Destin Route, commonly known as J.I.D was born on Oct. 31, 1990, in Atlanta. He grew up listening to classics such as Earth, Wind, & Fire before transitioning to Hip-Hop legends like Jay-Z. During his high school career, Route was quite the football star, earning himself a college scholarship before dropping out and moving back home with his parents. After being kicked out, Route turned to his friends, Doctur Dot and Jonny Venus, members of Earthgang, where he found his true passion for music and realized he wanted to rap for a living.
Route began to call himself J.I.D, which came from what his family called him as a child. Early in his career, J.I.D released multiple mixtapes, however he remained under the radar as he failed to receive commercial recognition. However this changed on Feb. 20, 2017, when J.I.D was signed to J. Cole’s record label, Dreamville.
Less than a month later, J.I.D released his debut studio album, The Never Story, which put his name on the map. Over the course of the 12 track album, he displays his advanced storytelling as he reminisces on his past struggles and aspirations to make it into the rap game.
In his debut album, J.I.D displays signs of greatness as he follows the style of the great Kendrick Lamar in terms of flow and meaning throughout his songs. “It’s his voice and lyrics that I really like,” said Lucas Redding, “kind of like a Kendrick type rapper who has meaning and purpose in all of his songs.” Redding said. “EdEddnEddy and Never are probably my two favorites,” said Andrew Levin, “I love the flow and how he talked about the hardships of his life as a kid.” Levin said.
After the release of his first studio album, J.I.D earned a spot on the XXL Freshman Class list, and is rumored to be dropping his second album, DiCaprio 2, this fall.
Cordae Dunston, or, YBN Cordae, was born on Aug. 26, 1997, in Raleigh and fell in love with hip-hop at a very young age, as his father consistently played artists such as Nas, Rakim, and Big L. By the time Dunston was 15, he began writing songs of his own, hoping one day to be like one of the rappers he grew up listening to.
Although Dunston’s dream was to become a rapper, he remained focused on his studies, graduating high school and attending college. However, Dunston would drop out of college three years later and move to Los Angeles, hoping to gain recognition as a rapper.
Dunston began to take his career more serious, releasing several singles in 2018. His first single was a response to J. Cole’s “1985,” a song targeted toward the new generation of rappers. YBN Cordae’s response racked up over 9 million views on YouTube, making him go viral and putting his name on the map.
YBN Cordae has few songs, however he has proven himself as a someone who can become a top tier rapper within the next few years. In his song, “Fighting Temptations,” Cordae shows his ability to tell stories throughout his songs as he raps about the struggles of his life and fighting the temptations that many other rappers are partaking in.
“He kind of reminds me of J. Cole. He has a very similar style and I enjoy listening to what he has to say,” said Andrew Crawford. “I could definitely see him shooting up the charts in the next few years,” said Crawford.
It is still quite early in YBN Cordae’s career, but he has already shown growth in quality and popularity. It won’t be long until his songs are heard all over the radio, and streamed daily by thousands of fans. YBN Cordae is definitely an artist to check out.
Bas, also known as Abas Hamad, was born on May 27, 1987 in Paris. At the age of eight, Bas and his family moved to Queens, where he quickly fell in love with hip-hop. Bas grew up listening to some of the greats such as Rakim, Nas, and André 3000.
In 2011, Bas released his first mixtape labeled Quarter Water Raised Vol. 1 and would release the second volume two years later. Just one year after the release of his second mixtape, Bas was signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. From here on out, Bas began to take his music career much more seriously, releasing his first studio album just three months later.
Bas’s debut album Last Winter put his name on the radar, debuting at 103 on the Billboard 200, and selling almost 4,000 copies in the first week. The twelve track album managed to score two features from the commercially successful artist, J. Cole, which helped Bas acclaim even more popularity. Over the years, Bas has done a variety of work with J. Cole, hoping to become more recognized, however he has remained under the radar throughout his career.
On Aug. 24, Bas released his most recent studio album, Milky Way, which contained 14 tracks, along with features from A$AP Ferg and of course, J. Cole. Bas showed a great amount of growth with his last album, debuting at 35 on the Billboard 200, and selling over 13,000 copies in the first week.
Tribe, Boca Raton, and Purge are arguably Milky Way’s top three tracks. “He has some good flow, it was something I could just chill out and listen to,” said Gianluca Minetti. Over the course of his previous album, Bas displays is great ear for a “catchy” hook and great lyrics.
Milky Way is a huge step in the right direction for Bas’s career, and he is definitely an artist to check out.