TDE vs. Dreamville: Who Wins The Battle With These 2 New Songs?
Last November, J.I.D. admitted that competition between Dreamville Records and TDE is a very real thing. During his DiCaprio 2 campaign, the Georgia MC described his primary motivation was helping his squad, started by J. Cole, outshine the team that includes Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and others.
“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,” he said while speaking to Complex. “Dreamville, we gotta step this sh*t the f*ck up, ’cause them ni**as is fire. [Laughs] We gotta step it up. Facts.” Both of these grassroots labels have boomed during the last decade, taking longtime DIY artists to the mainstream. Notably, both labels respected for their MCs also have expanded into R&B in the form of SZA and Ari Lennox, respectively.
Unlike historic clashes such as Boogie Down Productions vs. The Juice Crew or JAY-Z vs. Nas, this rivalry is amicable and collaborative. After all, J.I.D. brought TDE’s Reason on tour with him following DiCaprio 2. In 2018, J. Cole worked with Jay Rock; Kendrick Lamar collaborated with Cozz, among other overlaps.
Today, Heads get a chance to make the call at a 2019 checkpoint. Both outfits released new music. Bas and J.I.D. release their first collaboration of just the pair. One of the ‘Ville’s longest tenured artists teams with its rapidly-rising sensation for “Fried Rice.”
“My borough taught me how to run a block / Confidence is quiet, I don’t talk a lot / I call my mama, and I call the shots / I don’t call these b*tches, they just talk a lot / Cop a couple toys, and we can make a play / Now the driveway like a parking lot / Beware the dogs what the sign say / I did it my way, I did it my way,” touts Bas in his early verse. J.I.D. follows, “I need the cash in a bag in advance / Before I grab any mic in the stand / Don’t make a ni**a mad / Spazz the f*ck out, all bad, I’m all-Madden / I’m on a go route now, but I do all patterns / I’m with your h*e right now, and she’s a tall glass / I’m a can full of whoop-yo-ass.” Cocky and confident, the pair flaunt their feelings on the track produced by K Quick and engineered by TDE’s MixedByAli. Previously, the pair were part of the ensemble cast (with Cole and EarthGang) on 2016’s “Can’t Call It.”
Top Dawg Entertainment’s Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and Zacari show support for label affiliate Kembe X on “Raised A Fool.” The groovy song begins with Kembe commanding the song with an explanation of his upbringing affecting the way he sees the world. Jay Rock follows, explaining how you can’t be a fool to make it in Watts, California, even if his father raised Jay to be wild, free, and willing to make his dream happen. “I come from a place, got no choice, you gotta stand up / When sh*t get real on the field, you better man up / No time for no two-three zone, walk slow, think fast, hit hard / Shout out to my goons on them yards goin’ hard / My OG’s talk, I listen, my young rattlesnakes with strong-ass venom / When they talk, I listen / ‘Cause back then, I was doin’ the same sh*t, champ, really wasn’t nothin’ different / Now listen / Me and my clique were small as a grain of salt / Wonder how we all became close brothers, because we fought.” The Grammy Award winner’s origin story is as hard as his delivery.
Soulo comes next at a time when his appearances have become rare, proclaiming “What’s your life about? Enlighten me / Is you gon’ live on your knees or die on your feet? / Stand up and face the music or run and meet your defeat? / I am to the microphone what the sun is to heat.” After a powerful verse, Ab-Soul joins Zacari in the final rendition of the evocative chorus. Previously, Kembe X has worked with Ab, Isaiah Rashad, and Zacari.
As the competition lingers, Dreamville and TDE seem to give fans a 2019 “this or that” offering that results in two great, new songs. So who’s currently winning the race?
Both songs are currently available on Ambrosia For Heads‘ official playlist. Subscribe to follow us on Spotify.