A soft-spoken but intricate lyricist with a cocky side ("heard you're the best thing coming up / oh god I'm dying from laughter!"), J.I.D. raps in a way that's reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar if Kendrick were immersed in the creative Atlanta underground. J.I.D. grew up in East Atlanta and went to college at Hampton University with the other members of the Spillage Village collective, which includes fellow Atlantans and current roommates EarthGang. At Hampton, J.I.D. played football (corner, defensive back, kick return), which allowed him to travel the country and get a view of how the rest of the world saw his home city. While J.I.D.'s home of East Atlanta is best known in the rap world for birthing the more aggressive sound of trap music, J.I.D. tactfully points out that that image of his part of the city "is not everyone's reality." Nor, for that matter, is the broader impression of Atlanta rap true to his music: "From the outside-in, Atlanta is kind of perceived as like popcorn. People don't respect it as having artists such as myself and EarthGang and other lyrical talents and album-worthy artists" J.I.D. explains, noting that, while he personally appreciates his peers, he would like for his city to be seen as a home to actual talent and not just commercial hitmaking.