Dreamville Records is an American record label founded by American rapper J. Cole and his manager Ibrahim Hamad. The label is currently distributed through Interscope Records, a unit of Universal Music Group. The roster includes Bas, Ari Lennox, Cozz, Omen, Lute, JID, EarthGang, and Cole himself. Dreamville also houses American record producers Elite, Ron Gilmore, and Cedric Brown.
|Founder||J. Cole |
Ibrahim "Ib" Hamad
|Genre||Hip hop, R&B|
|Country of origin||United States|
2007–2012: Formation and early yearsEdit
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). In 2011, Dreamville was associated with rapper Voli and alternative rock band StartYourOwnRebellion, while Dreamville was still in early formation as a vanity label imprint.
2013–2014: Revenge of the DreamersEdit
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."
2014–2016: Revenge of the Dreamers IIEdit
On June 26, 2014, J. Cole officially announced the signing of Los Angeles-based rapper, Cozz. Omen didn't officially sign 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 we 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."
2017–2020: Revenge of the Dreamers IIIEdit
On February 20, 2017 Dreamville announced the signing of East Atlanta-based rapper JID to the label. On August 31, 2017 Dreamville also announced the signing of EarthGang, a hip hop duo consisting of Atlanta-based rappers Olu (Johnny Venus) and WowGr8 (Doctur Dot – born Eian Parker). Both EarthGang and JID had previously toured with Bas and Omen prior to 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. On July 5, the label's third compilation album was released to critical acclaim and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 115,000 album-equivalent units in its first week. The album earned nominations for Best Rap Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards, while "Middle Child" and "Down Bad" were nominated for Best Rap Performance. In April 2020, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
2021–present: D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz MixtapeEdit
On March 31, 2022, Dreamville released D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape featuring guest appearances from 2 Chainz, ASAP Ferg, Young Nudy, Kenny Mason, Sheck Wes, G Perico, and Reason. The mixtape was released ahead of the second annual Dreamville Festival.
under the label
|J. Cole||2007 (founder)||9|
- J. Cole
- Ron Gilmore
- Cedric Brown
- KQuick (with Fresh2Def as ClickNPress)
- Jay “Kurzweil” Oyebadejo
- Hollywood JB
- Studio personnel
- Juro "Mez" Davis (mixing and audio engineer)
The Dreamville FoundationEdit
In October 2011, Cole established The Dreamville Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization "created to 'bridge the gap' between the world of opportunity and the urban youth" of Cole's hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The foundation conducts philanthropic activities with the aid of volunteers, such as providing school supplies to students. The Foundation also launched a book club for young men and sponsored "The Nobody's Perfect Writing Contest and Mother's Day Brunch". It sponsors an annual weekend of Fayetteville community events called the "Dreamville Weekend" that features a discussion with the Young Men's Book Club, an appreciation dinner, and a career day panel with 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 Cole was attending college in New York. His plan is to turn the house into a homestead for single mothers and their children, where they will be able to live rent-free. In 2017 NFL player Colin Kaepernick donated $32,000 to 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 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 Conservancy and the Dreamville Foundation. The festival sold out with a capacity of 40,000 people to become the largest event in Raleigh. Ibrahim Hamad remarked on the festival saying "We're not like other companies that are based in a city. Our label is very much an idea, more so than an actual physical place. So you can create it and take it everywhere. To bring that into the festival—where you can just create a place and make it Dreamville and be able to bring people there—was always this cool goal. And that's what makes it unique. It's not based in an actual city. It's just based in our minds."
For the 2020 season, the Dreamville Festival is front-of-jersey sponsor for USL Championship soccer team North Carolina FC. The second annual festival was initially slated for April 4, 2020 however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed and eventually cancelled. The festival will go on at Dix Park as scheduled for 2022, with the dates of April 2–3, its first year being held for two days. The lineup was announced on March 2, a month prior to its commencement, and again includes all Dreamville artists, as well as Fivio Foreign, Kehlani, Lil Baby, and Wizkid (Day 1), and Lil Wayne with Jeezy and T.I. as part of DJ Drama's "Gangsta Grillz", Moneybagg Yo, and T-Pain (Day 2).
