Dreamville’s JID Talks 2K Gaming, Outkast And More

Rapper and Atlanta native JID and Verizon teamed up for an intimate fan experience over a common love for gaming. 

Verizon Up brought the Dreamville emcee’s most loyal followers together for some conversation, an NBA2k19 tournament and beer in the middle of downtown ATL. The Shadow League was in the building and we caught up with the spitter to get his thoughts on how video games assist in his creative process, OutKast, and more. 

The Shadow League: What’s it like having your music craft bring you and your fans together to connect over 2k?

JID: It’s crazy cuz, it’s full circle moment because my mom used to work for Verizon. When I told her about this Verizon Up partnership she was so happy. And then just being afforded the opportunity just to connect with the people through gaming is cool.

If I ever get to a roadblock when I’m creating, I listen to some music or I play a game or I watch a documentary. These are my things. 

What are you currently watching right now? 

I’m in the middle of the Hip Hop Evolution documentary on Netflix. I just got on to the second season.

Plus the latest Whitney documentary, which made me cry. It’s ridiculous. Don’t watch it. It’s actually a movie, but they shot it docu-style.

And this one doc on mind control. Which I kind of the concept I’ve been making my album around which is weird.

Knicks Gaming Win First NBA 2K League Championship

So you’re a fan of the concept of telepathy?  

It’s a real tricky thing. If you’re tryna manipulate the mind or doing anything to push your ideas, it’s a sensitive thing.

It depends on knowing what you’re talking about and who you are.

It’s a lot of small nuances that make it like a very negative thing but super positive. So I take that with regular responsibility

Gaming used to be seen as taboo, as only something you do in your basement with a select few. Now you can find your tribe online. 

I think that’s super cool. It’s like bringing someone into your house or into your world when you’re playing games.

It’s like letting them know, “alright, I’m just like you.”  It’s a common thing. Everyone can kind of relate to it, even if you don’t play games. It’s something now you can admit you like to like.

Are you worried about the lack of interaction can have on social skills?

It’s just the evolution of the time bro.

Everyone’s getting smarter, well not everyone. Technology’s getting better, people are getting dumber. It’s taking a lot of stuff out of our hands.

I feel like, the games were a little bit harder to play back then. Now they lay it all out for you without real consequences and you have infinite lives. It’s making it more addictive. Like Red Dead Redemption. 

[jwplayer sgY5vG3k]

Sports games do you teach you about competition though.

I feel like even if a kid plays these games and he goes outside his house and doesn’t reflect on anything or have to deal with any of thing of that sort, “living in one of the greatest situations” it can affect the way you move.

You can try and live vicariously through that. But at the same time, I’m more of a Madden, 2K player. Sports game are addictive as hell but I would say more positive compared to shooters or Grand Theft.


You played football all the way through till college. Are there aspects of your creative process that was learned on the field? 

When I played football, I wasn’t the biggest guy but still the fastest on the team. I played defense. I was good at kick returns. I was an All American athlete. Not just like a short slouch.

In football, I’d normally have to go against this crazy tall, fast person or whatever. I have to use what I have to beat him. But there are limits. No matter how strong my mentality was, it doesn’t even matter. If you’re small as hell, you not running over Vince Wilfork.

But I treat my rap craft like a defensive coordinator. I can be so strategic in music in what I say and in my preparation I could be the biggest guy on the “field” if that makes sense. I can paint those pictures. I can give stories that can move people. Music is just way better for my psyche. 

But but I’m learning that I need to find another outlet cuz music is like the only thing that’s my outlet. What if I’m not in that mood? What if I can’t express and the shit doesn’t relieve my stress.

20 years ago Outkast’s Aquemini dropped. Being raised on that album, what did it mean to you? 

That shit impacted me because it was two people from the city, two people from my city that look just like me doing shit that turns out to be my forte. It’s a popular misconception that people from the northeast, west coast, or wherever the fuck they are from, are smarter than people from the south. 

Those two gentlemen gave dialect, verbiage and produced amazing bodies of work with substance behind it. And that just even helped me with the way I thought about myself.

I’m not no dumb ass country bumkin. I could be a fucking genius. I could be a great thinker. They just inspire me on that level alone.

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