IDK — IDK & FRIENDS 2 (Basketball County Soundtrack) — Mixtape Review

Hip Hop | Rap

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

This album came to my attention upon quote short notice, that being on last Saturday, I managed to come across this mixtape after a friends recommendation, and it was fair to say that I definitely saw something in it.

Maybe it was the production, maybe it was the clear sense of hungriness from rap artist IDK, or maybe it was something else. But something about IDK & FRIENDS 2 really shone with some kind of innovative importance, and naturally it grabbed my attention.

It’s a strange sort of situation when it comes to my feelings towards this project. There’s such a unpolished nature to the album as a whole, that under normal circumstances, would suggest that it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. But somehow, someway, IDK really manages to make this work.

To elaborate further on the “unpolished nature” of IDK & FRIENDS 2, I’m highlighting the inconsistency between the beats and the actual rap flows. However, I feel that this is most likely some kind of Blueface inspired creative decision in which the slippery rap flows are intentional.

I think that as a result of this, the project comes off as more gritty, down to earth, and genuine as opposed to heavily tinkered with and refine to a silver thread of sound. IDK & FRIENDS 2 is instead an enjoyably and refreshingly rustic sound.

Despite this being my first instance of listening to IDK, this is actually the sixth mixtape released by IDK (with last years Is He Real being listed as his only studio album officially). But for the sake of inclusivity on later lists, I have decided to just list this as an album too. Besides which, IDK & FRIENDS 2 is definitely substantial enough to be mistaken as an album.

And as some of you may have guessed already, this is a sequel project to 2018’s IDK & FRIENDS :). And I feel that the titles of both mixtapes are definitely justified, as each of them are choc-full of featured artists, which on IDK & FRIENDS 2 include the likes of Denzel Curry, A$AP Ferg, and many more, making the collaborative effort on this mixtape seem almost like a BROCKHAMPTON like supergroup, which in turn really added a lot of character to this project.

And speaking of character, that is furthered even more by the colourful array of different productions. There seems to be something for every type of rap fan on here. But that obviously meant that there were tracks I preferred to others as a result.

As an example of the variety of different mods that this project has, one one hand you have a track like “BULLETPROOF”, which absolutely oozes with a sinister, cold and gritty aesthetic, and then you have the bright, sunny, and warm production behind the closing track “LIVE FOR IT”, which I could easily imagine backing Tyler, the Creator on his 2017 album Flower Boy.

I think that what I can take away from this mixtape, is that sometimes less can equal more. IDK succeeded in keeping this project as raw and as sacred as possible, and adding that to the fact that it is a truly memorable and enjoyable listen, means that this might just go down as one of 2020’s many musical highlights.

Favourite Tracks: BULLETPROOF | 495 | LIVE FOR IT

Least Favourite Track: TOOTH FAIRY

Clue No Clue LLC | Warner Records

8/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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