IDK Talks Turning Down G.O.O.D. Music Deal & Best Rap Albums Of All Time | For The Record

IDK Talks Turning Down G.O.O.D. Music Deal & Best Rap Albums Of All Time | For The Record

Rob Markman: What’s up, geniuses? Welcome back to For the Record. I’m your host Rob Markman. Now today’s guest, I first got put onto him,
first met him in 2015 when he dropped his ‘SubTRAP’ project. All right? Right there I learned this is guy that questions
everything. This is a guy that takes conventional wisdom,
puts it on its head, spins it around, and examines everything from all angles, and it’s
no different with his major label debut called, ‘Is He Real?’ And there’s a question mark at the end, right? That question mark is important. He’s here today to break it all down. I got a lot of questions for him, alright
and he’s here today. IDK, man, welcome to For The Record. IDK: What’s up, man? Thank you. Rob Markman: How you feeling, man? I know you’re in the middle of a tour right
now, so I know you’re city to city with it. IDK: I’m feeling great, actually, man. We just did New York yesterday. It was the biggest venue I’ve ever headlined. It was amazing. The love was crazy. It was packed out. So many people came to see me, so I’m feeling
good. I’m off good energy right now. Rob Markman: That’s dope. First, I want to congratulate you. Privately, I have during our conversations,
but in June you announced a partnership with Warner Brothers. I know it was a long grind. I know there was a lot of questions about
where you would sign. What made you choose Warner Brothers, and
what made you sign in general? Because you’re a guy that that has a lot of
your own ideas. IDK: Right. I think that’s a good reason why I kind of
did it the way that I did. Originally, I had an offer from G.O.O.D. Music. I was talking to Top at TDE, I was talking
to a lot of different subsidiary labels, and basically trying to figure out what I wanted
to do. I always felt like, damn okay, maybe if these
people was my cosign, it could help me get a little bit more attention or tap into a
fan base that already exists, not realizing how much control that I already had, and things
that already I’d been working on for a while. IDK: The whole time I’ve been building my
own brand, and after a while I kind of came to the realization that it was like, “You
know what? I can just create my own thing, which is Clue,
and not only just have control but have the ability to bring other artists and other people
on board to help build their careers as well.” You know what I’m saying? It’s a bigger picture thing. Whereas if I were to went to anywhere else,
I would have been under everybody else’s ruling, and I just don’t work the best that way, you
know? Rob Markman: Me knowing that about you, it
definitely is like, “How’s this going to work?” Was it hard? You look at a guy like Kanye, super creative,
MAGA hat notwithstanding, if you look at the totality of his career, here’s a guy who usually
challenged, pushed creative boundaries and feels like an artist’s artist. IDK: 100%. Rob Markman: Same thing with Top and the team
at TDE, and the way Kendrick get to be wildly creative, and SZA gets to be wildly creative
with no bounds, and they’re not necessarily the same or the same as anybody else. Plus their success. Was that hard to turn down, or was that hard
to just march to the beat of your own drum? IDK: To be honest, everything kind of fell
into place the way that it needed to, in order for me to make the next moves. Hard walking away from certain things? I wouldn’t even say it was that, because it
wasn’t so much like, “Oh yeah, I’m going to walk away from this and I’m going to do my
own thing.” It was more circumstances caused me to say
… I’m in a place right now where I realize that nothing that happens to me isn’t supposed
to happen to me. You feel me? This is a prime example. Where I’m at today, and what I did yesterday,
and what I ate. Everything is supposed to happen that way. You feel what I’m saying? Rob Markman: Do you believe in a higher power? IDK: Yes, 100%. Rob Markman: We’re going to get into this
album. ‘Is He Real?’ I think the question mark is very important
in the title too, ‘Is He Real’ as a question. I said in the intro that you challenge these
preconceived notions, these social norms. You are the cat who questions everything. What was the start of just conceptualizing
this album? IDK: The start of conceptualizing this album
is the questions that I’ve been asking myself my whole life. I remember I was three years old, and my aunt
told me about God for the first time. She said, “If you’re bad, you go to hell. If you’re good, you go to heaven. When you go to heaven, there’s all of these
wonderful things you can get. All the toys that you want and you get all
of these, beautiful candy, all of that stuff, and God is going to love you. If you go to hell, you’re not going to like
it.” That’s pretty much what I remember. That was my first time ever having any understanding
or thought even of the concept of religion. That was the start of the battle that I had
the rest of my life. You feel what I’m saying? IDK: With this album, I like to say, I’ve
been making it my whole life because it’s all based off of things that I’ve been thinking
for a while, and then just finding a way to put it into my music. I always wanted to make this album, but I
kind of wanted to wait a little bit, because I always felt like it wasn’t never the right
time. There was things I was still going through
in my mind, there were battles I was still having. That’s really how it started though. Rob Markman: While you’re doing ‘SubTRAP,’
or just any of the other projects coming up, this is still like a concept in your mind. IDK: Always. Rob Markman: You didn’t rush into it. IDK: Didn’t rush into it, no. Rob Markman: You revealed this on your Twitter
