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Revenge Of The Dreamers III, the recent compilation put out by J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, has debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Nothing short of a massive undertaking, the compilation was put together during a 10-day whirlwind of writing, recording, collaborating, and likely, very little sleeping. It assures J. Cole’s dominance as not only a solo performer, but as a label head.

j cole Jonathan Manion revenge of the dreamers III 3

Photo: Jonathan Manion

Straight to the top: Dreamville’s epic Revenge Of The Dreamers III compilation has wasted no time scoring the chart-topping attention it deserves.

In its first week on the shelves, ROTDIII clocked an incredible 115,000 equivalent units, of which 23,000 were physical album sales. The full release counts 18 songs across its one hour tracklist, a tour-de-force of the brightest names contemporary hip hop has on offer.

The 10-day writing camp that birthed this album apparently involved over 100 artists, all converging on Atlanta for a monster recording session. This feeling of community, of non-competition, pulses through the release, a collection of music where its clear odd ideas were allowed to blossom.

Tracks like Wells Fargo (JID, EARTHGANG, Buddy, Guapdad 4000) inject some humour into a release that was already brimming with joy and brotherhood, while proper hits line the record at a freakish frequency. Even features from non-Dreamville artists such as T.I. or Vince Staples seamlessly feel like they’re part of the picture.

Whether you’re familiar with the label roster or not, this is essential listening. If you know Dreamville well, you’ll be grinning ear to ear at collabs, moments, and verses you never thought possible. If these names are new, you’ll walk out the other side with a few new artists to watch.

Revenge Of The Dreamers III does a lot to prove the old adage that when you put a score of talented folk in a room together… magic happens. In a music climate where engagement and sharklike marketing are at the fore, it’s refreshing to see a community of like-minded artists forget the numbers for a moment, and truly cooperate.

The results, I’d say, speak for themselves.

 

Revenge Of The Dreamers III is out now.

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July 16, 2019