On October 12, 2020, Dreamville announced the formation of Dreamville Ventures, a multi-disciplinary media company. Damien Scott is leading the division as president with Candace Rodney as executive vice president, overseeing daily operations including verticals across music, TV and film, publishing, apparel and live events. In a press release with Variety, Cole said: "Dreamville has always been a mom-and-pop operation with grand ambitions and ideas that extend far beyond music. The hiring of Damien and Candace not only expands our family business with two of the smartest and most capable executives in the industry, but allows us to take a massive leap towards turning those big ideas into reality."
On October 12, 2020, Dreamville Studios was launched, a content studio that will produce original and co-produced content, with Candace Rodney who serves as president of Dreamville Studios. Ibrahim Hamad said in a press release: "Dreamville is a brand we built from the ground up and the appointments of Damien and Candace allows us to take the company to levels we’ve always dreamed of while keeping our core values and beliefs at the forefront of our expansion." Candace Rodney previously worked as Senior Vice President of Development at Wilmore Films, as well as positions at Sony Pictures Television, Lionsgate Television and Creative Artists Agency.
Dreamville Films, Inc is an American entertainment company founded in 2015 that produces and distributes films. In 2015, they established a distribution deal HBO. They released documentaries J. Cole: Road to Homecoming, Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming, and J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only in partnership with HBO.
|Artist||Album||Details||Peak chart positions||Certification|
|J. Cole||Born Sinner||1||1||1|
|Cozz||Cozz & Effect||
|J. Cole||2014 Forest Hills Drive||
|Bas||Too High to Riot||
|J. Cole||4 Your Eyez Only||
|JID||The Never Story||197||–||–|
|Lute||West1996 pt. 2||
|Ari Lennox||Shea Butter Baby||
(with JID & EarthGang)
|J. Cole||The Off-Season||
|JID||The Forever Story||
|Artist||Album||Details||Peak chart positions|
|J. Cole||Forest Hills Drive: Live||
|Artist||Album||Details||Peak chart positions||Certification|
|Dreamville||Revenge of the Dreamers||
|Dreamville||Revenge of the Dreamers II||
|Dreamville||Revenge of the Dreamers III||
|Dreamville||D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape||
|J. Cole||Truly Yours||
|J. Cole||Truly Yours 2||
|Bas||Two Weeks Notice||
|Bas||Spilled Milk 1||
|Ari Lennox||Shea Butter Baby (Remix EP)||
|J. Cole||Lewis Street||
|Bas||[BUMP] Pick Me Up||
|Ari Lennox||Away Message||
|J. Cole||The Warm Up||
|J. Cole||Friday Night Lights||
|Bas||Quarter Water Raised Me Vol. 2||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
(with J. Cole, JID, Bas & EarthGang featuring Young Nudy)
||Revenge of the Dreamers III|
(with Ari Lennox & Omen featuring Ty Dolla Sign & Dreezy)
(with Cozz featuring Reason & Childish Major)
(with Bas & JID featuring Guapdad 4000, Reese LAFLARE, Jace, Mez, Smokepurpp, Buddy & Ski Mask the Slump God)
|"Under the Sun"
(with J. Cole & Lute featuring DaBaby)
(with Ari Lennox)
|2020||—||—||—||—||—||Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director's Cut|
(with EarthGang featuring Reason)
- "Got Me" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, but peaked at number 3 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
- "J. Cole Returns To North Carolina For 'Dreamville Weekend'". RapFix.
- Azeem, Khan (January 22, 2017). "The International Dreamvillain: Ibrahim "Ib" Hamad". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- 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.
- "From J. Cole To Bas: Your Guide to Dreamville". DJBooth.
- "Start Your Own Rebellion ft. J.Cole- Let It Go". 7th Boro.
- Gale, Alex (February 10, 2014). "J. Cole Talks Dreamville Label Deal & Interscope's Joie Manda: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Gruger, William. "5 Questions With Cozz, J. Cole's New Dreamville Artist". Billboard. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "Dreamvillians: A Guide To The Rappers On J. Cole's New Label". Complex. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
- Ortiz, Edwin. "J. Cole Signs Two New Artists to Dreamville Records". Complex. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "EP 02: Ibrahim "Ib" Hamad". Podtail. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Weinstein, Max. "J.I.D. Signs to J. Cole's Dreamville Records - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Findlay, Mitch (August 31, 2017). "J. Cole Signs EarthGang To Dreamville Records". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
- Goddard, Kevin (September 1, 2017). "Stream Earthgang's "Rags" EP". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- "J. Cole confirms he's recording a third Dreamville collaborative album". The Fader. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Dreamville Take Over At NBA All Star Weekend". The360mag. February 16, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
- "DREAMVILLE TAKES OVER ALL STAR WEEKEND". HitsDailyDouble. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
- Caulfield, Keith (July 14, 2019). "'Revenge of the Dreamers III' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
- C, Noah (November 20, 2019). "Grammy Nominations 2020 Are In: See The Full List Here". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- "DREAMVILLE - REVENGE OF THE DREAMERS III". RIAA. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
- "Dreamville Announces Their 'D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape' With DJ Drama And Shares Its Release Date". Uproxx.
