With this month’s release of his compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers, it’s clear that 29 is J. Cole’s lucky number. The recording artist and producer turned 29 this year, on the 29th of January, and on that same day tweeted publicly to announce the launch of his label Dreamville, partnering with Interscope Records. His recent release of this compilation project celebrates the new chapter in his career, and it features Dreamville artists as well as J. Cole’s friends KQuick, Bas, and Omen. And for the record, the tape is fire. 

The compilation opens with a snippet of his track “Lil’ Niggaz” in which J. Cole talks about his Dreamville label when he says “It came to me like a dream that I once had.” The track features a sample from 2Pac’s “Amitionz As A Ridah,” a classic reference to open up the tape. Along the same theme of reaching for success, Bas’s track “Golden Goals” is all about achieving  from coast to coast, from New York to California.

Omen’s “Motion Picture” slows the tape down a notch with a chilled-out beat. Bas continues to kill it with the track “Lit” featuring J. Cole and friend KQuick. The Miguel sample is on point, making “Lit” one of the best tracks off the project. Even though the record was actually released almost a year ago, it’s still catchy. 

The title track “Revenge of the Dreamers” by J. Cole is a good segue with more nods to his Dreamville team. He spits, “I’m in the zone this year, it’s all fire nigga check my attire/ Your worst fear is confirmed,your reign at the top expires this year.” Bas follows it up with another slowed down effort, “Ceelo With the G’s.”  

The album tapers off in the middle with slightly weaker tracks, specifically, Omen’s “Henny Flow” and J. Cole’s “Blowin Smoke.” J. Cole’s “Blowin Smoke” has trippy electronic production, with sounds like something we'd hear from LA producer Flying Lotus.

On “Bitchez” we find that J. Cole is back on track with an up-beat pace and steady beat, something which continues right into Treasure Davis' track, “May the Bitter Man Win”, featuring some back and forth between Davis and Cole. The addition of a female voice helps to bring some versatility to the compilation. Released in June 2013, J. Cole’s original version of “Crooked Smile” wraps the project up well. Starting with 2Pac and also ending with a sample from 2Pac’s “Str8 Ballin”, J.Cole ties a ribbon on a successful compilation. 

With the launch of Dreamville, it’s clear that J. Cole is about to step things up career-wise, and this mixtape serves as a great introduction to the crew. While we've heard from Bas, Omen and the others before, it was more in passing we didn't always pay them much attention. This tape does a good job at shining some light on them, while Cole plays a supportive role. We'll just have to wait and see where they take things from here.

Let us know what you thought of the project and if you haven't already, download it below.