Over the course of the next few weeks, Billboard will be allowing artists behind some of the year’s most notable hip-hop and R&B releases the opportunity to speak on why their respective albums deserve to be crowned the top project of 2018. The next artist to speak on his successful run this year is Dreamville rapper, J.I.D., for his blistering album, DiCaprio 2. -- As told to Carl Lamarre
DiCaprio 2 is basically a glorified mixtape. We didn't go album structure. It started off on the road and I was like, "Bro. All of these songs we're making feels like shit that we performed and loved it.” That was whole the basis of the project. Like when we performed "Westbrook" at the Billboard Hot 100 [Festival], it was crazy. Fans lost their minds because we made these records for performances. So, for people to receive it like they are and be like, "Oh, this album is crazy," bro, DiCaprio was a mixtape, why would I make the second one an album? It's like the Chance [the Rapper] thing, kind of like “The Chance Rule.” We're using those kinds of tactics. It's a mixtape. The label is going to call it an album, but we know what the fuck we put into it, we know how we work on albums.
When I was making this album, it was literally around the time that Mac [Miller] died. In the middle of this shit, I was helping him with his project and then, personal shit had happened. It was actually a hard ass year for me, for real, but it was also one of the most successful, financially lit years I ever had in my life. It sucked because of the personal shit I was going through and on top of the Mac shit, my cousin died, it was just a lot of life shit.