JID does not disappoint with ‘The Forever Story’: a review

Hugo Pletcher
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‘The Forever Story’ by JID is the rap artist’s third studio album.

“Forever can’t be too far away from never” are some of the first words heard when play is pressed on Dreamville signed, Atlanta rapper JID’s third studio album: “The Forever Story,” released on Aug. 26, 2022.

Expectations were high following JID’s previous two albums, “The Never Story” and “DiCaprio 2.” Being known for his clever wordplay, impressive flow switches and infectious beat selections, JID does not disappoint on “The Forever Story.”

The first track after the introduction “Raydar,” immediately explodes into fast paced lyricism accompanied with a solely drum based beat, making it challenging for the listener to not nod their head in tempo. At about 90 seconds into the song, there is a series of beat switches that elevate the song to a new level as JID’s cadence continues to change with the beat.

The next song, “Dance Now” shows JID’s awareness of his status and the expectations that the music industry has on him. He mentions the label he’s signed to and how people believe he will “sell his soul” to get ahead, which he proceeds to make a mockery of. With a catchy hook from feature Kenny Mason, the track continues the run of hits on “The Forever Story.”

There are many songs similar to “Dance Now” on the album where JID critiques aspects of society or tells stories and personal anecdotes. “Crack Sandwich” tells stories of an upbringing in a less fortunate position and how it affected him and influenced him.

The first single teased for the album, “Surround Sound” is a strong contender for the best hip hop song of the year. With a catchy beat, an iconic sample also used by rap legend Mos Def, features from 21 Savage and Baby Tate and an incredibly memorable chorus, JID showcases his ability to make a hit.

The album continues to impress and drive JID away from his peers in terms of talent with the soul filled track, “Kody Blu 31.” JID pulls off a convincing singing performance, which elevates the song completely. This song is one of the highlights on the album and JID successfully pulls elements from other genres under his belt.

Although this album has so much to praise, and has already been cemented as one of the best rap albums of the year, it’s unfortunately not perfect. The song “Stars” featuring Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, starts with three minutes where the instrumental seems too vast for JID to get a hold of, even with his clever rhyme schemes. This makes the song drag on, but in the last minute there is a fantastic verse from Yasiin Bey on a more focused instrumentation.

Although “Stars” is probably the weakest moment on the album, it proves how impactful all of the features on the album are and how JID knows where to place them. With other big name collaborators such as Lil Durk, Lil Wayne and the already mentioned 21 Savage, JID maintains his own and does not let himself get outshined. The features add to the songs tastefully, without taking away the personalization of JID’s personality and stories.

The release of “The Forever Story” has shown not only improvement as a rapper, but improvement as an overall artist for JID. “The Forever Story” has been named by critics and fans alike as one of the top hip hop albums released so far in 2022, and it has performed decently in terms of commercial success. With strong thematic elements, clever storytelling and impressive wordplay, JID has successfully proven that he only continues to evolve as an artist and that fans of hip hop should be excited every time his name is mentioned for a new release.