J. Cole’s Dreamville Is Flying High In Its Quest To Be Hip-Hop’s Best Crew (Video)

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2019 has been an exciting year for the Hip-Hop crew. Buffalo, New York’s Griselda Records continues to build an empire, brick-by-brick. Last week’s first glimpse of a Shady Records-backed album from Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, and Benny The Butcher shows even more promise to a calendar year that’s seen releases from all three. Meanwhile, Top Dawg Entertainment ramped up with a new ScHoolboy Q album, and grumblings of a new project from Reason coming very soon.

However, the crew to beat may be Dreamville—and they are working with Griselda and keeping the chemistry bubbling with TDE. In the last year, the label dropped albums from J.I.D., EarthGang, Ari Lennox, and an EP from Bas. Perhaps most notably, J. Cole’s imprint released a chart-topping compilation, Revenge Of The Dreamers III, running things after early 2018’s KOD takeover. In addition to documented sessions with Benny, Reason, and others, that LP was a family affair that opened the Tree Sounds Studios doors to Buddy, Big K.R.I.T., T.I., Rick Ross, and a host of others.

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While not every session made the album, among the 18 songs, “Down Bad” is a highlight. Produced by relative newcomer Pluss, the beat sounds like a 2019 rendition of Public Enemy-era Bomb Squad. It’s screechy and then moving, with hard drums. The MCs, including J.I.D., Bas, J. Cole, Olu, WowGr8, and Young Nudy give the song descriptions of times they were down bad before eventually climbing out of the ruts to way higher plateaus. In Bas’ case, he chides lazy rappers for letting a year go by and doing nothing about it.

Now in the form of a music video, the visual features footage of the good life: chartered jets, souped-up 1970s Oldsmobile Cutlass convertibles, and shopping sprees. Dreamville knows they are rulers in Rap, and after years of paying dues, they’re smiling about it.

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This song and others from ROTD3 are presently on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist, along with tracks by Bas, J.I.D., EarthGang, and J. Cole.