ComplexCon returns to Long Beach Nov. 6 - 7 with hosts J. Balvin and Kristen Noel Crawley, performances by A$AP Rocky and Turnstile, and more shopping and drops.
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Last Year’s Rank: N/A
In an era defined by melody and a trend of artists choosing to eschew technical skill for a looser feel to their songs, Atlanta’s J.I.D stands out as a rapper who loves the act of rapping. Through solo projects like 2017’s The Never Story and 2018’s DiCaprio 2, as well as his rousing contributions to this year’s Dreamville compilation, Revenge of the Dreamers III, he’s shown a gift for knotty, intricate wordplay and nimble, downhill rhyming. As he’s honed his talent, J.I.D has become a sharper songwriter and storyteller, which has manifested on efforts like “Off da Zoinkys,” an impressively uncorny drug PSA, and “Workin Out,” a weary, melodic anthem about how hard work doesn’t always pay off. While he’s capable of tackling weightier topics, his speedy delivery and quick wit makes him an ideal contributor to raucous crew cuts like “Wells Fargo” and Buddy’s “Link Up.” With smart, incisive bars, and a self-aware sense of humor, J.I.D. is perhaps the most universally liked Dreamville member (outside of J. Cole), and a versatile talent who brings an array of stylistic offerings to the table. —Grant Rindner