anyway, so anybody who doesn’t know … I’d imagine there’s a lot of your fans that’s
going to be watching this. A lot of people who just watch the show who
may be discovering you for the first time. The thing that I love about this album is
that it takes a couple of listens, for it to really sink in. Each listen, there’s a realization of something
maybe you didn’t get the last time. There’s a lot of layers to it. IDK: I think conceptually, certain things
people didn’t understand. A lot of people didn’t understand it because
they don’t have an understanding of me. When I say that, I mean as in, people are
still learning to trust me as an artist, right? In a world where there’s so many people who
make music, and don’t think deeply enough into the concept of their album to weave certain
things together, to put certain things together. IDK: One thing I want to say on this right
now is, when I make a song, when I make an album, no matter what you might think, everything
makes sense together. You may not get it the first time. You may not understand it until I explain
it to you, then that’s fine. I’m okay with that, but understand everything,
every song, every detail of this album, I really went into it. I remember I tweeted, “My album is more of
a DaVinci code than a crossword puzzle,” and people were offended by that. I didn’t mean it in no arrogant, like, “I
have the greatest album of all time.” Wait, no, I didn’t mean it like that. IDK: All I meant was, when I made this album,
I seriously said, “I would love for this to be the DaVinci code of rap albums.” When I said that, that was basically all the
details that I’ve put into the coding of how I put the album. Even the artwork, even the track listing. A lot of people know now- Rob Markman: That’s what I was going to get
into, yeah. Talk about it. IDK: … The last letters of each word on
the album spell, “U SEE 4 YOURSELF”. Is He Real? You see for yourself. Is He Real? You see for yourself. If you notice, I never really answer the question
of “Is he real?” throughout it, because I want you to see for
yourself. You feel what I’m saying? I tried to make an album that was different
in the concept of, most people give you their perspective, right? Then they say, “This is what I’m dealing with. This is what I think. This is my thoughts.” It’s a complete thought. I wanted to say, “This is what I’m dealing
with. This is what I think, but what do you think?” That’s what this album is. Rob Markman: It’s a conversation piece. IDK: Exactly. Rob Markman: I applaud that, because I didn’t
… With the track listing, until you pointed it out, I had never seen that, and I’m big
on music in general, but hip hop specifically, our genre being around 40 years. When somebody could do something that we’ve
never seen before, or spit a line … You heard, “You can’t see me like Stevie,” a million
times. We got to stop with the Stevie Wonder lines
at this point. You know what I’m saying? So when you can give me something that I’ve
never seen, and what I’ve never seen is the track listing, with the last letter of each
song on the track listing actually spelling out something. IDK: There’s a lot. That’s just one thing. That’s what I mean by DaVinci code. It’s literally a coded album. Everything is coded. Everything I say, everything that I do, how
it’s put together, even instrumentals. Even certain samples are purposely put there
for a certain reason. You feel what I’m saying? Rob Markman: I love the opening skit and then
the first track, because the opening skit starts out with this kid, and it sounds sweet
and innocent, and at the end he questions if God is even fucking real. You know what I’m saying? Actually, he doesn’t question it, he makes
the statement that God isn’t real. The next track is “42 Hundred” choices,
which speaks to, they say there’s approximately 4,200 different religions- IDK: Religions, yes. Rob Markman: … In the world. Talk about just putting that together, does
it really come like that? In terms of, and it sounds foolish, we hear
the album in a certain order. I’m not assuming it’s created in that order,
but everything kind of falls into place so perfectly. IDK: So, here’s one thing. When you don’t get an album’s concept, a lot
of artists say, “Oh, you don’t get the album’s concept, so you don’t know how good this album
is.” That’s not how it should go. At the end of the day, it’s about the music. That’s the number one thing, right? When I put the project together, sonically,
I try to make sure that the instrumental makes sense together next to each other. I’m diverse. I don’t really like to make one type of sound. I’m not trying to be in a box ever. I know that, because I can jump from a song
like “42 Hundred,” and then do a song like December, things have to make sense with
the song before and after in order for it to feel right. IDK: When I’m thinking about the instrumentals,
I’m thinking about which instrumentals make sense sonically first, then lyrically, which
songs makes sense next to each other. If I don’t have this particular song, what
makes sense to put right here? What do I have to write? What do I need to do, to make this whole thing
come full circle? You know what I mean? That’s how I usually do it. Rob Markman: Then, the visuals play into it. A visual like “24,” there’s a lot of religious
imagery. There’s the apple, there’s the snake. There’s the reference to Matthew 6:24. What inspired the song and the video for “24”? IDK: “24,” let me break it down for you. Rob Markman: Let’s go. IDK: My mother’s name is Julia. Her last name is Lynch. “24” is short for Matthew 6:24. My mother’s last name is Lynch, like I said. I keep saying, “Run it back, run it back,
run it back.” Run it back, “24,” Lynch, Marshawn Lynch. See what I’m saying? But Matthew 6:24 is what it really all boils
