First there was Gene Wilder, and then there was Johnny Depp. Now it's J. Cole bringing us into a whimsical factory responsible for the goods. While Wilder and Depp, as Willy Wonka, preferred a chocolatey, tangy treat, J. Cole's Dreamville Records peddles hit records instead. In January, the label's roster — that includes rising talent like Ari Lennox and J.I.D. — as well as all-star artists and producers like Rick Ross, Vince Staples, and Wale converged in Atlanta to work on a new project called Revenge of the Dreamers III, the third installment of the label's long-running franchise.
Golden tickets were dispersed via social media, and clips and pictures began surfacing showing epic link-ups and promising collaborations. Now, ahead of the project's long-awaited release on July 5, J. Cole has released a 30-minute documentary about the experience, Revenge. Now everyone gets to see just what went down in the secret recording sessions.
Revenge is different from your typical documentary, straying away from talking-head segments and interview clips to focus instead on the tiny details of the moment. Lyrics are jotted down constantly and artists sit down and bite their nails as they try to conjure ideas out of thin air. There are also loud conversations, like a notable one with J. Cole showering another artist with praise, where no one can hear themselves over the roar of the next person's voice. The laughs, the disagreements, and the pondering are its most important focuses. The beginning of the documentary says that Dreamville Records set out to make an album in 10 days. It looks like they succeeded, thanks to mixing business with pleasure for a wholly authentic experience.
Revenge of the Dreamers III has had four tracks released so far, massive posse cuts that hint at the entire project being perhaps one of the biggest collaborations of all time. First came "Down Bad" with J. Cole, Young Nudy, J.I.D, Bas, and Earthgang, then "Got Me," that consisted of Ari Lennox, Omen, Ty Dolla $ign, and Dreezy in June. Just recently, both "Costa Rica," featuring Smokepurpp, Bas, J.I.D, Ski Mask the Slump God, Guapdad 4000, Reese Laflare, Jace, Buddy, Mez, and "LamboTruck," with Childish Major, Cozz, and Reason, were released.
Check out the magic behind the moment of the Dreamville sessions in the doc above.