IDK: F65 review – lush, sprawling soundscapes

The lyrics matter less than the music on the British-American rapper’s overlong but sumptuous jazz-inflected third album

Most of the music of the British-born, Maryland-raised artist Jason Mills, who performs as IDK, falls under the umbrella of rap. Over the past decade he has worked with Kaytranada and Denzel Curry, using a broad palette of sonics and delivery styles and garnering comparisons with early Kendrick Lamar and the melodic rap end of Frank Ocean’s oeuvre. While IDK stands for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge, Mills doesn’t necessarily address weighty themes; often he makes party tracks.

F65, the 30-year-old’s sprawling, 22-track third album, features sumptuous jazz and soul, colourful rap and slightly played-out, choppy trap. . While ostensibly it’s an examination of “the human race”, the sound of F65 is more impressive than the storytelling. Yes, there’s a sweet piano number jarringly juxtaposed with lyrics about police abuses of power, and elsewhere nods to relationships and IDK’s hometown, but the standouts are the lush soundscapes of Télé Couleur and the silky beauty of the Musiq Soulchild–featuring Superwoman. Perhaps the rapper enjoys offering something for everyone, but F65 would have benefited from him providing a more robust sense of who he is.

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