down to, which is you’re basically … Let me break it down. I can’t say word for word the quote, but the
Bible quote basically says you cannot serve two masters, God and money. You have to pick one. That whole song is about money. It’s choosing to go that route. You feel what I’m saying? IDK: With all of the religious references
and things like that, that’s to hopefully spark some idea that there’s something deeper
than a song about running it back and money. That’s all that’s there for. For people to go and want to dig into it,
you know what I mean? Rob Markman: I’m going to jump ahead a little
bit, because again, I’m assuming if you’re watching this, you heard the album, and you
enjoy it to whatever degree. There’s deeper meanings, deeper discussion,
the eye opening shit, talking to the creator of what we’re fucking with already. You mentioned your mom Julia, rest in peace. IDK: R.I.P. Rob Markman: She’s a driving force for this
album and we get to a revelation towards the end. On “Julia…” we learn, and that’s a deeply
personal song. I read something where you said that you had
to kick everybody out when you wrote that song, and you could only do it in one take,
because you couldn’t muster the energy to do it twice. It’s a story, and then at the very end we
learn that your mother passed away from AIDS. Even at the time, you didn’t know that. You had to find that out after the fact of
what she really passed away from. How did you decide to share something so personal? IDK: Honestly, I always knew I was going to
write it. For me, my therapy is writing music. It’s not so much like I want to be the richest
person in the world. That’s why I’m making … It starts off as
therapy, but I never found the right instrumental and I knew it was special, it had to feel
special. When I heard that instrumental, shout out
to Thelonious Martin, he made it and originally it had drums in it. I was like, “Yo, take the drums out and send
this back to me.” He sent it to me. I remember I pulled up in my car, listening
to it, and I pulled up to the driveway. I sat down. I listened to it. I started tearing up, because it invoked some
type of emotion that no instrumental has ever done that to me. I was like, “It’s time.” IDK: So, I started writing it, writing it,
writing the story, everything, what I wanted to lead into. Then when I got to that part, it was hard,
man. I knew. I was like, “All right, I got to record this
someday. Going to figure this out.” When I did it, it was like nobody really knew. I didn’t want them to hear me say it for the
first time, trying to record it. I didn’t know I was going to do it in one
take. I was just like, “I don’t know.” I rapped it, rapped it, rapped it, rapped
it, got to that part and just said it. My engineer was just like, “Oh shit.” That’s kind of how, you know what I mean? Rob Markman: There’s power in that, man. I think fans will hear it, who are going through
something, maybe even not the same, but similar situation. It’s a release in a lot of ways. That’s a voice for- IDK: 100%. Rob Markman: … A lot of folks. IDK: 100%. Rob Markman: It gets deeper, right? Because Michael, What The TF comes right before
it. It really kind of tells a story. I just wanted to go through this lyric real
quick. This is just to illustrate the depth of this
story, and the scars that it caused. IDK: Yeah, 100%. Rob Markman: “My stepfather texted me and
told me that my mom had died. Ain’t had the balls for a call. Now he just taking the house and the wealth,
keep the life insurance bread for himself, had the nerve to move a bitch in the house,
and tell my grandma and grandpa, he kicking them out.” But what we find out in “Julia…” is
that your mom contracted AIDS or HIV which turns into AIDS through your step pop. IDK: Yeah. So, that’s what I heard from my aunt. And with that whole situation, the sad part
was most of that stuff happened after my mother passed and I kind of understood what was going
on. Unfortunately, that’s the way… I guess that’s life. You feel me? That’s how I look at it. I have to learn from it and move on from it. I don’t feel like there’s a weight over my
shoulder anymore. When it first happened, it was somewhat confusing
because I known my family for so long, known my stepfather so long, and it just shows you,
you might not know somebody the whole time you been… 23 years. Was it 20, however long? Rob Markman: How old were you when she passed? IDK: I was like 25. Rob Markman: Okay. IDK: She just passed. It wasn’t that long. Rob Markman: Oh, it wasn’t that long ago. Wow, man. My condolences, for real. IDK: It’s all good. Rob Markman: When’s the last time you spoke
to your step… Is there even a relationship there? Can there be a relationship there at this
point? IDK: For me, I’m a forgiving person. If someone can genuinely speak to me and be
honest and show that they have remorse, it’s bad. That’s like my weakest point probably. I mean, probably strongest in a sense. My ability to forgive is very strong. You feel me? So, I’m not sitting here and saying, I’ll
never forget, I’ll never, da, da, da, hate you forever. It’s never that. You know what I mean? It takes a lot. Rob Markman: It takes a lot. IDK: It takes a lot. Rob Markman: I’ll be honest and I see myself
as a pretty forgiving person, I couldn’t- IDK: Forgive that. Rob Markman: I don’t know if I could, you
know what I’m saying? IDK: It’s a lot. That’s what I’m saying that’s a lot. And forgiving and forgetting are two different
things. You feel me? And that’s what people need to fully understand
when they’re dealing with the concept of having to forgive, you know? Rob Markman: And this plays all into obviously
deeply personal. And I thank you for sharing because I know
too, from an artist’s perspective it may be easier to say this in the booth and kick everybody
