Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After an eagerly awaited release, Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director’s Cut has been released to critical acclaim under J. Cole’s own Dreamville record label.
Creative collaboration and exposure of lesser-known artists was the greatest achievement of Dreamville’s original project, which dropped on July 2019. The self-proclaimed “label of the connected age,” credited 34 artists and 27 producers on the original album, all of which were assisted by the tenured leadership of J. Cole. Those artists ranged from upcoming artists and producers to industry powerhouses including DaBaby, T.I, and Vince Staples as well as upcoming artists such as Saba, Buddy, and Guapdad 4000.
Director’s Cut carries on the spirit of collaboration, employing the versatile talents of Ari Lennox, EARTHGANG, and JID, among others.
The first track of the extended edition, “Big Black Truck” (feat. JID), is a bold introduction; the product of JID’s explosive lyricism and a gritty track by Dreamville producer Christo.
“Still Up” matches the ferocity of “Big Black Truck” on the next track. EARTHGANG sets an intense, if repetitive, precedent with the chorus. Though, REASON’s feature really shines for being so brief, bringing variety to a track that is mostly dominated by EARTHGANG.
Features from Ari Lennox conclude the album on a high note with songs “BUSSIT,” “Passcode,” and “Revenge;” bringing dimension and airy tones to these notable tracks. Lennox has no problem doing everything from backing vocals to full verses, and it’s clear to see why her talents have become a fixture of Dreamville’s sound.
It is worth noting “Still Dreamin,” the final song grooves, is consistent, and is totally fulfilling as the anchor of the album. JID delivers again, proving his versatility in differing musical moods. Overall, Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director’s Cut is an excellent, well-rounded addition to an already innovative album.