Musical artist IDK has released a set of six playlists, spanning his entire publically released discography, on Apple Music and Spotify. In a sense, the six playlists “reorganize” the Maryland-based […]
Musical artist IDK has released a set of six playlists, spanning his entire publically released discography, on Apple Music and Spotify.
In a sense, the six playlists “reorganize” the Maryland-based rapper/singer/songwriter/producer’s discography by mood and theme, rather than the mix tape or album they originally appeared on. For an artist with as much range as IDK, this is a great way to split up the diverse songs throughout his discography.
Anything and everything IDK has released thus far appears on these six playlists. From 2014’s “Sex, Drugs & Homework,” 2015’s “SubTrap,” and 2016’s “Empty Bank,” (all released under the “Jay IDK” moniker) to his first mix tape as IDK, “IWasVeryBad,” as well as his latest trilogy of studio albums, “Is He Real?,” “USEE4YOURSELF,” and “Simple.,” all his major works are represented. Furthermore, collaboration albums “IDK & Friends :)” and “IDK & Friends 2” appear throughout the playlists, as long as some singles such as “omw” and “No Wave” with Denzel Curry.
The playlists, which IDK linked via this Google Doc in his August 21 tweet, is divided in to the following categories:
- Chill Out
- Thought Provoking
Plenty of artists could probably chop up their discographies in similar ways, but two things stand out about IDK’s public playlists:
- The ability for each category to be unique (there’s some overlap, but Dance/Electro sounds nothing like his Melodic or Chill music, which sounds nothing like his earlier and still persistent trap-influence).
- IDK actually went out and did this. While other artists have capable discographies (Kanye, Drake, and Kendrick come to mind,) IDK re-organized his own art, as opposed to leaving it to the fans.
It’s also a great business move: garnering streams and interest for his entire discography, as IDK continues to add new fans with each album release. These playlists give newer fans a chance to discover old music: specifically in their favorite categories.
I won’t list each and every song across the playlists, as you can check them out for yourselves, but here’s a quick overview of each of the six playlists.
The 22-song Melodic playlist is all about IDK’s beautiful singing voice. Notably, you can see IDK’s transition from a more pure rapper to a rapper/singer (or to clear up confusion, musical artist.) Only four of the 22 songs on this list were released before 2017’s IWASVERYBAD. Six songs from USEE4YOURSELF make the cut, with IDK really showing off his singing voice in “Puerto Rico” and “Rain.” Four songs from Is He Real? appear, three songs from IDK & Friends 2 (with features like Alex Vaughn assuming the melodic role) and two songs from his latest release Simple.,
Chill Out’s 17 songs have some overlap with Melodic, both literally and figuratively. Songs like “Breathe,” “Puerto Rico, “Rain,” and “European Skies” appear on both lists. But of course, Melodic music can often come with some “chill” vibes. Eight songs from USEE4YOURSELF appear here, but three are instrumentals (“Truth,” “Jelly,” and “1995.”) Is He Real? gets three tracks, as does IDK’s first release, Sex, Drugs, and Homework.
Here’s where the playlists get less about vibes and more about genre influence. The 36-song Trap-Inspired playlist is the longest list of selections, with trap music playing a heavy influence on IDK’s earlier work. Of the 36 songs, eight are from the Jay IDK-era, with three songs each from Sex, Drugs, and Homework and Subtrap as well as two from Empty Bank. IWASVERYBAD is featured four times, and the IDK & Friends series accounts for nine songs on the playlist. While IDK has been shifting more towards melodic music, two songs from Is He Real? and four songs from USEE4YOURSELF appear, though none from Simple. make the list.
Lyric-Driven may be a broad category but it focuses on a necessary part of IDK’s repertoire to highlight: his lyricism. Jay IDK-era is on full display here, with 15 of the 33 songs being from Sex, Drugs, and Homework (3), Subtrap (7), and Empty Bank (5). After that, the list gets more sporadic, from singles and freestyles to bonus tracks and feature-heavy tracks. Is He Real? features four songs including “Porno,” “No Cable,” and “Digital,” all songs that certainly showcased IDK’s lyricism as a first-time fan at the time.
The Dance/Electronic is both short and focused. There’s no real debate about whether these songs belong in a different category. Five of the 12 songs come from the Kaytranada-produced Simple., which really gives this category its legs. Previous works like “Keto,” “Peloton,” and “Birds & the Bees” flesh out the category.
On paper closely related to the Lyric-Driven playlist, the Thought-Provoking playlist focuses on storytelling and themes over technically impressive lyricism and rhyme schemes. The 25-song features some of my absolute favorite IDK tracks: “Black Sheep, White Dove,” “No Shoes On The Rug, Leave Them At The Door,” “European Skies,” “Temporary Love (extended),” “Cry in Church” and “1995.” It features three songs from IWASVERYBAD, which arguably have the best story-telling of the entire list. IDK has put a more recent emphasis on introspection: the literal “Is God Real” album only get four songs surprisingly, with USEE4YOURSELF getting a whopping seven selections.
For more IDK, Music, and Rap news, be sure to follow B-Sak Rap Blog on Twitter.
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