JID
The Forever Story


4.6
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
August 29th, 2022 | 165 replies


Release Date: 08/26/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: better days, forever

What's fascinating about The Forever Story is that it does exactly what its title implies and reframes the narrative of The Never Story. The album cover is the most obvious clue to the plan here, an eye-catching image which is functionally the one on JID's debut album given human dimension and texture. Almost all the major stops along JID's personal history - his older brother's stint in jail, the passing of his grandmother, the loss of the football scholarship which kickstarted his rap career - are readdressed here with a clearer eye, a more rounded worldview and a significant increase in the quality of his lyrics. Even The Never Story's offbeat, slightly sardonic "Doo Wop" intro becomes something truly optimistic in the sweetly sincere "Galaxy".

All the characteristics of JID's music appear in full force: the attention-grabbing beat switches equalled only by his effortless changeups in flow, absolutely absurd rhyme schemes and storytelling chops, and features that range from fantastic (Earthgang on their fun shit, a more fired-up Yasiin Bey than we've heard in the better part of a decade and a disarmingly beautiful cameo from James Blake) to the banal (21 Savage and Lil Durk, sounding exactly like you'd expect them to). There's even a similar sequencing to The Never Story, which dispenses several bangers early on only to slow down for a softer section that, this time around, produces some of the rapper's finest work with the R&B-adjacent "Kody Blu 31" and well-earned maturity of "Sistanem". But while The Forever Story nominally ends with "Lauder Too", the absolute heater of a sequel to The Never Story's finale, the actual intended album closer is "2007". Perhaps the most essential piece in the album's arc, the seven-minute opus of dizzying switchups and unexpected progressions tells JID's origin story over a decade-plus real time, and may be his all-time best release. Frankly, the album is lesser without it and YouTube is your friend – but The Forever Story does still work as presented, a testament to the versatility and resilience of JID's storytelling acumen.

Really, it's the kind of album that an artist could use to make Their Name, and not a minute too soon for a phenomenally talented rapper who seemed stuck on albums that were really just loose collections of songs (sorry, DiCaprio 2) and heading for the slippery slope of gaming Spotify numbers with features on Imagine Dragons songs. If I were in the mood to anger everybody I'd compare The Forever Story to JID's good kid, m.a.a.d. city, less in sonic terms than how it frames the rapper's life as a narrative that's simultaneously curated for the listener's enjoyment, disarmingly sincere, and communicated over absolutely banging beats. That doesn't make the next thing on JID's docket To Pimp a Butterfly, nor should it – all I hope is what comes next is as fun, idiosyncratic and personal as The Forever Story.



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user ratings (237)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2022


17691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Theeeeeere it is! Good shit.



Will be listening this week for sure, this a good starting point?

botb
August 29th 2022


16104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I wanna get to the other rap albums that dropped Friday but I can’t stop spinning this

AlexKzillion
August 29th 2022


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

always thought this guy (and the rest of this sorta earthgang/dreamville niche of hip hop) was pretty good if not interchangeable but he really puts it all together here... do not recall his prior work having nearly as much nuance and personality

bigweinerdon
August 29th 2022


2443 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My thoughts exactly. Starts out so gas and kinda slogs in the middle. Surround Sound is great tho fuck

Colton
August 30th 2022


17782 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Crack Sandwich is almost great but the production lets it down

Colton
August 30th 2022


17782 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Surround Sound also bites Mos Def too hard

someone
August 30th 2022


4808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i swear this album was released to make me forget all other hip-hop exists for the rest of the year



such a bop

AlexKzillion
August 30th 2022


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^agreed hard dude is a really good rapper but I always felt his the faster flows bordered on style over substance a lot of the time

botb
August 30th 2022


16104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah dude kody blu through stars is such a crazy run

pjquinones747
August 30th 2022


4001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is really great so far. Might just drop a 4.5 on this if it stays this good throughout.

ONEPUNCHMAN
August 30th 2022


448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll be honest a lot of this is good but a lot of the stuff in the second half blends together to the point of it sounding very same-y/one long song.

pjquinones747
August 30th 2022


4001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

heaters from front to back

Colton
August 30th 2022


17782 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rowan is the sowing of rap

Shemson
August 30th 2022


3310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lots to take in here, longer than I expected. So far I like it but it could turn to love on repeat listens.

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2022


17690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gonna check this rn. been a great year for rap so far (Denzel/Black Thought/Lupe to name a few), hoping that trend continues here

gschwen
August 30th 2022


806 Comments


"Lauder Too" is super good. The flow is just unreal

FuzzyThoughts
August 30th 2022


113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really digging this after a few listens. Nice review, Rowan.



What other hip hop albums have you enjoyed this year? My favorites have been Denzel, Black Thought + Danger Mouse, this, Kendrick (grew on me quite a bit after first listen), Lupe Fiasco, Saba, Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha T, and Billy Woods. I'm excited for Loyle Carner's new album out in October. Any others you'd recommend?

botb
August 30th 2022


16104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

^check alchemist x roc Marciano and meyhem Lauren x daringer. They all dropped the same day and all of them fuckin rule;



Edit: also goes without saying, all the griselda dudes and Boldy James never miss

wwf
August 31st 2022


7161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is good

wwf
August 31st 2022


7161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I like pusha, saba and kendrick more so far this year tho



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