Brooklyn rapper J.I. has returned with the melodic and menacing “I Ain’t Gon Lie.” The rising New Yorker’s venture into drill is booming yet soulful as he keeps a watchful eye on his haters and reflects on lost love.
“I Ain’t Gon Lie” arrives alongside a captivating, day-in-the-life video wherein J.I. celebrates his city with his day-ones.
Backed by quaking drums and alternately shimmering and melancholic keys, “I Ain’t Gon Lie” finds J.I. moving between affecting croons and half-sung cadences. His delivery creates a gripping dissonance with the cold-hearted fatalism of his lyrics.
The song features J.I. diving into his emotional bag, reflecting on the struggles he and his team face growing up in the city. He raps, “My dawg just wanna get high, I told him he poppin’ too much/ And if you put your money where your mouth is, you wouldn’t pop it too much.”
The video directed by J.I. himself and Dreamfilms shows the skilled artist flexing with neck-breaking chains and fanning stacks of cash as he celebrates with his crew, moving from a project building to the barbershop and jewelry store. Along the way, he interacts with fans and the people that shaped his journey. The track follows the newcomer’s intricate R&B anthem “Taken for Granted,” which showcases his softer side and garnered support from Revolt, Rap Radar, and HNHH, who praised him as an artist who’s “consistency remains impressive.”
Long before both singles, J.I. began his career freestyling with his brothers at the age of 11. Since then, he has become one of the city’s biggest breakthrough artists with thoughtful mixtapes and EPs like the Hood Life Krisis series and 2020’s Welcome to GStarr Vol. 1. “I Ain’t Gon Lie” finds J.I. ready for war and more determined than ever to take over New York.