JID’s Finally Got a Hit on His Hands With ‘Surround Sound’

After more than a decade on the mic, JID finally has a long overdue hit on his hands.

“Surround Sound” featuring Baby Tate and 21 Savage has been steadily climbing up the Billboard Hot 100 chart for months now. The track currently sits at No. 43, but hit No. 1 on the Rhythmic Airplay Chart on Tuesday (March 5), thanks largely in part to the Ceiling Challenge that took over TikTok last year.

How Did “Surround Sound” Blow Up?

The song, which appears on the Dreamville member’s 2022 album, The Forever Story, began to gain traction on the video-sharing app in late 2023. The challenge involves people taping their phones to the ceiling to produce a bird’s eye view effect as they dance to the track. The song, in turn, ruled the TikTok Billboard Top 50 chart for two weeks in December.

The solo hit, produced by Christo, DJ Scheme and Nurі, is a well-deserved accomplishment for JID, considering his lauded level of lyrical talent and how long it took to get to this point. About seven years on a more mainstream status. Born and raised in Atlanta, the 33-year-old rapper began making a name for himself after releasing 2012’s Route of Evil, 2013’s Para Tu and 2015’s DiCaprio before touring alongside Ab-Soul and EarthGang.

This tour caught the attention of J. Cole, who signed him to Dreamville in 2017. JID then built a good buzz with his debut album, The Never Story, specifically with songs “Never” and “EdEddnEddy,” later that year. From there, he was included in the 2018 XXL Freshman Class. People had a lot to say about the inclusion, and critics felt he was far too unknown to be placed on the cover.

“I love the question we get, what’s a JID? What’s a JID?” XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten told The Breakfast Club in 2018.

Read More: Here’s What Every XXL Freshman Class Has Brought to Hip-Hop

JID Continues to Rise After XXL Freshman Class

JID’s gradual ascension continued after Freshman. His performance of “Working Out” on the YouTube channel Colors went viral, with many rap fans comparing the young Atlanta rapper to a Kendrick Lamar-level talent. He linked with Imagine Dragons for their song “Enemy,” which hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2022. After that, his lyrical talents began to break through to rap fans everywhere. Despite the support, a chart-topping solo hit eluded JID. Even after the release of The Forever Story, his most anticipated project, the rapper admitted in interviews that he was disappointed by the reception of the project.

“Everything is really quick, so, it’s not really like rap,” JID said of the state of rap on the Throwing Fits podcast back in 2023. “People don’t really care about it as much. Even as it’s grown in popularity, it’s moving super fast and I don’t think people really care about … I think it’s more about being viral or being the first to get—I don’t know. I got a weird theory about it.”

Regardless of JID’s thoughts on virality, it seems going viral with “Surround Sound” has been very good to the Dreamville rapper thanks to the Ceiling Challenge. It’s a long overdue moment for a rapper who deserved it years ago.

Read More: J. Cole Wins Lyricist of the Year for XXL Awards 2024

Check out JID’s “Surround Sound” music video below.

Watch JID’s Surround Sound”

See Every XXL Freshman Class Over the Years