IDK is back, dropping a short 9 track project titled 'IDK & FRIENDS 2 (Baskebtall County Soundtrack)'. The trap rapper is an interesting character, more skilled than most in trap and therefore the expectations were high - especially after his last critically appraised project 'Is He Real?' - so the question was, will he live up to expectations?
Firstly, the production on this project overall is pretty decent. The main elements include synths, classic trap elements and then we occasionally hear a hard piano, a flute or any other accompanying instrument which fits the track. Some beats on the album do their job and absolutely bang, such as 'RILEY', which involves this heavy and hard piano combined with trap elements as the song talks on guns, opps and flexing. IDK has some funny one liners but is pretty basic overall, while the feature in Xanman has a nice flow, delivery and makes some cool movie/TV show references throughout, "Rolex watch, they askin' like "Where Ben 10 at?" // I'm servin' that shit like Maddy // Throwin' Scooby Snacks, "Okay Raggie"". The song just does its job and is a bit of a banger. Some beats aren't as good however, such as the flute beat on 'MAZEL TOV' which for a 'banger' song doesn't 'bang'. IDK is pretty average as is A$AP Ferg in terms of lyrics, such as when IDK says, "Bitch, you better save your money // Get creative with the paper like arts and crafts (Crafts)". The hook is nothing but chanting - not massively catchy, however the flows are good and despite the criticisms it does sound decent - but nothing more. Ronny J provides us a beat on 'TOOTH FAIRY' which absolutely slaps with its hard piano, as IDK is flexing on his opps. The song sounds like it could've been on Smokepurpp's 'Florida Jit' - but either way it's a short but sweet banger.
IDK himself lyrically is decent at times, but for a large part of the album is pretty average. Yes, he has some good one liners throughout but nothing too special. An example of a funny line which made me laugh was on 'SQUARE UP', where he says "If it's love in the air, I just throw up the kite // Then I bring my ass back if we run outta line". The majority of this track is pretty lackluster lyrically however, as the song talks on having sex with this girl over these spiraling synths and heavy bass. Juicy J's feature is meh, he isn't bad but not great - and again the song is decent but doesn't do anything too special - although it definitely does have some enjoyability to it. IDK sounds confident in his delivery, and his flow can be nice but he also gets caught in this choppy flow that doesn't always sound good - such as on the track 'BULLETPROOF'. IDK also lacks energy on his verse making it pretty stale, as he talks on his shooters over these eerie synths and piano keys as well as some usual trap elements. Maxo Kream's verse has some hard bars, "Set ship, we go retard, lil' n**** only six // Can't count, don't know the alphabet but he could load a hundred clip up in the AR", but overall it wasn't very captivating and was quite generic. Denzel Curry absolutely saves this track with his catchy hook in the way he wails his words - his hook is the only good part of the song to be honest.
The features on this album are decent as well overall, some of them being pretty bland or average, while others are great. Sometimes they just don't add a lot of enjoyability to the track, as mentioned when talking about 'BULLETPROOF' with Maxo Kream's verse. At times as well, IDK may be heavily the best part of a song and other times even the worst (see '495'). PnB Rock provides some vocals on 'END OF DISCUSSION' , with a nice R&B melody and a pretty enjoyable verse over this catchy trap beat with great 808s and a light synth bass. IDK has some decent wordplay in this track, "Ayy, and she gon' fuck for a buck // And I mean that literally, she up in Wesley Matthews truck", and the whole song has some nice melodies and decent flows throughout making it a good song.
Content wise, it's just the classic trap topics of flexing, shooting people up and the streets - so nothing too interesting. The intro however 'OMERTÀ' is just a skit, but it's all about just shutting up when it comes to co-operation with the police. With this heavy synth bass and sci-fi synths, it's a pretty nice introduction. '495' focuses on literally everything you can imagine from sex to guns to flexing their wealth. The beat has a lowkey sound to it, and is packed with many features. Big Jam has aggressive vocals and slightly sounds like he's overdoing it, while Big Flock sounds mean on his parts. YungManny added a little something with some entertaining punchlines, Weensey's vocals were amazing despite the small input, and Rico Nasty's verse was great with her cold flow and desperation in her delivery. YungManny had some cool pop culture references throughout - they weren't lyrically crazy but entertaining, "7.62, shit, that's my type, no Saweetie // I might splatter his blood on the wall, no graffiti // Stick in my hand, do a spell like I'm Keke // Bad bitch wanna do 69, no FEFE", as overall this high intensity track bangs to a certain degree - in fact IDK's flow made him the worst part of the song. The finale 'LIVE FOR IT', talks on the status of the rappers in the rap game. Wale provides a standard but still great verse, while Alex Vaughn provides amazing vocals with this classic R&B formula. IDK has some decent wordplay throughout, "'Member when they used to tell me, "Put the pen down" // Now a n**** got bars like the pen', wow", and overall it's another good song.
To conclude, this IDK project is a decent album, full of bangers which isn't too complicated and doesn't take itself too seriously. There's a mix of styles slightly, with some songs being trap bangers and others a more melodic type of song. Some mid moments here and there, but overall it sounds good and is a fun project - he delivered what he wanted to, despite the flaws that the album has.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: OMERTÀ, RILEY, END OF DISCUSSION, TOOTH FAIRY, 495, LIVE FOR IT
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: BULLETPROOF
OVERALL RATING: Solid 6.5/10