Rapper Jay IDK had an epiphany while incarcerated at age 17.
He wanted to be famous.
“I knew I wanted to be someone great,” says Jay IDK, U.K.-born Jason Mills. “I wanted to do something that included being famous. I always thought I had a super power or something.”
Until 2012, he didn’t believe his dreams would lead to music.
“That year, I was just bored and started writing music,” he says. “I wondered how it was going to sound, and what people were going to think about it. So I started putting out music every Sunday. I had a decent amount of views and feedback, so I focused on that.”
Jay IDK, which stands for “ignorantly delivering knowledge,” is touring in support of his critically acclaimed album IWASVERYBAD. He’ll open for A$AP Ferg and Denzel Curry on Wednesday, March 14, at The Van Buren.
IWASVERYBAD tells the 25-year-old’s story—his move to the United States at age 2, the loss of his mother, and his stormy adolescence. Featuring guest appearances from Chief Keef, Swizz Beatz, DOOM, Del The Funky Homosapien, Mother Marygold and more, IWASVERYBAD is centered around the lead single “Pizza Shop” with Yung Gleesh. Expect to hear a most of the album’s cuts at The Van Buren.
“The show will be the first time I’m performing this set,” Jay IDK says. “I’ve been performing the same set for one to one and a half years. This is totally different. I’m playing a lot of new music. I don’t know if I’m performing anything old, really.”
Jay IDK is flattered he was asked to tag along on A$AP Ferg’s tour, and thrilled by the IWASVERYBAD’s positive reviews. There’s a simple answer for his success.
“I think I just have the drive, the passion and the talent,” he says. “It’s really a combination of things. Everybody’s path is different. If you really want something, you’ll figure out how. If you’re not figuring it out, you don’t really want it.”
A$AP, Denzel Curry and IDK, The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, thevanburenphx.com, 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, $30-$125.