IDK, formerly known as Jay IDK, has proven to be one of the coldest rappers of 2017. Born in London but raised in Maryland, the 25-year-old uses his own life experiences, which includes going to jail and losing his mother, to make praiseworthy trap music for music and Hip Hop fans alike. Read more…
Fresh off the release of his critically-acclaimed album, IWASVERYBAD, IDK was chosen to perform at Live Nation’s Ones To Watch holiday party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. While OTW prides themselves in only covering the music industry’s best kept secrets, it wasn’t long before attendees fell victim the captivating sounds of IDK.
Young California caught up with IDK ahead of his set to discuss comparisons to Kendrick Lamar, teaming up with Adult Swim for his latest project, and his five-year journey as a rapper thus far.
For those who don’t know, who is IDK?
The letters IDK stand for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge. IDK is a baby scale — it basically means balance.
How would you describe your sound?
Diverse. I listen to a lot of different music, so I got a bunch of different styles that I like to experiment with. And I think that’s the best way to describe it. It’s just diverse.
Where do you see yourself fit in the rap game?
I don’t know, really, where I fit. I’ve never really thought about that. [laughs] I kinda just make music.
People have actually compared you to Kendrick. What are your initial reactions?
It’s cool. I mean… I don’t know if it’ll be so much of a comparison in due time. But I am new. And I think he’s one of the best rappers right now, so it’s a good comparison.
Do you think you can outrap him?
Not yet, he has a lot of more years ahead of me. Eventually. It depends. I’m continuously trying to work and getting better.
Talk about your album IWASVERYBAD. How’s the fan reception been?
Great. It’s been pretty unanimous in terms of people’s reaction and liking it. I like it, it’s definitely a big step up from my last stuff..
How’d you land that MF Doom feature though?
I just pretty much hit him up — well I hit Adult Swim up. I just sent them the record that I had and they liked it. And they sent it to him. And about 3 weeks later, he asked for the concept. And about a week later, he sent me the verse.
That’s dope. How was collaborating with Adult Swim?
It was great. Shout out to Jason DeMarco. Really great people, and they’re still playing some of the music and beats on Adult Swim right now.
You’re really big on storytelling. What do you want fans to get from your story?
Just the truth. I don’t wanna sugarcoat shit. I just wanna keep shit real.
If you could choose one song for fans to hear, what would you choose?
Ummm… “Pizza Shop.”
You actually just went through a whole rebranding of yourself, was there a breaking point or a moment of clarity that led to this?
Nah, just me kind of finding who I was. And kinda just not caring about whatever other people really think. That’s basically what it was.
In the process of finding yourself, what’s the biggest thing you’ve realized recently?
That I’ve always been in an environment with two things that kinda don’t go together. And it kinda makes sense with my music and my name and what it represents. I’ve always kinda just been on two sides of things that don’t go together.
What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from going to jail?
Just patience. That’s probably the biggest.
You’re only 25, what’s your end goal?
I want to be considered one of the greatest to ever rap. Also as well as rap, I want to get into directing movies, films, things like that.
What would you be doing if you weren’t rapping?
I can’t really say honestly.
How long you’ve rapping for?
Five years now, since I was 20 years old.
What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a fan?
I went somewhere and someone noticed me. And they thought that I was somebody else, but they thought I looked like Jay IDK. Then they found out it was me and told me how much he liked my music. That was kinda cool.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Tyler, the Creator.
What’s a normal day in the life?
It’s never normal. It’s always different. Usually, I’m in the house most of the time — if I’m not going out. I’m probably writing music. Just learning, listening to audiobooks, stuff like that.
So, what’s next?
Oh yeah with Ferg. What was the best part of touring with Joey Bada$$.
Just seeing all the new cities. I’ve never been to none of those cities before.
And Ferg is a whole new level turnt!
Yeah, it’s going to be a very interesting, fun experience.