One could arguably say that the age of record label loyalty is either on the decline or is just over altogether. There were days in hip hop history where artists would "ride or die"—quite literally—for the labels who represented them musically. Death Row, Aftermath, Bad Boy, Ruff Ryders, Shady, Roc Nation, and countless others paraded star-studded rosters of chart-topping, incredibly talented artists that they flaunted to the world. These labels are more than music. They are families.
However, the advancement of the internet and social media culture has made it easier for artists to reach the masses without the backing or approval of a record label. Of course, many of the labels aforementioned still exist and are thriving, but Soundcloud and Instagram artists are becoming famous without help from managers or music executives as they rake in millions of streams and stacks of cash. As wonderful as that is for artists as they take control of their own careers, there is still something about being apart of a team, especially one that's led by a visionary, in the music industry.
Take Dreamville, for example. They aren't the only record label with an increasing stronghold in the game (TDE, anyone?), but label head J. Cole is making sure he carefully crafts a roster that is weighted with substance. Because his personal reputation is rooted in witty lyricism, quality productions, and navigating his place in the hip hop industry with precision and respect, Dreamville was already alluring. The fact that Cozz, EarthGang, Ari Lennox, Omen, Lute, J.I.D, and Bas just happen to be uniquely skilled in what they do is the icing on the cake.
Revenge of The Dreamers III may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it would be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn't impressed by Dreamville's latest effort. DaBaby has been living his best life as "Suge" has topped the charts, but he came out like a beast on his verse on "Under The Sun" (dd you also catch K.Dot's addition?). Cozz and TDE's REASON linking up on "LamboTruck" was an unlikely match due to the light-hearted rivalry between the labels, but the fact that Cole was the lyrical target let it be known it was all in good fun. Tracks like "1993" and "Rembrandt...Run It Back" switched up how rappers trade verses so things aren't as linear and conventional. "Sunset" shows that just because Cole and crew are more lyrics-focused and tend to be considered "underground," they can still infuse a slight trap sound that's the main influence of the rap game at the moment.
Revenge of The Dreamers III delivers a little something for everybody, so let us know what track is your favorite and which artist upped their game on the collaborative project. Check out more on the record, here.