J.I.D. of J. Cole’s Dreamville outfit sets loose his debut project, The Never Story.

J. Cole has a pretty busy squad on his Dreamville label. The so-called “Dreamvillains” have been extremely consistent, with releases from the likes of Bas, Cozz, and Ari Lennox in the last few months. Now, it’s J.I.D.’s turn, as the artist set free his debut LP, The Never Story, on Thursday.

Twelve tracks deep, The Never Story bears production from the likes of Childish Major, Hollywood JB, and The Hollywood Kids. J.I.D. keeps the features minimum on The Never Story, with appearances from man of the moment 6LACK, EARTHGANG, and Mereba. None of his fellow Dreamvillains pop up, allowing the emcee to shine solo on his debut (though Cole does produce two of Never’s tracks).

And shine he does. J.I.D flourishes on even the LP’s shorter tracks (though it’s only two minutes long, “8701” has J.I.D. talking cash shit and may well be one of the album’s standout songs, buoyed by an assist from 6LACK). “NEVER,” an anthemic cut about coming up from nothing to becoming somebody, is absolutely worthy of the rotation, as is the EARTHGANG-assisted “D/vision.” But J.I.D.’s at his best when he tells a story, addressing the listener as though he’s sitting across from them at a table. Look no further than the honest “Hereditary,” set up like a dispute between J.I.D. and his girlfriend; and the outro track “LAUDER,” a deeply personal track on which J.I.D. recounts street-life experiences (“my brother was locked up, for shootin’ at the enemy”) and explains his mentality and mission to rise above.

Stream J.I.D.’s The Never Story LP for yourself down below via Spotify and grab it now off iTunes.

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