out and then sit here and talk to me about it with all these cameras here. IDK: Right, right, right. Rob Markman: So I thank you for that. You know what I’m saying? IDK: I appreciate you taking the time to really
listen and want to ask that. Rob Markman: Yeah. No, for sure. But, it also plays again into the theme of
the album, because I hear that and that might make me question, even though that I believe
in God and I believe in a higher power but- IDK: Exactly. Rob Markman: Is he real? Those are moments when you might question
things. IDK: On “Julia…” it’s very low. But if you listen, every line that I say,
especially in the beginning, I asked, where’s God, in the background? Say, where’s God? Where’s God? Where’s God? Where’s God? Where’s God? It’s like all of these things happening, where’s
God? Where’s God here? Where’s God when this happens? Where’s God when this person goes through
this? Where’s God when this happens? Where’s God when my mom died? And that’s what I want people to understand. Rob Markman: So it’s funny, well, not funny,
but it’s interesting and you talk about the ad lib, “where’s God” on “Julia…” IDK: Yes. Rob Markman: When we talk about this questioning,
is he real, right? IDK: Yeah. Rob Markman: But on a song like “Lilly,”
in the background, I noticed tucked under, there’s the ad lib of “devil,” “devil”
that keeps repeating itself. IDK: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Rob Markman: So, there’s these things really
tucked under that are very deliberate. IDK: Right. Everything… That’s what I tried to say, listen, if you
think anything doesn’t make sense in the album, just listen to it. Really listen to it, look at the name, look
at the title, everything. You know what I mean? Rob Markman: Right. You know, what’s my favorite song on the album? Again, just being a hip hop head, a song like
“Porno” IDK: I knew he was going to say that. Rob Markman: To me- IDK: I already know. Rob Markman: I feel like you made that song
for me. But it’s dope because there’s a whole bunch
of stuff on, there’s a whole bunch of samples, there’s features, there’s things that come
in and out of the record that if you put it on paper, it doesn’t look like it makes sense. I mean everything from Pusha T to JID, to
adult actress, Kapri Styles is on there. Then there’s samples from A Tribe Called Quest,
The Roots, Milk Bone, if you know anything about that Jay Z and Big L famous freestyle,
that’s on there, down to the Spice Girls, like little references. And you put it all together and mix it up
and it becomes this one song. And how do you go about putting that together? IDK: First of all, you say all of that, welcome
to IDK’s world. If you listen to me, just understand my world
is a bunch of things that don’t make sense, and let me get into that real quick. You know why? I grew up middle class, in a good neighborhood,
both my parents went to college. I went to a really bad school. I did a lot of bad things. I’m the first person in my family going to
go to jail. I went to state prison. I went jail three times, and I went to state
prison once. I went to state prison and college in the
same year. I used to do tattoos in class. I used to skateboard at one point in my life. I used to sell cars on Craigslist. I used to fix cars. My life has always been a bunch of shit that
just don’t make sense together. IDK: It’s like how did you do all of this
shit? And that’s the reflection of the way my music
is. It’s a bunch of things that normally wouldn’t
make sense together, but when I do them, I just know how to put it together. So boom “Porno,” that’s an example of
my life. All these different things, all of these different
elements and all these things put together in one song. You know what I mean? I loved making that song. That’s probably, I had the most fun. I had trouble with the hook. I was trying to figure out the hook and I
thought a lot more than I normally would think about a hook. And originally we did the Spice Girls thing,
the sample didn’t get cleared. I had to fly Kapri right back out. Rob Markman: Because why would they go there,
it’s like? IDK: Yo, I thought I had a chance. Rob Markman: Why would they? IDK: I was like, yo, this shit’s hard. Fuck it. Nah, I didn’t get cleared, and then we re-did
it, and I rewrote it, and had Kapri come back and do that again. And then when I heard it after it was done,
it was like my favorite thing. Because the way it comes in, you thinking
it’s going to be one way, then it switches up. Then it comes back, and I say all of this
stuff about porn and all that to say that I was exposed to porn at the age of 6. Rob Markman: At the age of 6. IDK: You feel it? Most people I know in this generation been
exposed to porn early. Rob Markman: Well, it’s just so funny because
it is right there for you. I remember my generation before the internet,
damn I sound so old. But you had to go get a magazine, or get somebody
to pay for the dirty channel or get a tape from somebody. You had to go out your way- IDK: To get that. Rob Markman: To really get it and plan how
you was going to do it and not let your parents find out. IDK: Hell yeah. Now it’s on Instagram. I really have a Onlyfans account, I don’t
do nothing on it though. Rob Markman: That’s a whole different conversation. IDK: Another conversation, you feel me? Rob Markman: Your publishing must look like
hell on this track. I ain’t gonna lie. IDK: No, that I knew I was going to sacrifice
that to the hip hop gods. When I made that joint, I was like, well,
it doesn’t sound like a single to me anyway, so… And low and behold, it’s like one of the most
streamed songs on the album. Rob Markman: For sure. I mean, how do you approach Pusha T, or JID,
or- IDK: I just hit them. Rob Markman: Just hit them. IDK: I just hit them. Rob Markman: It makes sense to them right