- "J. Cole's Dreamville Announces New Mixtape With DJ Drama". Hypebeast.
- Ortiz, Edwin (December 10, 2016). ""The Album Is Largely From a Perspective That Isn't J. Cole's": Producer Elite on '4 Your Eyez Only'". Complex. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Dpak. "New Interview: Ron Gilmore Speaks on Producing With J. Cole, Grammys, New Mixtape & Nashville Hip Hop". Dreamville Nation. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Cedric "Ced" Brown". YouTube. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Bas Makes Major Label Debut With "Last Winter" Collection On J. Cole's Dreamville Label For Interscope".
- "Bas "Milky Way" Full Album Credits Are Here".
- Moreno, Cypress (January 13, 2016). "CYPRESSMORENO.com - #YoungCaliforniaRadio Interview w/ Cozz & Meez". YouTube. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Kennedy, John. "THESE 37 ARTISTS WERE INVITED TO RECORD DREAMVILLE'S 'REVENGE OF THE DREAMERS III' ALBUM IN ATLANTA". XXL. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- "J.I.D releases DiCaprio 2 with help from producer Christo". In The Rough.
- writer, Brian Dukes Staff. "J. Cole and Dreamville Foundation distribute school supplies to hundreds of students". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- "The Dreamville Foundation | Bridging the gap between the world of opportunity and the urban youth". www.thedreamvillefoundation.org. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
- WTVD (January 28, 2015). "J. Cole to turn childhood home into single-mother safe haven". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Gordon, Jeremy (August 23, 2017). "Colin Kaepernick Donates $34,000 to J. Cole's Dreamville Foundation". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- "J. Cole's Dreamville Foundation Announces Hurricane Florence Relief Efforts". Complex. September 20, 2018.
- Habrahan, Kathy (April 27, 2018). "J. Cole announces Raleigh music festival this fall". WRAL. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "J. Cole Reveals Dreamville Festival 2019 Lineup: SZA, 21 Savage, Big Sean, and More". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- Menconi, David (April 27, 2018). "J. Cole is throwing a music festival, and it's going to be in his home state". The News & Observer. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- Setaro, Shawn. "How Dreamville's First Festival Came to Life". Complex. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- "North Carolina Football Club Announces Dreamville Festival as NCFC Front-of-Jersey Partner". North Carolina FC. February 27, 2020.
- "J. Cole's Dreamville Festival Sets New Date Amid Coronavirus Outbreak". Billboard. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- Ju, Shirley (October 12, 2020). "J. Cole's Dreamville Expands, Launches Content Studio With Key Hires (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
- "J. COLE LAUNCHES DREAMVILLE STUDIOS". HipHopDX. October 12, 2020.
- ""It's Almost Like He Can't Contain Himself:" A Chat With Director Scott Lazer Verifies J. Cole's Intense Work Ethic". Vibe. January 8, 2016.
- Paine, Jake (June 17, 2013). "J. Cole "Born Sinner" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist & Spotify Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- "American certifications – J. Cole". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- Z, DJ. "Bas - Last Winter". DJBooth. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Ortiz, Edwin. "Stream Cozz's "Cozz & Effect" Album". Complex. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Jaffe, Lloyd (November 17, 2014). "J. Cole Announces "2014 Forest Hills Drive" Album, Releases Artwork". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Lyons, Patrick. "Stream Omen's "Elephant Eyes"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Goddard, Kevin (March 4, 2016). "Listen To Bas' New Album "Too High To Riot"". hotnewhiphop. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
- Mitchell, Chris (December 8, 2016). "J. Cole's "4 Your Eyez Only" Album Is Upon Us". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Goddard, Kevin (March 10, 2017). "J.I.D - The Never Story [Album Stream]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Meka (September 28, 2017). "Lute Delivers Dreamville Debut, 'West 1996 Part 2'". 2DOPEBOYZ. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- Findlay, Mitch (February 5, 2018). "Cozz Shares "Effected" Tracklist Featuring Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- Eustice, Kyle (April 19, 2018). "J. Cole Returns With Highly Anticipated "KOD" Album". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- Goddard, Kevin (August 24, 2018). "Stream Bas' "Milky Way" Project". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- Jahmal, Karlton (October 31, 2018). "J.I.D Announces "DiCaprio 2" Release Date With New Album Artwork". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- "Ari Lennox Drops Steamy New Track 'Up Late,' Announces 'Shea Butter Baby' Album Release Date". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- "Stream EarthGang's New Album 'Mirrorland' f/ Young Thug, Kehlani, and T-Pain". Complex. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
- Walker, Joe. "Dreamville Announces Spillage Village's 'Spilligion' Album Release Date". OnSmash. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
- Kat Boehrer (January 26, 2016). "J. Cole Plans to Release Live Album on His Birthday". Complex. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- DJ Z. "J. Cole - Revenge of the Dreamers". DJBooth. Archived from the original on December 5, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Hernandez, Victoria (December 10, 2015). "J. Cole x Dreamville "Revenge Of The Dreamers II" Cover Art, Tracklist & Album Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- "Revenge Of The Dreamers III / Dreamville". Tidal. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
- Ju, Shirley (March 13, 2020). "15 Rappers to Receive First Platinum Plaques With Latest 'Dreamers III' Certification". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- "J. Cole & Dreamville To Release 'D-Day' Gangsta Grillz Mixtape Tomorrow". Hip Hop n More.
- Smith, Trevor (February 12, 2013). "J. Cole - Truly Yours EP [New Mixtape]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Goddard, Kevin (April 30, 2013). "J. Cole - Truly Yours 2 [New Mixtape]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- blame it on MEKA (April 15, 2014). "Bas – 2 Weeks Notice (Mixtape)". 2DOPEBOYZ. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Lyle, Ashley (October 21, 2016). "Dreamville's First Lady Ari Lennox Releases 'PHO' EP: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
- "1-888-88-DREAM". iTunes. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
- Shifferaw, Abel (July 1, 2019). "Listen to Dreamville's Star-Studded Tracks "Costa Rica" and "LamboTruck"". Complex. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- "Bas Talks New Project 'Spilled Milk' & Dreamville Recording Sessions On 'For The Record'". Genius. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- "Ari Lennox's 'Shea Butter Baby' Remix EP Features Doja Cat, Smino & More". HighsNobiety. March 27, 2020.
- "J. Cole Previews Upcoming 'The Fall Off' LP With Singles 'The Climb Back,' 'Lion King on Ice'". Rolling Stone. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Rose, Jordan. "Listen to Cozz's New EP 'Fortunate' f/ YG". Complex.
- "Bas Releases New EP '[Bump] Pick Me Up' f/ J. Cole and Ari Lennox, Drops "Admire Her" Video f/ Gunna". Complex.
- "Ari Lennox Drops Surprise EP, 'Away Message,' Ahead Of New Album". Vibe.
- Robertson, Iyana (June 15, 2014). "J. Cole Commemorates 'The Warm Up's' 5-Year Anniversary With An Open Letter". Vibe. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Kerry, Steve (November 12, 2010). "J. Cole - Friday Night Lights [New Mixtape]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Rose, Lilah (May 22, 2013). "Bas - Quarter Water Raised Me Vol.2 [New Mixtape]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Goddard, Kevin (January 4, 2016). "Cozz - Nothin Personal [New Mixtape]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
- Marie, Erika (June 12, 2019). "Dreamville Delivers "Down Bad" Single Ft. J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EarthGang, & Young Nudy". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- "Down Bad". RIAA. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
- Marie, Erika (June 12, 2019). "Dreamville Drops R&B Jam "Got Me" Ft. Ari Lennox, Ty Dolla $ign, Dreezy, & Omen". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- "Costa Rica".
- "Under The Sun".
- "Dreamville Drops Off 2-Pack of Ari Lennox's "BUSSIT" and EarthGang's f/ Reason "Still Up"". Complex. Retrieved January 14, 2020.