes strongly with “Lauder Too.” 

“The Forever Story” feels like a victory lap for JID — an all-encompassing reflection of his ideals, his relationships and his career.  

Rating: 3.5/5

You can read the other half of the review here.

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