Of the new project, IDK said, “There’s a neighborhood in my city called “Simple City”. It gets its name because you can get killed for any simple reason. Simple City is also the birthplace of Marvin Gaye. I wanted to tell the story of Simple City in a way that it’s never been told before. From drug abuse to crime and murder, I wanted to cover what it feels like to be from Simple City and teach the world that the fix to helping disadvantaged Black communities isn’t as simple as you think. The way people view our mentalities is a straightforward thing. There’s a lot of depth and it should be handled with care. I wanted to create a project where people can ‘dance to real shit’”.
Simple. is IDK’s first full-length rap project helmed entirely by Kaytranada, who has brought his trademark groove to collaborations across the pop spectrum, from Snoop Dogg and Pharrell to Mary J. Blige and The Internet. IDK, a consummate musical omnivore stretches Kaytranada into new creative territory. Nowhere is that clearer on songs like “Breathe” where nocturnal R&B collides with moody ’80s synthpop. “Lemme catch my breath,” he coos lightly, while later on “The Code” IDK unloads sharp bars over a piano-led beat that recalls Kanye’s Graduation era. But the house-hop romps that fans are waiting to soundtrack their summer are here, too.
IDK will be celebrating Simple. with a special NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert featuring veteran hip-hop producer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Dean on May 18th.