Dreamville Records

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Dreamville Records
Dreamville-Records.jpg
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
Founded2007 (2007)
FounderJ. Cole
Ibrahim Hamad
Distributor(s)
GenreHip hop, R&B
Country of originUnited States
Location
Official websitedreamville.com

Dreamville Records is an American record label founded by American hip hop artist J. Cole and his Sudanese-American manager Ibrahim Hamad. The label is currently distributed through Interscope Records, a unit of Universal Music Group. The label has signed Ari Lennox, Bas, Cozz, Omen, Lute, J.I.D, EarthGang, and Cole himself. Dreamville also houses producers Elite, Ron Gilmore, and Cedric Brown.[1]

History[edit]

Rapper J. Cole founded the label in 2007

During the composition of The Come Up, Cole started his own record label in early 2007 with current Sudanese-American label president Ibrahim Hamad. Cole and Hamad met while attending St. John's University. Cole sought for an avenue to release his own music, while Hamad yearned to start a record label, prompting the two to team up to form Dreamville Records.[2] Rapper Omen has been affiliated with Dreamville since the beginning, Omen and Cole met on rapper Canibus chat forum at age 17, where they shared music.[3] Omen was also featured on Cole's mixtapes, The Warm Up (2009) and Friday Night Lights (2010).

On January 28, 2014, at a show at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Cole announced that his Dreamville imprint had signed a distribution deal with Interscope Records. Attendees at the show received a flyer announcing the deal and a mixtape, titled Revenge of the Dreamers. On the same day Cole announced the signing of Queens-based rapper, Bas. Cole spoke with Billboard about the Interscope deal saying: "We've been dreaming about a label situation for years." "The deal's been official since late December, and we'd been working on it for a while before that, but it felt too important to just go out and yell it right when it happened. It needed a more grand announcement." Cole explained that talks with Interscope began when Joie Manda, Interscope president of urban music, reached out to him in 2013, Cole said: "I thought he wanted me to produce someone over there and I was excited about that, but then he told me that he really believed in me as an executive, a label CEO and a producer. A Dr. Dre to his Jimmy Iovine. He had the vision."[4]

On June 26, 2014, J. Cole officially announced the signing of Los Angeles-based rapper, Cozz.[5] Omen didn't officially sign with the Interscope deal until after his debut album in 2015.[6] On December 8, 2015, Dreamville released a collaborative album titled, Revenge of the Dreamers II, officially announcing two new label signees, Charlotte rapper, Lute and Washington D.C. singer Ari Lennox.[7] In an interview with the Rap Radar Podcast, Ibrahim Hamad broke down the self-sufficiency of the artists on the label saying: "I like letting them figure out what their path is. I look at it like, because we learned what learned from Cole being signed, what I like to do is [say] ‘what is your vision, and let us help you’. I don't ever want to tell an artist no you can't do that, that's not fair to them.[8]

On February 20, 2017 Dreamville announced the signing of East Atlanta-based rapper J.I.D.[9] Dreamville announced the signing of duo EarthGang on August 31, 2017, the duo consist of Atlanta-based rappers Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot. Both EarthGang and J.I.D have previously toured with Dreamville affiliates in 2014, before signing to the label.[10][11]

On January 6, 2019, Dreamville announced a 10-day recording session in Atlanta for the label's third compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III, ending on January 16.[12] During the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dreamville held multiple events scheduled for the weekend, starting with an exclusive limited edition merchandise pop-up shop, a Dreamville brunch, and a private concert featuring the artists on the label taking place after the All Star game.[13][14]

Roster[edit]

Current artists[edit]

Act Year
signed
Releases
under the label
J. Cole 2007 9
Omen 2009 1
Bas 2014 5
Cozz 2014 3
Lute 2015 2
Ari Lennox 2015 1
J.I.D 2017 2
EarthGang 2017 3

In-house producers[edit]

The Dreamville Foundation[edit]

In October 2011, Cole established The Dreamville Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation says that it was "created to 'bridge the gap' between the worlds of opportunity and the urban youth" of Cole's hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. With volunteers, the Foundation conducts philanthropic activities, such as an annual "Back To School Supply Giveaway" to provide supplies to school children.[25] The Foundation also launched a book club for young men and sponsored "The Nobody's Perfect Writing Contest and Mother's Day Brunch" for students. It sponsors an annual weekend of Fayetteville community events called the "Dreamville Weekend" that features a discussion with the Young Men's Book Club and Appreciation Dinner and a Career Day panel of African-American professionals in a variety of fields.[26]

In 2014, Cole purchased his childhood home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for $120,000 through the Dreamville Foundation. The home had been repossessed from his mother years earlier, while Jermaine was attending college in New York. His plan is to turn the house into a homestead for single mothers and their children to live rent-free. In 2017 NFL player Colin Kaepernick donated $32,000 to the foundation. The money will fund multiple projects for the organization.[27]

