Welcome back, Hova. JAY-Z is back on top of the rap game, and he couldn’t have done it without No I.D., the producer behind ‘4:44.’ As fans celebrate JAY’s return, get to know all about the man they call No I.D.
1. He’s a hip-hop legend, hailing from Chicago. Born Ernest Dion Wilson in Chicago, Illinois the 46-year-old producing maestro known as No I.D. begun his career in the early 1990s as one half of a duo called Two Piece Dark, per Complex. As a rapper, he appeared as a guest tracks by Common, 45, in ’92 and 94, before releasing his debut album, Accept Your Own and Be Yourself in 1997. Though his career as a rapper didn’t take off as some of his contemporaries, No I.D. found that he had the golden touch as a producer, and his work over the past two decades has earned him the title of “The Godfather of Chicago Hip Hop.”
2. Jermaine Dupri gave a huge boost to No I.D.’s career. As a staple of the Chicago hip-hop scene, No I.D. worked a lot with Common in the early days, and connected with a teenage Kanye West. However, it was a MC from Atlanta that helped take his career for the next level. “[Kanye] got a record on Jermaine’s album with Nas on it,” No I.D. said while on a 214 episode of the Juan Epstein podcast. “I kinda knew Jermaine socially. I was sitting at home like “Why is he killing me financially? Why is he killing me? I think I’m pretty good.” No I.D. decided to be “humble” and ask for Jermaine’s help. The results? No I.D. is one of the most respected and sought-after producers in the game today.
3. No I.D. has been called Yeezy’s “Mentor.” Speaking of Kanye, 40, No I.D. has been credited as the man who helped launch Yeezy’s career. Kanye even gave No I.D. a shout out in songs like “Big Brother” and “Made In America,” though No I.D. has tried to remain humble about the whole experience. “I give to people when I don’t even have a reason to give to people. I gave to him and never asked for anything,” he told Complex. “I never wanted to even say that I was his mentor. I never once even said that. When you think about it, I never said, like, ‘Yeah I taught Kanye West.’ This is what he says. I always thought of myself as the male figure that he didn’t have growing up because his father wasn’t around.”
4. He’s worked with JAY-Z in the past. No I.D. is getting major props from fans that think Hova’s 4:44 record is one of the best in years. “We need to give No I.D. his roses while he can still smell [them],” one fan tweeted. “He’s one of the greatest producers of all time, but his name don’t get called.” However, this isn’t the first time these two teamed up. No I.D. produced two tracks on Hova’s American Gangster album, and has worked with Jay’s protégé, Rihanna, 29.
5. He’s been a record executive. When No I.D. is not running the rap world as a producer, he’s literally running the rap world as an executive. He’s the former president of Kanye’s GOOD Music record company. In 2011, he became the Executive Vice President of A&R for legendary hip-hop label Def Jam (which allowed him to launch his own label imprint, ARTium Recordings.) As of 2017, he’s the Executive Vice President. Nice.
What do you think about No I.D., HollywoodLifers?