away, you know what I’m saying? IDK: Yeah. Easy. I DMed Push and then I just said, “hey bro,
got this song, think you sound good on it. What’s your number?: And he gave me the number,
texted him the song. He didn’t respond back. He’s like, alright, I’m going to listen. He didn’t respond back. And usually when you don’t get the response
back, it’s like, I don’t want to tell you I don’t like this, sometimes. I didn’t get the response back. I was like, damn, maybe he ain’t… But there’s no way, he got to fuck with this,
come on. And then the next day or two days later I
was like, yo, did you get a chance to listen? He’s like, hell yeah, I’m on it. It’s done. I’m like, this shit is crazy. I’m like, alright. Bet. And that was one dude, he said he was going
to do it and he did it. I didn’t really have to remind him too much
and none of that. I respect him for that. Another person, Tyler, actually was going
to be on that song. Rob Markman: I remember, yeah. IDK: Yeah, Tyler was going to be on it. It was right after ‘Igor’ came out. It was right before tour, and everything was
happening so fast and everything was coming together and he came over. But I didn’t, honestly, when he came over,
maybe it was to do the verse, but we just ended up kicking it bro. I didn’t even care about whether we do the
song and all that. And then eventually JID sent his verse. I was going to try to squeeze both on. But also didn’t want to make the song longer,
so I wasn’t sure how I was going to put it together. Man, JID sent his shit. It was solidified and T hit me and was like,
man, I’m really trying to get this done but I got to go on tour this date. And I was like, I got another idea and that’s
how he came up with the other thing. Rob Markman: “I do me…you do you” where
it’s just a conversation between you and Tyler. IDK: Yes, and honestly I think, because obviously
we’ll work in the future. So, that’s cool. I think what we did end up doing, I liked
that a little bit more because I felt like he was in a place that no one’s ever really
seen him in, when he did that. I didn’t expect him to say that. When I asked him about God, I thought he was
going to be like, “man this shit’s fucking stupid.” He was actually like, he believed in a higher
power- Rob Markman: Again, because he’s been so… In the similar way, what I said about you
in the beginning, he challenges everything. IDK: Yes. Rob Markman: And sometimes, he’ll just go
all the way with it. But yeah, it felt like a real conversation. I had to rewind, I’m like “yo, is that Tyler?” Because you recognize the voice, but you might
not recognize the mood or the sentiment as quickly. IDK: Yeah. That’s why I didn’t want to put… Man, you all got me though, man. Y’all niggas knew the fucking track list in
the features before the album came out. Rob Markman: That wasn’t me. IDK: I’m like, “how the fuck did these niggas…” I was trying to conceal that. I just wanted niggas to listen and shit. Rob Markman: You’re talking about Genius. It wasn’t me, I swear. IDK: No, no, no, no, no. I’m not saying you. Rob Markman: No, no. But it’s weird because again, we have the
community who really- IDK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, they on it. Rob Markman: They’re investigative. IDK: Listen, man- Rob Markman: But I know I got to hear the
album early. I didn’t want you to think that I leaked the
album. IDK: I knew for sure it wasn’t you. IDK: I knew it was the dudes… I respect y’all though. Because you all make the world go around over
here. You feel me? So, it’s all good. I ain’t mad at it, but damn you all got me,
man. You all spilled the beans on my ass. Rob Markman: One thing that I did spill the
beans on, you had actually talked about it, on the original version of the album, there’s
a Frank Ocean sample that you tweeted about that you couldn’t get cleared, you couldn’t
get it done. Can you kind of explain the situation? Because that was cool too. Because just to preface when you played the
album for us originally, you didn’t say anything. We didn’t get the name of tracks, we didn’t
get features. It was none of that. It was just kind of like just listen and make
your own decision. And it was a moment, it was like “yo, is
that Frank?” Oh wow, you know what I’m saying? IDK: So, with that whole thing, man, with
Frank, man… So, to clarify it, it was an unreleased verse,
but technically a sample. You feel what I’m saying? And it was done. It was on “Julia…” at the end. It was like beautiful man, beautiful. Everything was perfect. And so a lot of people probably would’ve heard
it and maybe listed it as a feature. You feel what I’m saying? But it was really an unreleased verse. But the way it was done, that would be considered
a sample. Rob Markman: Because he didn’t record it for
the intention of that song, you had to take it from another record and apply it to yours. IDK: Basically, basically. And what happened was, it’s like, time to
get it cleared, time to get it cleared, and it’s getting closer and closer. I feel like it was the week… It was the day I had the LA listening. Dan, his manager, DM’ed me, was like, “yo,
I understand you’re trying to get this da, da, da, woo, woo, woo. Yeah, what’s the word, what you’re trying
to do, blah, blah, blah, da, da, da.” And I’m like, “oh, this is crazy.” We’ve been trying to… So, sent him over the song and then he actually
heard the whole album and everything. We were waiting, waiting for the answer and
time was cutting down, time was cutting down, and it was like the last minute, we had to
make a decision. It’s either not put this out with that on
there or try to think we can replace the album. IDK: But the problem is the edit. It adds more time to the album. So it’s not easy to swap in DSPs. If it was the same exact time, then you could
swap the audio out no problem. But you couldn’t do it if it was a longer
