If “Avengers: Endgame” was the biggest collaboration in film of the century, its musical equivalent arrives during what has proven to be a monumental year for hip-hop culture.
The elite recording talent that is Jermaine Cole has finally satiated the public's thirst for new music with his latest collaborative project, “Revenge of the Dreamers III.”
For fans of his, this has been an especially unique year, as J. Cole has always been somewhat of an introverted artist. This year has been a major deviation from the the norm of the North Carolina native, as he has been heard on features with artists from all realms of the hip-hop world.
From collaborations with artists like Young Thug, Travis Scott, Wale, Money Bagg Yo, 21 Savage, Ty Dolla $ign and Offset, J. Cole has been everywhere this year. Historically, J. Cole’s albums have employed few to no features. In fact, his last two projects “KOD” and “4 Your Eyez Only” are featureless, unless you count the feature of Cole's alter-ego, “Kill Edward.”
The project comes after some singles that have done exceptional by themselves. This latest album features heavy collaboration from many artists signed to Cole’s record label, Dreamville Records.
Founded in 2007 by J. Cole and his manager Ibrahim Hamad, Dreamville reigns out of Raleigh, NC. The label doesn’t have many artists, but the music they pump out is pure, well-produced gold that comes from within the same musical vein of J. Cole.
For those unfamiliar with the Dreamville roster, artists signed to date are: Omen, Bas, Cozz, Lute, Ari Lennox, J.I.D and EarthGang. All are very skilled and talented musicians with bright futures ahead of them, but some are more well-recognized than others.
J. Cole employs an absurd amount of features on this legendary collaboration project, which is the product of a 10-day studio session in Atlanta. The studio session was open to many celebrities, artists and producers — an invitation that was widely accepted.
Notable people include A boogie wit da hoodie, Akon, Big K.R.I.T., BJ the Chicago Kid, DJ Khaled, H.E.R., K Camp, Lil Baby, Ludacris, Meek Mill, Mike Will Made it, Rick Ross, Smino, Ski Mask the Slump God, Tay Keith, T.I., Young M. and even NBA superstars Chris Bosh and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Non-Dreamville features on this project include Atlanta’s Young Nudy, North Carolina’s DaBaby , Florida’s Ski Mask the Slump God, Houston’s Maxo Kream, Compton’s Buddy and Oakland's GUAPDAD4000.
A few songs to look out for:
1) “Under The Sun” by J. Cole feat. DaBaby & Lute with surprise vocals from Kendrick Lamar
The song opens with a long-winded soul music sample. Then, the beat flips to a much higher pace with Cole offering an awe-inspiring verse referring to his 3-year-old son and his pregnant wife, DaBaby offers another hard-hitting verse, as is custom for one of hip-hop’s hottest acts. Lute offers a great verse, while Kendrick Lamar takes over the chorus in shocking fashion. “Under The Sun” is a legendary introduction to a legendary album. Few things in life are more perfect than this intro.
2) “Down Bad” by Dreamville feat. JID, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG & Young Nudy
This song makes you ponder how long rappers can truly hold their breath.
Atlanta rapper J.I.D is known for his inhumanly fast bars. This song starts with a fast verse from Young Nudy whose intro is excellent. Bas drops an outstanding verse while eluding the thought of taking a breath. But if anyone has gills, it’s the artist EARTHGANG, with an exit verse that sounds like it should’ve ended with a lung collapse. His verse is truly a spectacle of verbal prowess. The entire song is recorded over an 80’s type turntable scratch beat.
3) “Wells Fargo” by Dreamville ft. JID, Buddy, EARTHGANG, & GUAPDAD4000
On “Wells Fargo the artists have a great time freestyling. Buddy & JID have a bit of fun on the intro pretending to be fancy yet violent hedonists. The chorus makes you want to jump up and down. J.I.D offers his usual brand of magnificent fast-paced bars, and Buddy provides a wonderful fast paced verse that keeps on par with the beat and his other co-collaborators. Twitter personality GUAPDAD4000 offers a surprising and astounding verse. The song is layered with actual sounds from the studio that must have been a really good time along with good ad-libs.
4) “Costa Rica” by Dreamville, Bas, JID, GUAPDAD4000, Reese LAFLARE, Jace, Mez, Smokepurpp, Buddy & Ski Mask the Slump God
“Costa Rica” is recorded over a “Narcos”-islandic type beat and opens with a snippet of Atlanta Rapper 21 Savage’s voice. Reese LAFLARE offers a stellar opening verse. Bas & GUAPDAD4000 perform the second verse that leads into GUAPDAD’s chorus, where he brags about having fans in Costa Rica. Both Jace & Mez follow immediately with condensed yet elite verses of their own, following one after another. Florida’s Smokepurpp offers a great verse after another repetition of the chorus. Immediately following, J.I.D & GUAPDAD take over for the sixth verse and shout out Swae Lee. After that, Buddy and Ski Mask the Slump God team up for a seventh verse, which is mostly just buddy spitting with a few adlibs from Ski Mask. One more repetition of the chorus, and the song is over.