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Editorial: IDK Mastered The Art of Creating With Purpose

Updated: Jul 14, 2021


Before I start diving into the purpose of this article, I would want to give a spotlight on the collaboration that IDK has done with Harvard University. The artist and university have formed a ten-day curriculum about the music business that's available for the BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) community. Before you apply online, the site describes the course exactly like this: "THIS FREE COURSE FOCUSES ON BUILDING A PIPELINE FOR BIPOC TALENT TO KICKSTART THEIR MUSIC CAREERS, DEMOCRATIZING AND REFRAMING WHAT IS ATTAINABLE IN THE INDUSTRY." I would highly suggest that everyone in the BIPOC demographic apply for this course and via Twitter, he said if you get in, you'll get flown out.


TO APPLY FOR THE COURSE, CLICK HERE.


Watch this unique three-minute visual below explaining the purpose of the course.

The PG County-raised artist, IDK (Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge), formerly known as JAY IDK, is an artist that creates with more purpose than any other rapper, singer, creative, whatever you want to call him, that I've ever seen. In Youtube comments, I see people comparing his artistry and its purpose to that of Kanye West, and that's a valid comparison. However, I believe that he made his way more unorthodox compare to other artists current and in the past.


Ever since the release of Subtrap in 2015, I've been a fan. For those that aren't familiar with what Subtrap is, in an interview with Sway, he said it's trap music with substance. In the fifteen song album, he raps in different perspectives of trapping from the perspectives of:

  • The dealer King Trappy III on God Said Trap

  • The college weedhead Chris on the song The Bio Student

  • Fiends like Matt and Ed on Fiend's Prayers

  • Jon Jon who's struggling to make ends meet on the song Thug's Prayers

  • He even broke down the addiction of pussy on Cookie Addiction and the interlude Pussy Is Power from the perspective of Jay and "Her". He also breaks down the Her character as the dream of being successful in music with songs like Sexy Bartender Parts 1 and 2

In that same project, he talked about how drugs were pushed into the black community because of Ronald Raegan and how he started the crack epidemic. This also tied into the talks of mass incarceration and a crooked judicial system IDK wrote an essay about it on The Huffington Post. The characters from the album are related to individuals he met during his time in and out of the system from 2009-2012.



With the success of Subtrap in 2015, the DMV native had to follow up with something even bigger. Then he announced that he was going to be the first [and to this day ONLY artist] to ever premier an album on Forbes called The Empty Bank. When he was on tour, he had Benjamin Franklin himself doing radio shows and tossing money with IDK's face on the bills. The segment IDK and Ben Frank had on Peter Rosenberg's Real Late show is something to definitely remember.

The cover speaks for itself as he focuses on the unspoken struggles of being an independent artist. In one of the lines from the first song Mr. Mills, IDK stated "I'm spending everything I got on everything I don't need." In his interview on Forbes, he discussed the various ways that he had to pay $300 a month to a private home detention company and the various jobs he had to work to pay that off. To have the interview on Forbes about an album dedicated to being transparent about money and the ever-lasting battle as an artist in the industry. To paraphrase what IDK said in the same Forbes article where the album was first released, he said that rap was always has been a thing where you have to have this look to you. To dress a certain way. To have a certain amount of jewelry and women because the appearance would equate to power and we all know the idiom of money equaling to power.


The brutal honesty of what IDK was going through behind the scenes from dealing with legal fees to financial issues struck chords with listeners. How he opened up on the darker tones of an album discussing flaunting money and lessons with it from songs like I Picture. The hook of I Picture goes like this:


"When I picture selling dope

I picture big fat 'ol asses

Big Cartier glasses

Champagne in my glasses

When I'm wearing FENDI clothes

I picture big fat 'ol asses

Big Cartier glasses

Champagne in my glasses

Hit the club and shut it down

I picture money money

Big Big Big money (yes)

Big Big Big money (yes)

Big Big Big money (yes)

Car got hit with 50 rounds

I picture money money

Big Big Big money (yes)

Big Big Big money (yes)

Big Big Big money (yes)"


I Picture would continue to display the greed that can consume people when they acquire a great amount of wealth and develop reckless habits. The purpose of Empty Bank is to establish the lesson of being financially literate and being careful of how one invests their newly acquired funds when it's obtained. There are even call skits from the Starlion collection agency where Bryon Arsonal warns IDK in aggressive tones of why he needs to pay his debts, becoming more infuriated with each skit. It plays to the continual theme of a financially struggling artist and the journey of finding a balance between sanity and relentlessly working to restore financial stability.


Outside of the themes of surviving financially and facing troubles from collectors, promiscuous women, and the law, there is an upbeat and triumphant song named Somebody where the hook goes "I knew I'd be somebody even when I didn't know who I would be, so know you'll be somebody even when there is a future you can't see." Somebody reflects on his time where he was looked down upon by his peers while growing up for his hidden talent of writing that he didn't pursue fully until during his time being incarcerated.