On “151 Rum,” the pyrotechnic, lyrical master class from JID’s chameleonic 2018 release, DiCaprio 2, the ATL MC raps, “Don’t compare me to no other other n****s.” On its face, it’s the sort of weightless statement thrown out by rappers since rap began, but JID’s slow-building career and versatility from album to album, track to track, gives the line an urgency and power: No one in the game raps quite like him. Born Destin Choice Route in 1990, JID came up with other Atlanta mainstays like EARTHGANG, 6LACK, and Hollywood JB. His first mixtapes brought him local acclaim, and in the early 2010s, his hyperactive rhyme scheme made him a standout amongst the narcotic Auto-Tune of other ATL staples and up-and-comers. J. Cole and Dreamville Records had been gathering a stable of lyrically obsessed, boundary-pushing MCs, so inviting JID and his kaleidoscopic vision of rap to the Dreamville cohort was an obvious choice. Route signed with the label in 2017 off the strength of mixtapes like 2015’s DiCaprio and 2016’s Bears Like This Too Much with his Spillage Village collective. But under Cole’s tutelage, JID found confidence in his underdog status as Atlanta’s wordy, hyper-intelligent lyricist. He earned comparisons to Kendrick Lamar on his label debut, The Never Story, occasionally mirroring K-Dot’s nasally flow on songs like “Despacito Too” from DiCaprio 2 while firmly establishing himself as a wholly unique stylist. Over bass-heavy, psychedelic beats, JID puts an old-school-style emphasis on incisive lyrics, energizing fans and those who touch the mic. And though he was once a student of J. Cole’s hip-hop academy, JID’s emphatically gunning to become a peer—just don’t compare him to any contemporaries.