Atlanta rapper, singer, and songwriter J.I.D enveloped the House of Blues in “Surround Sound” on March 9 for a sold out show in Boston. His worldwide “Luv Is 4ever Tour,” in which he performs alongside longtime collaborator Smino, cements the rapper’s ascension to the top of rap history. With 2022’s critically acclaimed “The Forever Story” under his belt, no longer is the Dreamville rhymer an up-and-comer: J.I.D is now officially a household name.
Sporting his signature locs and a satin pajama set, J.I.D entered the stage in style. His southern twang brought an immediate sense of familiarity; especially with phrases such as “you’re all part of my ecosystem.” J.I.D remained ever so humble, constantly thanking the fans that tweeted and shared “The Forever Story,” contributing to his latest album’s success. Such affirmations and heartfelt messages were abundant additions to the tracks, emanating a sense of unity and homecoming throughout the venue. The stage design reinforced this theme, as heart-shaped symbolism littered the LED screens.
The setlist overflowed with themes of community. In dedicating songs like “Bruddanem” to the crowd, J.I.D took time to make the audience feel like part of his extended family. This theme of sentimentality he cultivated worked well to tie in the thematic lyrics of previous albums like “Take your heart, don't let me break it in two” in ““Workin Out” from “DiCaprio 2.” The candid storytelling didn't stop there. Lyrics like “Are you really in it for the arts or the image?” in “Stars” paid homage to his humble beginnings, that continue to stick with him.
“If I dedicate one to the bruddanem you already know I have to give one for the sistanem,” J.I.D teased before breaking into an honest rendition of “Sistanem.” The heavy bassline in the outro echoed around the venue in a moment of silence lent itself to “Kody Blu 31.” Kody was the name of J.I.D’s friend's son, who died at an early age. J.I.D took his time in performing the most important song of the album, executing the mellow flow and raw emotions behind the lyrics “keep swanging on” with the ease of a seasoned performer.
Not all moments in the concert were heavy. As a matter of fact, most of the concert was spent in celebration of the high energy, rapid fire verses J.I.D is best known for. From the dynamic chorus of “Dance Now” to the heavy 808s in “G.O.M.D,” there wasn’t a dull moment in the set. Multiple mosh pits formed immediately after the first notes of Aretha Franklin’s sample on “Surround Sound,” — it’s safe to say, the crowd went berserk for the beat drop. J.I.D maintained that intense atmosphere with chants of “unite the pits” until Smino came out. The lyrics of “Stick” were displayed on the screen, working to highlight just how fast the artists are capable of rapping bars. J.I.D turned up the knobs on intensity some more with “151 Rum,” getting the crowd going with the chant “Fuck yeah Jiddy.” In between these demanding performances, J.I.D still had the energy to finesse some freestyles — showing off his undeniable talent when it comes to spitting bars.
With such unparalleled skill and energetic delivery, it’s no wonder that chants of “We love you Jiddy” echoed throughout the House of Blues as concertgoers exited the venue.
—Staff writer Alisa S. Regassa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @alisaregassa.