“Is He Real?”: Eclectic Debut Album IDK’s latest release


Maryland rapper IDK, aka, Jay IDK, has just dropped his highly anticipated debut album Is He Real? This is likely to be a remarkable development for one regardless of one’s prior experience with IDK — whose abbreviated name stands for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge — because he has obtained some extremely remarkable collaborators for the project. James Blake, Burna Boy, GLC, Pusha-T, DMX, and Tyler, The Creator feature on Is He Real?, and if you believe IDK, it would have had Frank Ocean too if his appearance could have been cleared in time.

The bad news is that IDK has followed the example of Travis Scott and 21 Savage and has not credited any of the features on his album, so you got to listen through the whole album and figure out for yourself whose voice is where — that, or refer to Genius. (For reference, DMX is on “The E In Blue,” Pusha and J.I.D are on “Porno,” Tyler’s on “I Do Me… You Do You,” Burna Boy’s on “December,” GLC appears on “No Cable,” and James Blake shows up on “Michael What TF.”)


The good news is that IDK is an entertaining presence on the mic, a punchline-obsessed stylist who has not only adopted early Kanye West’s vocal tics and charmingly clunky pop culture references (check the Steve Urkel/Stefan Urquelle reference on “No Cable”) but also his gleeful fondness for pushing his listeners’ buttons. Speaking of deities, he in Is He Real? refers to God, whose existence or lack thereof is a subject of much debate throughout the album’s lyrics, interludes, and a cover photo that references the same biblical passages about the judgment that inspired Cake’s “Sheep Go To Heaven.”

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