In September 2018, the Dreamville Foundation unveiled a new initiative to aid victims of Hurricane Florence in Fayetteville, NC. According to the foundation's website, donated funds will go toward “hot food stations placed throughout the city, temporary housing options for families, and stocking of food pantries/shelters,” as well as local charities that provide services to Fayetteville residents.[28]

Dreamville Festival[edit]

On April 27, 2018, J. Cole announced the Dreamville Festival, the festival featuring local music, culture, food and art, and also include a mix of up-and-comers and national acts. It is expected to be an annual festival.[29] However, in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the event was postponed from its original date. The festival was rescheduled and be held at the historic Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 6, 2019. The lineup included all of Dreamville's artists as well as SZA, Big Sean, Nelly, 21 Savage, 6LACK, Davido, Teyana Taylor, Saba, Rapsody, and Mez.[30] The Dreamville Festival plan to donate proceeds to the Dorothea Dix Park Convervancy and the Dreamville Foundation.[31]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Artist Album Details
J. Cole Born Sinner
(released with Roc Nation and Columbia)
Bas Last Winter
  • Released: April 27, 2014[34]
  • Chart positions: #103 U.S.
Cozz Cozz & Effect
  • Released: October 3, 2014[35]
  • Chart positions: #160 U.S.
J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive
(released with Roc Nation and Columbia)
  • Released: December 9, 2014[36]
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 2× Platinum[37]
Omen Elephant Eyes
  • Released: June 21, 2015[38]
Bas Too High to Riot
  • Released: March 4, 2016[39]
  • Chart positions: #49 U.S.
J. Cole 4 Your Eyez Only
(released with Roc Nation)
  • Released: December 9, 2016[40]
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum[41]
J.I.D The Never Story
(released with Spillage Village)
  • Released: March 10, 2017[42]
  • Chart positions: #197 U.S.[43]
Lute West1996 pt. 2
  • Released: September 29, 2017[44]
Cozz Effected
(released with Tha Committee)
  • Released: February 13, 2018[45]
J. Cole KOD
(released with Roc Nation)
  • Released: April 20, 2018 [46]
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum [47]
Bas Milky Way
  • Released: August 24, 2018[48]
  • Chart positions: #35 U.S.
J.I.D DiCaprio 2
  • Release date: November 26, 2018
  • Chart positions: #41 U.S.

Live albums[edit]

Artist Album Details
J. Cole Forest Hills Drive: Live
  • Released: January 28, 2016[49]
  • Chart position: #71

Compilations[edit]

Artist Album Details
Various Artists Revenge of the Dreamers
  • Released: January 28, 2014[50]
Various Artists Revenge of the Dreamers II
  • Released: December 8, 2015[51]
  • Chart positions: #29 U.S.

EPs[edit]

Artist Extended play Details
J. Cole Truly Yours
  • Released: February 12, 2013[52]
J. Cole Truly Yours 2
  • Released: April 30, 2013[53]
Bas Two Weeks Notice
  • Released: April 15, 2014[54]
Ari Lennox Pho
  • Released: October 21, 2016[55]
EarthGang Rags
  • Released: September 1, 2017[11]
EarthGang Robots
  • Release date: October 20, 2017[56]
EarthGang Royalty
  • Release date: February 23, 2018[57]
Lute Untitled
  • Release date: September 11, 2018[58]

Mixtapes[edit]

Artist Mixtape Details
J. Cole The Warm Up
  • Released: June 15, 2009[59]
J. Cole Friday Night Lights
  • Released: November 10, 2010[60]
  • Chart position: #7 U.S
Bas Quarter Water Raised Me Vol. 2
  • Released: May 26, 2013[61]
Cozz Nothin Personal
  • Released: January 4, 2016[62]

Upcoming releases[edit]

Artist Album Details
Various Artists Revenge of the Dreamers III
  • Release date: 2019
EarthGang Mirrorland[63]
  • Release date: 2019
Ari Lennox Shea Butter Baby[64]
  • Release date: 2019
Lute Untitled EP[65]
  • Release date: 2019
Omen Untitled EP[66]
  • Release date: 2019
J. Cole The Fall Off[67]
  • Release date: TBA
J. Cole The Off Season[68]
  • Release date: TBA

Dreamville films[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Azeem, Khan (January 22, 2017). "The International Dreamvillain: Ibrahim "Ib" Hamad". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Hot 97 (August 4, 2015). "Bas, Cozz, and Omen Weigh in on Drake and Meek Beef, How They Met J. Cole and Dreamville". YouTube. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Gale, Alex (February 10, 2014). "J. Cole Talks Dreamville Label Deal & Interscope's Joie Manda: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Gruger, William. "5 Questions With Cozz, J. Cole's New Dreamville Artist". Billboard. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b http://www.complex.com/music/2014/01/j-cole-dreamvillians-label-bas-omen-kquick
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  65. ^ "Been listening to the songs I want to put in the line up of this Ep this might be a nice lil vibe". Twitter.
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External links[edit]