song. If the song was longer, it made the song longer. So, it was like, you know what, it’s all good. It was beautiful, but it doesn’t make or break
the song. It just adds, you know what I’m saying? And the day of is when we heard something
back, but by that time it just was like whatever. Rob Markman: Did he say yes? IDK: It wasn’t a yes. It wasn’t a yes, but it was more like, nigga
see what we doing? Like fucking with it. It could have been a more of a conversation,
but it was kind of dead, you know what I’m saying? Rob Markman: I mean, he’s the type of guy
that moves, like you, very deliberately, and has a clear vision for himself. IDK: And I respect that about him and that’s
what people respect about him. And, there’ll be hopefully something in the
future. Like it ain’t nothing to be worried about. Rob Markman: Nah, and it’s dope. And one thing I think, because of the magnitude
of Frank, might’ve worked out better this way because again, because I heard the version
with Frank and you’re like, “oh wow, okay, new Frank Ocean.” But, I love the way that album ends, because
it’s just you. IDK: Right, right. Rob Markman: You know what I’m saying? It draws me closer to you, without, you know
what I’m saying? IDK: Right. A hundred percent, yeah. Rob Markman: Nah, that’s dope. Yeah, man. Let’s get into the shits. “Digital.” There’s so much here, just I think about the
hypocrisy of our system, and justice, and what does justice really mean and… And you know, “cop killing me, that’s not
a crime, I sell weed, I’m doing five. IDK: Yeah. Yeah. When I was in jail, it was a lot of people
in jail for five years for weed. And I’m like, yo, so a cop could kill me,
and that’s not a crime, but if I sell weed, I could do five years? It’s crazy. Rob Markman: Which is, slowly with each state
becoming legal, so there’s also a lot of people- IDK: Now it’s getting better. Rob Markman: There’s a lot, but there’s still
a lot of people serving time for weed offenses. When in a lot of states, it’s not even- IDK: That song is when I take the idea of
faith in God and believing in a higher power and bring it back to reality, and my reality,
and what I had to deal with, and how I overcame that without God. It’s like me saying, “okay, I went to jail,
I did this, I did that, but now I’m good.” I went and did all these things, but now I’m
a good boy. Used to be bad. And I also say like “nine times out of ten,
he going to die. He going to go to jail, let’s not pretend. Everybody starts as a kid with a pure heart,
then they turn to him. Mama died, Papa died, all a nigga know is
sin. Traumatize, feeling jeopardized, he just wants
to win.” It’s like, everything that is supposed to
be bad is making me who I am, and I turn it around and become something. Again, where’s God? You know what I’m saying? That’s literally what that whole thing is
about. Rob Markman: Well, I feel like though, too,
again, just even the cop killing, we see it every day. I think so much of the courtroom, too, there’s
that hint of like swearing on the Bible- IDK: Right. Yes. Rob Markman: … before you take the stand. There’s God and there’s religion in the courtroom,
and where is He? Where’s the justice? Where’s the God… We just seen a Dallas police officer who killed
a black man in his own apartment, Botham Jean, and she got sentenced. But then, I mean, we just see this other killing
right now, Atatiana Jefferson getting killed in her house, and we always have the… Like, are we going to get justice? And then if we get justice, is the justice
even sufficient, or does it match the crime? IDK: Yeah. Rob Markman: And we’re taught that God is
in the courtroom and God is somehow a part of justice, but I don’t know. IDK: Yeah, that’s very real, and I feel like
it’s in a lot of the things that we do. We incorporate the concept of God and religion
not knowing that it doesn’t matter to certain people, and they’re still going to go on that
stand and lie. It doesn’t matter. You know what I mean? Rob Markman: What do you think on a song like
“Cable,” where you rap, “Why every time I see a white person, I question myself? Am I going to scare him because I’m black? When I put the white voice on and ask him
for directions, he gives it to me with a dap.” IDK: There’s so many times, when I was younger,
now I don’t care as much, where I would feel like if I walk up to this white guy, I feel
like I’m too intimidating to just be able to walk up to this guy and ask him a simple
question. So, I have to change my posture. I have to change the way that I present myself
to him, and I got to come at him with this. “Yeah. Hey sir, is there a way you could tell me
how to get to 4th Street?” Rob Markman: Right. IDK: And he’s like, “Oh no, it’s cool. Just go right there.” And dap me up. I’m like prepared for racism or to be judged
before I even get into the situation, and sometimes I’m accurate. Sometimes it’s like, “Nigga,” they’re definitely
looking at me a certain way, but there’s a lot of times when it’s not the case. But then I turn around and say, “The problem
is basically because I didn’t have to do that, but damn man, at the same time I could make
this wrong turn, go to this gas station somewhere in Mississippi at night not knowing what the
fuck is going…” You know what I’m saying? Just to pump my gas. I can really, in this day and age, this really
can happen. I can really get lynched still. Rob Markman: Right. IDK: For real. It doesn’t happen every single day, and it’s
not like… But the fact that it can happen, that’s crazy
just for being black. Rob Markman: Right. IDK: So, of course I’m having my guard up,
nigga. You ain’t getting in the ring with Tyson and
don’t put your guard up. You know what I’m saying? Rob Markman: Still you seen 50-year-old Tyson
out there on the ‘Gram. He’s still got it. IDK: Yeah, he’s still got it. Rob Markman: And that’s what I appreciate
