“Now I’m at a point where I can survive, so now I have to maintain…”
A couple of days before our interview was scheduled to take place, IDK put up a series of videos and photos on Instagram showing the world his brand new BMW. One caption read, “Just got my first car since I got out of jail. Just wanna say thank you to my team and my fans for making this possible. Mom and my Dad would be proud”.
When I Facetime IDK (Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge), real name Jason Mills, he’s sitting comfortably in his new vehicle, with a kevlar vest on and a juxtaposingly friendly smile. He explains to me what exactly the new purchase represents.
“It’s basically the beginning of my career as a successful artist, not just an artist trying to figure it out. Before I was literally working to survive, just to even be alive. So money was never a thing I even thought about. Now I’m at a point where I can survive, so now I have to maintain, so money is a lot more important now because I have to keep up with what I’m putting myself into financially. But I still have to have that same hunger of someone who doesn’t have everything.
“I’m getting my mindset for that new beginning in the next couple of weeks because in May I start recording.”
That record is now complete and you can listen to it below.
It’s a significant moment for an artist who certainly hasn’t had it easy during his 27 years on this planet. The stint in prison helped Mills to realise he needed a change in direction. That shift in mentality could have easily been hampered by the fact that his mother passed away when he was released, but he used the negative energy he was feeling to propel his career and focused his attention on having the perseverance to succeed.
“Believing in yourself is the first step, obviously, but patience is the hard part. That’s why you have to take the small wins. Say for you guys [District Magazine], you get the interview you want to get, or someone acknowledges you, or you get the right person on your cover. These little things help you keep going if you really want to be huge. You have to take all of that little shit and embrace it. Don’t ignore it, because if you ignore it then you’re only going to see the big picture, and when you only see the big picture you might end up feeling like you’re not progressing.
“I know friends of mine who are artists and are way bigger than me and they still have that problem. They’re like, ‘Man, people are sleeping on me’, I’m like, ‘Dude, you have 1.8 million followers and two platinum records, and you’re talking to me saying people are sleeping on you?’ So that made me realise you’re always going to feel that way, it’s never going to go away as long as you want more for yourself. Even when you realise that, embrace the little wins, keep going hard, you’re still never going to be satisfied until you’re number one. And even when you’re number one, you won’t be number one forever. So you have to then try and figure out how to stay number one.
“So just have fun doing what the fuck you do, man. That’s the most important thing.”