Here’s Everything We Know About Dreamville’s ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ Compilation Album
Earlier this month, Dreamville pulled off a recording session for the ages. The label that J. Cole conceived more than a decade ago set out to create its third compilation release, Revenge of the Dreamers III, by holing up in an Atlanta studio and inviting a who's who of music producers, rappers, singers, songwriters and other creatives—superstars and rising acts alike. The result: a historic experience that evoked FOMO for some and an intense desire to hear the final project by many others.
While the Revenge of the Dreamers III recording sessions—now being dubbed "rap camp"—were devoid of any traditional media presence, word quickly spread about what was going on behind closed doors, resulting in intrigue as to what listeners could expect musically from all of the parties involved. There's already a diversity in styles and aesthetics from the label's artists (Bas, Cozz, J.I.D, EarthGang, Ari Lennox, Lute, Omen and Cole) but what would happen when you mix in of-the-moment producers like Tay Keith, or all-star lyricists like Saba?
According to Ibrahim Hamad, J Cole's manager and president of Dreamville Records, the inspiration behind the sessions was organic. "We established what we can do and the type of artists we have and it's cool to bring a different energy that we fuck with," he explained during a Q&A on Instagram Live. "And this shit honestly turned into something even bigger than the album, it's like camp. It's just fun as fuck."
With Dreamville's rap camp having been touted as one of rap's more memorable gatherings, XXL scoured the internet and social media to compile all of the info that has been shared about Revenge of the Dreamers III. Here's everything we know about the upcoming project.
- The Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions took place at the storied Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta for a 10-day stretch beginning on Jan. 6, 2019 and wrapping on Jan. 16, 2019.
- EarthGang has been teasing the project since November 2018. The Atlanta duo shared a clip of a song that may appear on the project, if not their own upcoming Mirrorland release. (See The Music section below).
- In an Instagram Live broadcast, Dreamville Records president Ibrahim Hamad revealed that it was J. Cole's idea to send out invitations for the sessions, in turn causing a social media frenzy.
- In addition to Dreamville artists, T.I., Rick Ross, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, Akon, Ludacris, Wale, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Lil Baby, Vince Staples, 6Lack, Big K.R.I.T., Ski Mask the Slump God, Smino, Saba, Westside Gunn, King Mez, K Camp, Isaiah Rashad, Reason, Cousin Stizz, Buddy, BJ The Chicago Kid and Yung Nudy were among the artists invited to attend the recording sessions.
- Cole was reportedly blown away by a verse from Atlanta rapper Deanté Hitchcock.
- Swizz Beatz, Mike WiLL Made-It, Tay Keith, !llmind, Justice L.E.A.G.U.E., Young Chop, Kenny Beats, T-Minus, Don Cannon, OG Parker, Needlz, Childish Major, ChaseTheMoney, Black Metaphor, Teddy Walton and S1 were among the producers invited to the recording sessions (click here for a more extensive list).
- J. Cole cried while writing a verse.
- According to Reason, Cole dropped a verse that he describes as "ignorant"—an indicator that Cole may be letting loose for the project.
- Hamad claimed that the music Dreamville recorded during these sessions are some of the artists' most impressive yet, "This shit legit is some of the best music we've ever made, all across the board," he said via IG Live. "Cole 10 years in and I know for sure this is the best I've ever heard him as rapper, so it's exciting. Not to mention all of the new artists that's getting better everyday."
- Although Reason insists he has no say in what music will grace the final Revenge of the Dreamers III tracklist, he anticipates a sound that is more cohesive than the album's predecessors, with "high-level" rapping and experimentation.
- There might be an accompanying documentary dropping with the album—Reason says there were cameras rolling during the sessions, capturing all of the magic.
- The Dreamville sessions yielded more than 124 songs and concepts. Yet while Hamad initially suggested that the album would be created entirely over the span of 10 days, its recording is not yet complete.
- Wale alluded to a posse cut that features him, J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and Rick Ross.
- J.I.D and Smino recorded a song produced by Monte Booker and Groove.
- Lute collaborated with Childish Major and producers Hollywood JB and Groove.
- Jay Kurzweil produced a beat for J. Cole.
- Cozz bagged some beats from Big K.R.I.T.
- Deanté Hitchcock did a record with Ari Lennox, Omen and EarthGang.
- Bas did a record with Ski Mask The Slump God, King Mez, Buddy and Guapdad 4000.
- Guapdad 4000 did a record with Smino, Ari Lennox and Buddy—it's one of 20 verses or hooks he says he recorded during the sessions (including some collabs with Cole). He also did skits/interludes with J.I.D and Buddy. ("Nobody outworked me and Buddy," Guapdad tweeted.)
- Dreezy worked with Cozz, J.I.D, Ari Lennox and Bas on various tracks.
- Buddy, Smino and Deanté Hitchcock got one.
- Ari Lennox linked with singers St. Beauty, Van Jess, and Njozma.
- Cozz, Dreezy and Deanté Hitchcock hopped on a track together.
- Music manager/A&R Stephen Dacres told Highsnobiety that he witnessed J.I.D, Smino, Buddy and Saba in a cipher in which they passed the mic every eight bars.
- Reason says he recorded 14 songs during the sessions, including two with Wale. He anticipates his Cozz collaboration being "heavily talked about" if it makes the final cut.
- On June 12, 2019, Dreamville released two singles slated to appear on ROTD3: "Down Bad," featuring J. Cole, Bas, J.I.D, Young Nudy and Johnny Venus of EarthGang, and "Got Me," featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Ari Lennox, Dreezy and Omen. The two records are bundled on streaming services under the title 1-888-88-DREAM.
- During the ROTD3 recording sessions, attendees and participants shared snippets of tracks via social media. While there's no guarantee any of it will make the final project, here are some of the sounds that Dreamville cooked up.
See 106 Artists Who Were Invited to Dreamville's Revenge of the Dreamers III Recording Sessions in Atlanta