about this album is the potency of the message and how we exist in this kind of philosophical
realm of religion. A lot of it is heady and in your head, but
a lot of it is based off of real life experiences. IDK: 100%. Rob Markman: So, you toe that line really
great. IDK: Right, right. I like to say, in this album I play Devil’s
Advocate and Angel’s Advocate. I’m playing both sides. Rob Markman: I like that Angel’s Advocate. IDK: Yeah. I’m the type of nigga, to be honest, I couldn’t
go somewhere and argue about something on both sides equally. I can see other people’s point of view, like
when it comes to things like racism and even be able to put that song together that way
is literally both sides because there’s a lot of racist people that are… white people
that are like, don’t give a fuck and dah, dah, dah. And there’s a lot of people that that are
cool as shit and they don’t want to cause no problems, and they respect us and they
want to show us that they got love for us. You know what I’m saying? I feel like, in our society, we’re trained
to say, “Fuck these niggas. Fuck all these… They hate us. All of them hate us. We…” And I understand why, obviously, the shit
we went through, but I just know that the solution is going to be when we understand
that that’s not the way we have to be. We got to get it out of our system now probably
for a little bit, but once we get it out of our system and we can see clearly what we
need to do, that’s when the real change is going to happen. You feel me? Rob Markman: Hopefully sooner than later,
man. IDK: I hope so. I hope so. Rob Markman: We need it. Again, man, I want to applaud you on this
album. It’s a dope hip-hop album. IDK: Thank you. Rob Markman: That feels very 2019, 2020, and
it brings me to last thing I wanted to discuss with you. You put out this list of the 30 greatest rap
albums of all time, and it’s interesting because you could always tell by somebody’s taste,
like I relate to people based off of… And, I mean, you didn’t put it in order. First, I thought you put it in order in, and
then me and you was gonna argue. Because I was like, “I can’t play Angel’s
Advocate on this,” but I mean, records like 50 Cent, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’,’ ‘Me
Against the World,’ Tupac, both of Biggie’s albums, a bunch of Kanye albums including
‘Late Registration,’ ‘College Dropout,’ ‘808s,’ ‘Graduation.’ You got damn near every Kanye album on here. And Kendrick Lamar, ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.’ What are the ingredients, A Tribe Called Quest,
‘Midnight Marauders,’ there’s some Dr. Dre here, what makes a great album to you? Do you take this list into consideration when
making your own? IDK: Not so much because it’s like I’m trying
to bend the rules a little bit, and I think all of those albums were bending the rules. You feel what I’m saying? That made them what they were. Let me start out by saying, the biggest rap
album of our generation, period, is ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’.’ Rob Markman: That’s a fact. IDK: I remember being in the fourth grade,
that was the last album I can fully remember every fucking body had. Doesn’t matter who you are, you had that album. Everybody had that album. Remember that? Rob Markman: Yeah. IDK: So, that’s that. I think the last classic rap album, and because
you got to give music time, was Kendrick Lamar ‘Good Kid, M.A.AD City.’ That was the last classic so far. There’s things that’s come out that can become
classics, but that was the last one. You feel me? Rob Markman: Like undisputed. Undeniable. IDK: Right. Because it had time, it had time. People were like, “Where’s ‘To Pimp a
Butterfly?’” I didn’t put that in the top. My top, was it 40? Rob Markman: 30. IDK: 30. I didn’t put that in my top 30. I think it’s his greatest album sonically- Rob Markman: ‘To Pimp a Butterfly.’ IDK: Yes, I love that album, but I just don’t
think it was that statement like how ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City’ was in terms of the culture. You know what I’m saying? And it was more like an artsy thing where,
a nigga like me, I’m going to enjoy that and things like that. So, that’s why I didn’t put that in the top
30. Everything that goes into making a great album,
it’s hard to explain it, but a lot of it is how good it was, how unique it was for that
time, what type of impact it had. You know what I’m saying? And basically, how it put that artist on,
basically. You get what I’m saying? Or those artists. IDK: So, the other thing a lot of people were
mad about was like, “Yo, where’s Slick Rick and ‘The Adventures of Slick Rick?’” and
all these things. And the only reason why I didn’t put the older
rap albums on there is because of the fact that today just we have to be real. They didn’t age like how some of these albums
are. So, those albums are the foundation, period. I will never dispute that. I was just listening to Slick Rick the other
day. I’m like, “This is one of the greatest songs
ever.” “Young World”? Rob Markman: Yeah, “Hey young world the
world is yours.” IDK: “Hey Young World.” Yeah. I love song. I love a lot of the old stuff. I actually go back to things. But are they playing right now? Are the kids still… Do they know about these things? Rob Markman: Though, I will argue, and I think
you’re right, and plus, you had to be there to experience it. IDK: Right. Rob Markman: I’d argue, now that I think about
it, when you say that song, like “Porno,” And Slick Rick’s shit was X-rated. It was called “Children’s Story,” but
it wasn’t for kids. You know what I’m saying? And I think that there’s a DNA, there’s a
shift that happens when Slick Rick comes with ‘The Great Adventures of Slick Rick’ and
the way he’s able to put that adult content in there that makes a song like “Porno”
