Released July 5, 2019
Yes, people your favorite blogger has returned. You’ve missed me and I’ve missed you and I ABSOLUTELY MISSED providing you all with the DOPEST and MOST ORIGINAL of CONTENT. It seems very fitting that the highly anticipated and the EARLY “Album of the Year Candidate,” ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ is the first project I review upon my return. Also, it’s not like this album didn’t just go#1 this week or anything!
2019 kicked off with J. Cole and longtime manager Ibrahim Hamad announcing that Dreamville and its members were about to embark on a 10-day series of recording sessions for ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’. This announcement came with a social media blitzkrieg of invites to artists, producers, execs and other creatives. With the task at hand to create their third compilation project, Dreamville and its guest had 10 days to generate a cohesive and powerful body of work. Below is a short documentary of their quest to create magic.
Dreamville Presents: REVENGE (Documentary)
Tracklist & Song Ratings
1. Under the Sun ft. J. Cole, Lute, & DaBaby (5/5)
2. Down Bad ft. Bas, J.I.D, Young Nudy, J. Cole, EarthGang (5/5)
3. LamboTruck ft. Cozz, Childish Major, & REASON (4.5/5)
4. Swivel (from the upcoming album Mirrorland) ft. EarthGang (4/5)
5. Oh Wow…Swerve ft. J. Cole, Zoink Gang, Key! & Maxo Cream (4.2/5)
6. Don’t Hit Me Right Now ft. Bas, Yung Baby Tate, Guapdad4000,Cozz & Buddy(5/5)
7. Wells Fargo (Interlude) ft. J.I.D, Buddy, EarthGang, & Guapdad 4000 (5/5)
8. Sleep Deprived ft. Lute, Mez, Omen, & Davionne (4/5)
9. Self Love ft. Ari Lennox, Baby Love, & Bas (4.5/5)
10. Ladies, Ladies, Ladies ft. J.I.D & T.I. (3.8/5)
11. Costa Rica ft. Reese LAFLARE, Bas, Jace, Mez, Smokepurpp, J.I.D., Buddy, Ski Mask The Slump God, & Guapdad4000 (3.8/5)
12. 1993 ft. Buddy, Smino, Cozz, EarthGang, J.I.D, & J. Cole (4.75/5)
13. Rembrandt…Run It Back ft. J.I.D, J. Cole, & Vince Staples
14.Sunset ft. J. Cole & Young Nudy (4.4/5)
15. Got Me ft. Ty Dolla $ign, Omen, Ari Lennox, & Dreezy (4.4/5)
16. Middle Child – J. Cole (4.2/5)
17 PTSD ft. Mereba, Deante Hitchcock, Omen, & St. Beauty (4.3/5)
18. Sacrifices ft. EarthGang, Smino, Saba, & J. Cole (5/5)
A project that seemed to have too many cooks in the kitchen, the Dreamville Chefs and their Guest Chefs have the recipe for success with ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’. Right away ROTD III kicks of with the soulful production intro track, “Under the Sun” which samples The Argo Singers 1963 hit “I’ll Be Waiting for You.” Of course, it was fitting that the first verse we hear to kick off a project with such high expectations was from J. Cole himself. After a hard-hitting verse with impeccable delivery, we are ABSOLUTELY TEASED by an invigorating chorus from Kendrick Lamar. This is followed by impressive verses by Dreamville mainstay Lute and 2019’s breakout artist, DaBaby. I can’t even front I’m still upset that we didn’t get a Kendrick verse. I quickly got over it though once that beat dropped for my favorite track, “Down Bad.”
I felt like ROTD III was a project that was full of life as it represented the current state of music and how there’s a seat at the table for everyone. Of course, the table head is Mr. Jermaine Cole. He leads and facilitates the balance between promoter and participant on this album. With Cole playing both roles he’s able to create a level playing field for both the established artists and the upcoming artists to showcase their talents. For example, Baby Rose went full Nina Simone on “Self Love.” Emerging fan favorites such as Buddy, Smino and Guapdad4000 got the green-light of running full on savage mode throughout the entire project as they made sure to make their presence known. The overlooked and yet very talented acts such as Mereba, Saba, Maxo Kream, and Omen seized their moment to shine. There were definitely a few surprises on here. I would have never thought in a million years we’d hear T.I and J.I.D together as we did on “Ladies, Ladies, Ladies.” Speaking of surprises, Vince Staples on the tail-end of “Rembrandt…Run It Back” had me so excited but of course you would have hoped for more. There better be more J. Cole, J.I.D and Vince tracks stashed somewhere! I just want to say this now before I lose my train of thought, J.I.D is becoming elite right in front of our eyes. East Atlanta’s finest was in serious form as he delivered on every track he was featured on.
There were a lot of unique elements on this project that I really enjoyed. I love how a project dominated with a lot of lyrical spitters we still were able to get great hooks on cuts like “Don’t Hit Me Right Now” and KEY!’s offering on “Oh Wow… Swerve.” I loved hearing J.I.D and Buddy mimicking the demented spirit of Pinky & The Brain on the intro to “Wells Fargo” along with Cozz and Reason’s “Guilty Conscience”-style scheming to rob their respective label bosses on “LamboTruck.” The Production! Production on this project was probably some of the best this year. There were so many different minds behind production that you would wonder how this project would sonically. CHASETHEMONEY, ClicknPress, Bink! Elite, Ron Gilmore, Pyrex, T-Minus and many others made sure that we got everything from trap to boombap sounds. I could really talk about this project until the end of time but lets wrap it up.
‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ was a collaboration unlike any other. The last time a star studded studio session came close to the magnitude ROTD III boot camp was Kanye getting everyone to come out to Hawaii to record ‘My Dark Twisted Fantasy’. ROTD III was 18 tracks, included over 50 contributors, and ran about an hour long. It actually seemed a bit surprising that this thing project was only 18 tracks honestly! There’s just so many different styles, cadences and sounds from the contributing artist and production I was expecting and some what hoping for a double disk. Chris Brown is out here giving us 40 track and 30 track albums back to back. I’d assume 60 people could give us at least 25-30 tracks. But nonetheless, the finished product that we received that is ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ is a rather remarkable body of work with three major takeaways. Cole and Dreamville as whole label have leveled ALL THE WAY UP, there may not be such thing as too many cooks in one kitchen and the most importantly, the state of hip hop is in amazing hands. Dreamville and Friends got us covered!