One of the most anticipated albums of 2019 is Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III, and in the label’s recent feature for XXL, J. Cole reflects on the 10-day “rap camp” that resulted in the compilation. Cole says that because he’s a “secluded” artist, many think that Dreamville is the same way. He wanted to remove that perception and created an environment that nurtured collaborations, features, and promoted the vibe that Dreamville wasn’t living in its own box.
“We knew we wanted to do a Revenge album. We’ve been talking about that s**t for mad long. Ib (Dreamville President Ibrahim Hamad) had been putting together the songs that he had just from the camp,” Cole said. “But my idea came from the fact that as individuals, we f**k with a lot of people. And people f**k with us. Whether it’s me, Bas, J.I.D, Cozz. We’re people persons. But to the outside world, especially ’cause of me and the reputation that I’ve gotten—to nobody’s fault but my own—is a perception that I don’t f**k with nobody and nobody don’t f**k with me. Really that’s not the case. Because I’m so secluded then it’s like Dreamville is so secluded. It’s not like that.”
During the 10-day recording sessions, certain artists reportedly received personal invitations. The feel was a play on Willy Wonka and the artists getting their golden ticket. A former NBA player heard about the sessions and asked to come through. “Chris Bosh hit Cole, like, ‘You mind if I come through for a couple of days?’ I didn’t know he produced—he’s been producing for, like, four years,” Ib said. “He came through. He had a beat and T-Minus was like, ‘Oh, this is actually hard! Let me get those drums, add a little music to it.’ Cole grabbed the beat, like, ‘I f**k with this.’ Chris Bosh was there for two days soaking up game, playing his beats.”
Cole stated that he’s “been training for this,” and that in the end, they will all sit and listen to every record before voting on which will be released. “We speak honestly with each other,” Cole continued. “But 90 percent of these songs are going to see the light of day.”