The biggest obstacle many of us will face in the hustle for success is, well, ourselves. So often, we can find reasons to stop trying something new before we even start. For example: Anyone who’s ever had a big dream has probably thought at some point that it’s “too late” or “too hard” to make it come to fruition.
Atlanta rapper J.I.D knows this all too well—he was far from an overnight success. And he knows that he was a late bloomer career-wise. “I started music, as far as the journey [goes], later than most people,” he tells Complex. J.I.D was 20, to be exact. And it took seven years of hustle, struggle, and rejection to get to where he is now. Between now and then, the 27-year-old artist otherwise known as Destin Route was kicked out of his parents house; he had to sleep in a car at one point; he funded his musical career with jobs delivering pizzas and working at call centers. He faced countless other obstacles, struggles, and signposts telling him to stop, and go back to a more conservative track in life.
Yet, after taking hit after hit after hit to the ego, J.I.D signed to J. Cole’s label, Dreamville, in 2017. Later that year, he was in a BET Awards cypher, which is the kind of coronation only reserved for those who’ve made their way past rap’s most important gatekeepers. And earlier this year, J made the XXL 2018 Freshman Class, alongside other now-household names like Lil Pump, Ski Mask the Slump God, and BlocBoy JB.
In Chapter 2 of "Run the Show," J.I.D explains how he happened upon the formula for success that worked for him, with plenty of tweaking, and a hell of a lot of persistence.
Watch Chapter 2 of our "Run The Show" series above for more on J.I.D's journey, and peep our full profile on the rapper here, which contains Chapter 1. Stay locked to Complex for Chapter 3, dropping this Friday.
Styling by Alanna Rose.