Today, Maryland rap auteur IDK kicks off 2023 with his undeniable new single, “Radioactive.” Listen above via Clue/Warner Records. It comes complete with a true-to-life video, which captures the creative energy that fills every bar of the song.
While some of IDK’s recent work captures subtle tones indebted to R&B and jazz, “Radioactive” was inspired by Baltimore’s dance scene and shows the versatility that has long made him one of the rappers best equipped to handle dance and electronic music. Over a pulsing beat, IDK veers from tightly clipped, technically precise runs to smartly harmonized passages, each compounding the other’s power. And yet it’s not the formal wizardry that sells the song – it’s the artist’s unwavering point of view. “Tryna' off me?” he taunts at one point. “Not today.”
“Radioactive” is the latest in an impressive streak of daring new dispatches from IDK. This year alone has seen him drop a series of singles that captures that aforementioned range, which spans from the jazzy and avant-garde to hard-hitting: see “Coal,” “Monsieur Dior,” “Free Slime,” or “Drive.” IDK has managed all of this while hitting the road alongside Pusha-T for the Virginia icon’s It’s Almost Dry tour, where IDK has performed songs from Simple., his eight-track collaborative project with Grammy Award-winning DJ/producer Kaytranada.
This April will mark a major milestone for the multi-faceted artist as he is confirmed to play Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival for the very first time. No stranger to the festival circuit, IDK’s energetic and engaging live shows vibrate at the highest level. His NPR Tiny Desk performance perfectly captures the energy and heart he puts into each song.
IDK’s remarkable 2022 built on a massive 2021 — a year in which he released his sophomore LP, USEE4YOURSELF, launched his Apple Music 1 radio show, Radio Clue, and led a 10-day music business program at Harvard University in collaboration with No Label and partners NIKE, Logitech, GUESS, Brand Jordan, and Converse. In 2022, he extended his existing partnerships and added HBCUs to further his vision for No Label Academy. In November, he performed for thousands at Bison Madness, Howard University’s homecoming event in partnership with Jumpman.
IDK's dedication to pushing boundaries is readily apparent on “Radioactive,” a track that showcases his versatility and knack for crafting killer hooks. It’s just a taste of what’s to come from his sophomore album release this year. He’s not letting his foot off the gas anytime soon. Buckle up!