The last line sent me and a couple friends into a frenzy, searching for all clues we could find across their newest releases – coincidentally, or not, on the same day.
The first thing we noticed was the album covers on three of JID’s singles: “Ballads” featuring Conway the Machine, “Skegee,” and most recently, “Surround Sound” featuring 21 Savage and Baby Tate. On “Ballads,” Chapter I is seen next to the title, and on “Surround Sound” it says Chapter III. While Skegee shows no markings, all three use distinctly similar fonts, and the S used in “Skegee” and “Surround Sound” are the same. JID confirmed this connection on his Instagram story, reposting someone else who found this. JID isn’t unfamiliar with themes like this, as his album DiCaprio 2 takes on the style of a playscript.
Furthermore, if you zoom in on the “Ballads” and “Surround Sound” cover you can see mysterious figures with fully white eyes.
This seems to indicate that all of these tracks, the earliest dating back to February 5th, 2021, are part of the rollout of JID’s upcoming project rumored to be titled The Forever Story. A potential theory is that all three tracks represent a geography theme for the album, with each track on the album being about a different city. “Ballads” sees Conway reference his hometown of Buffalo, New York. “Skegee” is about the racist experiments taken place in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1932 – the same city JID was later recruited to play football for in college. “Surround Sound” includes a marking on the cover saying “Welcome to East Atlanta” as JID recruits two other rappers from his hometown to be on the track: Baby Tate and 21 Savage.
How about the connection with EARTHGANG? Barry Hefner also revealed this on his Twitter about how their past releases have intertwined:
The duo and JID formed Spillage Village together back in 2010 and have since grown to include 6lack, Mereba, Hollywood JB, JurdanBryant, and Benji. The group’s 2020 album Spilligion has two elements that have since reappeared on JID’s and EARTHGANG’S releases – Johnny Vensus’s, who is half of EARTHGANG, and JID’s chains.
They both have real life versions of the chains and have been pictured wearing it a lot. JID’s chain is of the Fred Lozano designed character for his “EdEddnEddy” video:
Johnny Venus’s chain is the Eye of Horus. Both of these chains are worn by them on the cover of Spilligion, and then again by JID on “Surround Sound” and by a young boy on EARTHGANG’S “All Eyes On Me.”
Interestingly, as Fred Lozano revealed, the third draft of the Spilligion album cover did not feature Johnny Vensus’s chain. It did, however, include it in the final draft, and again on each of the later released single covers, implying that it was purposefully added in. JID’s chain was included from the beginning. Whether or not this is a coincidence is unclear.
The final link between the Spillage Village founders can be seen in the teaser video for “All Eyes On Me” and the cover of “Surround Sound.” In the teaser, the young girl from the cover of their previous single “American Horror Story” releases a white dove into the sky, which splits into three. “Surround Sound” pictures three doves at the top of the cover.
We will have to wait and see what this all means, as EARTHGANG’s Ghetto Gods releases January 28, and it certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise to see The Forever Story drop on the same date. In the meantime, listen to their new singles, out now: