|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founder||J. Cole |
|Genre||Hip hop, R&B|
|Country of origin||United States|
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.
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. 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. 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."
On June 26, 2014, J. Cole officially announced the signing of Los Angeles-based rapper, Cozz. Omen didn't officially sign with the Interscope deal until after his debut album in 2015. 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. 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.
On February 20, 2017 Dreamville announced the signing of East Atlanta-based rapper J.I.D. 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.
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. 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.
under the label
- J. Cole
- Ron Gilmore
- Cedric Brown
- Jay Kurzweil
- Cam O'bi
- Childish Major
- Hollywood JB
The Dreamville Foundation
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. The Dreamville Festival plan to donate proceeds to the Dorothea Dix Park Convervancy and the Dreamville Foundation.
|J. Cole||Born Sinner
(released with Roc Nation and Columbia)
|Cozz||Cozz & Effect||
|J. Cole||2014 Forest Hills Drive
(released with Roc Nation and Columbia)
|Bas||Too High to Riot||
|J. Cole||4 Your Eyez Only
(released with Roc Nation)
|J.I.D||The Never Story
(released with Spillage Village)
|Lute||West1996 pt. 2||
(released with Tha Committee)
(released with Roc Nation)
|J. Cole||Forest Hills Drive: Live||
|Various Artists||Revenge of the Dreamers||
|Various Artists||Revenge of the Dreamers II||
|J. Cole||Truly Yours||
|J. Cole||Truly Yours 2||
|Bas||Two Weeks Notice||
|J. Cole||The Warm Up||
|J. Cole||Friday Night Lights||
|Bas||Quarter Water Raised Me Vol. 2||
|Various Artists||Revenge of the Dreamers III||
|Ari Lennox||Shea Butter Baby||
|J. Cole||The Fall Off||
|J. Cole||The Off Season||
- 2015: J. Cole: Road to Homecoming
- 2015: Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming (Concert film)
- 2016: Eyez
- 2017: Too High to Riot (Documentary)
- 2017: FIENDS in Tokyo
- 2017: J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only
- 2017: Lute: Still Slummin' (Mini Doc)
- 2018: Cozz: Effected (Mini Doc)
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- Ari Lennox (March 12, 2018). "Thanks for your support. Expect new music in less than a year ." Twitter. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "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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