JID on “Surround Sound” Success and Finding His Voice: ‘I Always Show Respect to Writers’

On X, the Atlanta rapper joked "we making it out the hood" ahead of his ABC News interview.

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JID ended 2023 with a viral hit, now he's making sure the New Year is just as impactful.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta rhymer was interviewed on ABC News about his 2022 single "Surround Sound," which is currently No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to the 'Ceiling Challenge' on TikTok.

ABC News reporter Linsey Davis began the chat by congratulating JID for a "booked" and "busy" 2023, as the rapper toured with Smino and appeared on Metro Boomin's Spider-Man soundtrack. In terms of his success, JID said, "It's just really putting your best foot forward."

"Discipline, hard work, just trying to put my best foot forward in everything I'm doing. That's all," he added. "And just being blessed, like, standing in it."

What’s next for JID:

• dropping more music
• finishing album w/ @MetroBoomin
• writing a children’s book
• getting more into film pic.twitter.com/MfCshKmebF

— Team DREAMVILLE (@TeamDreamville) January 10, 2024
Twitter: @TeamDreamville

After Davis referenced JID's "I became a rapper ironically" line on "Surround Sound," the artist admitted that rap wasn't his "first love." "I was a scholarship athlete and that didn't work out. I guess it was in the cards for me, you know, you don't always marry your first love."

The Dreamville artist shared that while he was "super fast" in football, he "wasn't that big" and that the sport "didn't work out" for him during his time at an HBCU. The rapper attended Hampton University in Virginia.

"My grades were always great though. So I always had something here," he said, pointing to his temple.

We on @ABC tonight

Caption: pic.twitter.com/SCEjUti0m6

— (J.I.D)🪓🪓 (@JIDsv) January 10, 2024
Twitter: @JIDsv

He detailed that he was 21 years old when he began writing, which paid off with "Surround Sound" becoming a smash one year after its debut. "So the initial drop of it, it did really well. I maybe dropped it six, seven months before the album actually came out, so by the time the album came out, the song was already [certified] gold," JID told Davis.

"And then, with time going, I seen online [a] trend that could've came from the actual video that we just showed, and it was an overhead shot which, in turn, it turned out to be the challenge. A lot of different challenges came from it, but the over-the-head ceiling was, like, the most important one, I guess."

Doing a interview on ABC news tonight guys. we making it out the hood 🤌🏾

— (J.I.D)🪓🪓 (@JIDsv) January 9, 2024
Twitter: @JIDsv

While acknowledging his management for keeping track of the "Surround Sound" popularity, JID said that he's "pretty savvy online." "If it's hot, then I might as well join the trend," he said.

As for finding his voice as a lyricist, JID told Davis that he's "studied the greats," even writers outside of hip-hop. "That's the thing, I'm a writer outside of just rapping," he said. "I want to write movies and write for other artists, as well. But just respecting the arts and the language and knowing how to get a message across without being too much or just not enough."

He continued, "I guess I found a medium and just other great writers and stuff. That was the whole language that I learned."

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JID added that he tries to "attack" whenever an idea for a song comes to him, whether he hears the production or is inspired by "life experiences." "You can be sensitive to your surroundings and hear a couple arguing and that can turn into a song," he said. "It doesn't have to be exactly what you're doing. You can build a world out of it. That's why I try to live in building that type of world."

Promising new music and a project with Metro Boomin before the end of the year, JID also surprised viewers with news of his first children's book, Astrid the Ostrach, about an African bird.

"I'm still working on it, but it's just about emotions that a child would go through and I'm writing it in my type of way. It's gonna be cool – and I wanna get more into film," he said.

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