even possible. You know what I’m saying? IDK: Exactly. And that’s what I say. If you want to say top 30 most influential
albums, now we got to go back. You feel what I’m saying? Now we got to go back to the Melle Mels, now
we’ve got to go back to all of the Rakims You know what I’m saying? We got to go back to that. But as far as what is aging and still relevant
to this day, it didn’t really start to become as timeless until the early to mid ’90s, and
that’s why a lot of my list is around there. You feel what I’m saying? Rob Markman: I respect that. There’s no album that I don’t agree with,
man, which makes it not fun because then we don’t get to argue. But I respect it. Last thing I want to do with you. IDK: Yeah. Rob Markman: Before we get out of here, I
do this with every guest, I put them on the spot at the end, and ask them to rap me a
verse acapella but not one of yours. IDK: Ooh. Rob Markman: Something that inspired you coming
up. IDK: I was just doing this the other day,
man. The only thing is, I might fuck up some words. Rob Markman: Of course. That’s the fun of it. IDK: All right. Boom. Ayo, the bottom line is I’m a crook with a
deal. If my record don’t sell, I’ma rob and steal. You better recognize nigga, I’m straight from
the streets because in the street, niggas is starting to look like something to eat. What was it? Rob Kim tell Puff you want to see her again? Bend your ass down to the nearest ATM. I had dreams of fucking an R&B bitch, but
I woke up early and bounced with all this shit. When I apply pressure, son it ain’t even funny. About to stick Bobby for some of that Whitney
money. Brian McKnight, I could get the nigga anytime. I have Keith sweating, staring at a barrel
of my nine. Since them Harlem world, niggas seem to all
be… What is he saying? Found? Rob Markman: No, it looked liked something
to eat, right? IDK: Since them Harlem world niggas all seem
to be fam, I tell a nigga, “Goddamn tell him “tell your man.” Mason Betha. Come up off that watch, now. I mean, right now, the only excuse for being
broke is being in jail an entertainer can’t make bail. He’s broke as hell. I’ll rob ODB, but that’d be a waste of time. Probably have to clap him run and toss the
nine. I follow Fox in the drop for four blocks. Get some of that money from that new corrupt
cop. What Jigga just sold, like 4 milli? That’s something to live for. Don’t want a nigga putting four on that
Bentley coupe door, or something like that. Rob Markman: Yeah. IDK: Fuck. The best part was the Fat Joe joint. No, hold on, hold on. What’d he say? I rob Pun without a gun, snatch his piece
and run. This nigga weigh 400 pounds. How you gonna catch me, son? Rob Markman: That’s hard, man. IDK: Yeah, yeah. Rob Markman: That’s that 50 cent “how to
rob,” man IDK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Rob Markman: Yo, IDK, man, I just wanted to
have some fun, man. It ain’t even about getting it right. It’s just, I think, getting in the mind of
getting everybody in this culture, in this industry, to be fans again. Because I think everybody turns into critics. And I think you have a lot of fans, but I
think that’s because you’re a fan of the culture that came before you and what’s around you
and that’s why you put so much shit into this album, man. But I’m glad we got here to chop it up, man. IDK: Thank you. Rob Markman: I know there’s so much more,
there’s so much that we didn’t unturn or whatever, but I think this is a good start to get people
to start listening to the album and getting reexamine it and rediscovering things that
they might not have caught the first, second, third, fourth time. IDK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And listen, I’m not here to give everything
away because it’s part of longevity is being able to find these things over the course
of time. So, it’s cool that I got to do this with you. I said it before, I wasn’t really going to
get into all of this stuff. I wanted people to find it, but it’s cool. You got it out of me. Rob Markman: Nah, it’s me, dawg. IDK: You’re good at your job. You know how to do this. Rob Markman: Shout out to Rahel too, producing. Yeah. IDK: Yeah, yeah. I appreciate it. Rob Markman: Look, man, if you ain’t going
to come here, where are you going to come, man? IDK: You feel me? Rob Markman: But I appreciate you man. IDK: Thank you. Rob Markman: Good luck on the road. IDK: Thank you. I appreciate it. Rob Markman: You can catch IDK coming to your
city and definitely check out ‘Is He Real?’ I’m telling you, it’s the album that goes… Came out September 4th, I believe it was the
release date. IDK: Yes. Rob Markman: It’s an album that extends way
past that first week. I know a lot of times we listen to joints
for one week and put it down. Trust me, it’s going to be around for a minute,
man. This is For the Record though, man. Check us out next week. Talk to me in the comments, I talk back. IDK: All right. Rob Markman: Peace.

31 thoughts to “IDK Talks Turning Down G.O.O.D. Music Deal & Best Rap Albums Of All Time | For The Record”

  1. Don’t lie who’s reading the comments while watching the video😆😂
    (I make football and hilarious videos btw)
    (ROAD TO 3K)pls support me🙏

  2. Smart man. As much as I love Kanye and the GOOD music roster, they've fucked up the promotion for releases of talented artists signed to them. Keep it moving IDK

  3. IDK was smart on turning down that GOOD deal. Look at how they treated Kacy Hill, HXLT, CyHi, Desiigner, Teyana's last album. Big Sean being pushed back too I heard. You think you got yourself a deal since youre on the same roster as Pusha, Kanye etc. but really they'll forget about you.

  4. i’ve listened to IS HE REAL? 3 times and i’m still finding new things and new easter eggs “da vinci code” for real

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