Dreamville & J. Cole - Revenge Of The Dreamers III

Dreamville & J. Cole
Revenge of the Dreamers III

Every few years or so it seems like hip hop groups come back into fashion. In between there never seems to be much  clamor for them, but then suddenly a group will pop up and flip the script. Brockhampton is the most recent example, but this story goes back to the very beginnings of hip hop. This album from J. Cole's label seeks to  give a platform for his friends. This album certainly could have limped along as a some kind of showcase for the label, but instead it bucks trends and has this real unified voice. Some much of Hip Hop is dominated by Trap these days that anything else struggles to make an impact. You can feel it in the air that perhaps that vibe is not going to last much longer as these artists scrape ever deeper and deeper in the barrel. This record while it may employ some trap tones every now and again is not trap. It has a personality all of it's own, classic hip hop, but incredibly modern at the same time. It's not just no names on this album though, you'll find some heavy hitters like Vince Staples, Ty Dolla $ign and T.I peppered in throughout the record. There are fun tracks, deep tracks, inspirational tracks and damn near everything else. Around every corner is a new surprise and something to absolutely bang too. "Oh Wow...Swerve" is one of those unexpected bangers that seems to come out of no where. There is a relentless pursuit for something exciting regardless of where they might find it.

At over an hour and 18 tracks there is a ton of music here, and not all of it weaves together. For a compilation album of sorts that makes sense, but there are moments where the album is so close to really linking every piece together. The album slides effortlessly between hip hop genres bouncing from old school to new on a whim. "Sleep Deprived" employs some real old school production vibes but then with use of a wonderful hook sung by DaVionne. It feels inventive like Kendrick's albums, an ability to create new and exciting sounds without compromising the important history of Hip Hop. T.I. proves He's still got it on "Ladies, Ladies, Ladies" a song that tows the line between offensive and lovely. Maybe it's a compilation, maybe it's a "various artists" but in the end it's an album that just fucking works and breathes real life into the genre. Don't sleep on this one.

8.3 out of 10


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