J.I.D. Confirms That Dreamville’s Competition With TDE Is Real
2018 has been a monumental year for J. Cole’s Dreamville label. In the last 12 months, Cole released one of the front-runners for the year’s best in K.O.D. That was a few months after Los Angeles, California’s Cozz dropped an impressive Effected. At the end of summer, Bas released Milky Way, an acclaimed body of work from the Queens representative. Today, one of the ‘Ville’s newer artists, J.I.D., dropped his second effort since signing last year.
DiCaprio 2 is another show-stopping release on Cole’s label. At 2:30 in an interview with Complex, the MC nicknamed by his grandmother for his jittery behavior explains, “Being signed to Dreamville is cool. We came into the Dreamville situation with the mindset already [as far as] what we wanted to do. We’re really just competing with TDE; this is a whole other thing. We’re competing with TDE. That’s what needs to be known. Dreamville, we gotta step this sh*t the f*ck up, ’cause them ni**as is fire. [Laughs] We gotta step it up. Facts.”
Dreamville and TDE may be competitive, but they are friendly at that. Cole produced 2011 Kendrick Lamar video single “HiiiPower.” That set the stage for a ton of work since. This year, K-Dot supported Cozz on “Hustla’s Story.” Meanwhile, J. Cole appeared on Jay Rock’s “OSOM.” Bas and Ab-Soul have worked and toured together. Most of the artists on both labels are distributed through Interscope Records. As TDE has found incredible success with female R&B-Pop singer SZA, Dreamville added Ari Lennox. Both labels have pulled from near and far, while grooming artists from relative obscurity to the spotlight.
In 2013, when Kendrick Lamar released his momentous “Control” verse alongside Big Sean and Jay Electronica, J. Cole was the first homeboy he mentioned: “I’m usually homeboys with the same ni**as I’m rhymin’ with/ But this is Hip-Hop, and them ni**as should know what time it is / And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale Pusha-T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake / Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller / I got love for you all, but I’m try’na murder you ni**as / Try’na make sure your core fans never heard of you ni**as / They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you ni**as / What is competition? I’m try’na raise the bar high / Who try’na jump and get it? You’re better off try’na skydive.”
J.I.D. reveals that the spirit of competition has hit the newer artists on two of the best label collectives in Rap history, and some of the most exciting crews of the current moment.
DiCaprio 2 features Method Man, Joey Bada$$, J. Cole, and A$AP Ferg, among others. Highlights are currently on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist. Elsewhere in the video, he describes the connection to Leonardo DiCaprio, his engineering his sessions, and more.