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Album Review: Revenge of the Dreamers III by Dreamville

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 Revenge of the Dreamers III is a collaborative record from Dreamville Records. The album includes a lot of artists under the Dreamville label, as well as some featured guests. While J. Cole is signed with Dreamville, the album is also accredited as a J. Cole album, according to Spotify and Apple Music. This is the third collaborative record from Dreamville Records, with the first one being released in 2014.

The first track from the album is Under The Sun. A lot of people are having a hard time pinpointing the exact sample at the beginning, but most are assuming it is If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus by Pete Seeger. The song continues with a mellow beat and a surprise appearance from one of the current legends of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar. They mostly talk about their earnings since J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are currently some of the highest paid rappers.

The next track, Down Bad, starts off with a 90s-like hip-hop beat. In the chorus of the song, JID talks about how he was struggling growing up. If he ever wanted to get out of the 'projects' he had to make changes in his life. He also mentions Brown vs. Board of Education which could be a reference of him getting expelled from college.

LamboTruck was another single for the album. The song starts off with a strange chorus coming from Childish Major. Then, REASON and Cozz talk about how they feel underappreciated by their labels. Strange that they would allow this track on the album since Cozz is signed with Dreamville, but it may be a bold message to the label.

Swivel is the fourth track off the album and features EARTHGANG, who is also signed to Dreamville Records. The two describe how they live their life in fear, or always on watch/guard. They said they have to keep their head on a swivel to avoid being killed. During the interlude of the track, they talk about how they feel like they're being watched so they need to be careful.

Oh Wow...Swerve is my personal favorite track off the album. This is a two part track, with J. Cole having the main verse for Oh Wow. After Zoink Gang's chorus, it goes into Swerve. If you know me, I love the wavy/psychedelic hip-hop beats. To add to the amazing beat, Maxo Kream delivers an amazing verse on the second part.

The next track moves into the slower Don't Hit Me Right Now. While there are several different people featured on this track, they all seem to mix well together. It isn't just a mess with a bunch of different people with different styles of rapping.

Wells Fargo serves as interlude for the album. It seems like a goofy track that they didn't take too seriously when recording. It was originally going to be left off the album, but they decided to release it last minute. They talk about robbing a Wells Fargo bank in the chorus, with a bunch of different ad libs towards the end of the chorus.

The next track we have is Sleep Deprived. Mez mentions that he wanted to be signed under J. Cole's label, but now he had the chance to give a verse on this album. The chorus talks about how all of them came from a different path. They all faced hardships in their life and were able to get past those obstacles.

Self Love serves as the halfway point of the album, and it is the second collaboration between Ari Lennox and Bas. They collaborated together on the 2018 album, Milky Way by Bas. Ari Lennox opens up the track with a beautifully sung chorus. In the track, she talks about how loving yourself is the best kind of love.

After that we have Ladies, Ladies, Ladies. The track is exactly what you think it's about, women. The rappers reminisce about the different women they were with over their years. We also get a verse from T.I., who really isn't relevant in the music world anymore.

The next track is Costa Rica, and was another single for the album. During the chorus of the song, they talk about having fans in Costa Rica. This could mean that they have fans all over the world and are able to make money wherever they go.

1993 is a reference to the year Buddy was born, who is featured on this track. I'm glad Buddy was given a major part of this song since I really enjoyed his debut album, Harlan & Alondra. This is basically a party track for everyone in Dreamville. This gives a lot of the people signed to Dreamville the opportunity to have a verse on this track.

Rembrandt...Run It Back features an eerie, but simple hip-hop beat in the background. They all have a simple flow that they follow during the verses, but it seems to work well for them. Just a quick two and a half minute track on the album.

Sunset talks about the violence J. Cole and Young Nudy have seen. J. Cole said he was almost mistook for someone else so he had to escape quickly. He also mentioned that sometime it's better to just stay inside, especially if you live in a large city. J. Cole also mentioned that if you hesitate, it can be a matter of life or death.

Got Me features a beautiful chorus between Ari Lennox and Ty Dolla $ign. They trade the same words back and forth. It seems like it's a love song, trying to reassure their partner that they have them, as long as they have their back.

MIDDLE CHILD was a single for J. Cole earlier this year. He sampled a trumpet part from a song in the 70s, that is sprinkled throughout the chorus of the track. The middle child is a reference to being in the middle of new and old hip-hop, referencing that he is in the middle of both worlds. He mentioned that 21 Savage is like his little brother, while Jay-Z would be his older brother, especially since J. Cole signed to Jay-Z's label.

The next track on the album is PTSD. It has a nice piano and bass part as the background beat of the track. While the track is titled PTSD, which stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, some of the people featured on this track have talked about how it has negatively impacted their lives. Buddy ends out the track on a lighter note.

The last track off the album is Sacrifices. It features a 'twangy' guitar part in the background. The track also features some key people in the midwest rap scene: Smino and Saba. The artists in the song talk about some of the sacrifices they had to make in order to get where they are today.

What did you think of the album? What were some of your favorite tracks? Let me know in the comments section!
Overall Rating: 5/10
Favorite Tracks: Down Bad, Oh Wow...Swerve, Rembrandt... Run It Back, Got Me


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