FEATURE: IDK "DIGITAL"
He used to run with
a gun and a mask
photo by HAYDEN SAHIL
Today, Maryland-raised rapper IDK (formerly Jay IDK) announces a new label in partnership with Warner Records. The new label, Clue, will house all of his upcoming releases, including his forthcoming debut album Is He Real that is due later this year. The partnership is the culmination of a strong run of independent releases from IDK, including five projects in the past five years.
When speaking on the partnership, Warner Records Co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer Aaron Bay-Schuck says:
"IDK is at the forefront of this next generation of artists who actually have something to say.”
He continues, “To call him just a rapper is not doing him justice. He is an artist in the truest sense of the word. His lyrical prowess is unmatched, his ideas and vision are wildly creative, he's doing things his way, and he's making impactful and controversial statements with his music that challenge the way we look at the world. Tom Corson and I are thrilled to welcome him to the growing roster of exciting artists at Warner Records."
Coinciding with the announcement, IDK shares a powerful new video for his latest release "Digital." The video, directed by IDK himself, is a cautionary tale for young people of color in the United States. The black-and-white visual depicts a story unfolding on a split screen, with one side depicting the reality of the story as it unfolds and the other side depicting an outsiders' perception of that same story unfolding. It's a moving statement that speaks to the ongoing crisis of police brutality faced by people of color in the U.S. and beyond as well as the underlying issues of institutionalized racism in the country.
IDK (Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge) is an innovator with few equals. The Maryland-raised rapper and producer subverted genre tropes with his 2015 debut project SubTrap, a nuanced and inventive exploration of the intersection of drug dealing and addiction. Since then, he's continued to make unprecedented moves both in and outside of the studio. After becoming the first artist to premiere an album with Forbes (2016's money-minded Empty Bank), he partnered with Adult Swim to release 2017's IWasVeryBad, which featured everyone from DOOM to Chief Keef. Is He Real, IDK's forthcoming major label debut, is an ascent to another creative plateau. Releasing jointly via Warner Records and IDK's new label venture Clue, Is He Real features rapping, singing, and production from the Prince George's County native that's unlike any he's done before.
Watch “Digital” below: