The name of the 8-track project is Simple, which refers to a neighborhood called “Simple City” in southeast Washington, D.C.. According to the rapper, the area got its namesake as a result of the senseless violence that occurs there.
“There’s a neighborhood in my city called ‘Simple City,’” IDK said in a statement. “It gets its name because you can get killed for any simple reason. Simple City is also the birthplace of Marvin Gaye. I wanted to tell the story of Simple City in a way that it’s never been told before. From drug abuse to crime and murder, I wanted to cover what it feels like to be from Simple City and teach the world that the fix to helping disadvantaged black communities isn’t as simple as you think.”
He continued, “The way people view our mentalities is straightforward thing. There’s a lot of depth and it should be handled with care. I wanted to create an album where people can ‘dance to real shit.’”
Simple comes after IDK dropped off USEE4YOURSELF in 2021, which featured appearances from The Neptunes, Jay Electronica, Swae Lee, Rico Nasty, Young Thug, T-Pain, Westside Gunn, the late MF Doom and more. IDK dropped off the deluxe edition of the project in October and it featured additional appearances from Lil Yachty and Trippie Redd.
In an interview with Complex, IDK said the narrative structure of his work is often due to him wanting to showcase his connection to his community.
“The most important thing for me is I’m an example of success for a lot of people,” he said. “Even when I feel like I have more work to do, there’s a lot of people who would die to be in the position that I’m in. So, my idea is showing them that I’m here, I’m close, and I’m within reach. And then using my platform to create an environment for them to be able to dream and think about things that they want to become, and to not feel like it’s not possible.”
Listen to Simple below.