LOL. I was going to save finishing up the Week Fulla Dreamville until next week, but I woke up this morning and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write on today, and then I realized that it could be helpful for me to just continue on with the Dreamville stuff this week, so I can start with a fresh week next week and not have to double up on the stories.
I’ve been pretty harsh on Revenge of the Dreamers III (2019) in the past. My first go round with this project, I didn’t enjoy it. So much so that I didn’t finish the whole thing. I got about halfway through, and I was over it. There were too many people on the songs, and it seemed like stuff didn’t really come together the way I expected it to. And it was even worse on the additional songs from the Director’s Cut. But a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking to myself that the Album Look Backs are typically just centered on albums that I heard a while back and enjoyed, and it could be interesting to use the ALBs as an opportunity to revisit projects that I didn’t like. Maybe giving those projects an intentional re-listen will make me feel differently about them. And what a better way to test that out than with Revenge of the Dreamers III?
And honestly, y’all, I have to say that I don’t dislike this project as much as I did before.
The project begins with “Under the Sun,” a track I liked the first time and like again the second time around. Everyone’s verse is perfect, Kendrick on the hook is GREAT, and the sample in the production is amazing. It’s one of those intro tracks that actually set the rest of the project up very well. And it’s followed with the “Down Bad,” which is just as amazing. This was one of the songs that I was very surprised that I enjoyed listening to on the relisten because I wasn’t really feeling it the first time around. I just thought it was sooooooooo L O N G. But for some reason, it felt a lot shorter this time. “Lambo Truck” was another really good one. I love the production; Kal Banx really DID THAT. The songs feels like a 90s hood film got stuck in a horror film produced and directed by Jordan Peele lol. And I love REASON and Cozz’s back and forth about robbing Cole.
“Swivel” continues the album’s winning streak for me. I love me some Doctur Dot! He brings something special to EVERY song he’s on; I just really enjoy the sound of his voice. Johnny Venus, too. I love his flow. EARTHGANG just has such amazing chemistry. Dot and Johnny are just so good at making songs together and have two different styles of rapping, and it comes together so well! I haven’t listened to their new project yet, but this song makes me very much excited to do so. “Oh Wow…Swerve” has a lot of great moments as well. Those harmonies after the first iteration of the chorus are godly, and Cole on beats like this is undefeated!! I was listening to 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014) a couple of days ago, and this gives me very much that (and 4 Your Eyez Only (2016) vibes). I do kind of wish the two parts of this song where two separate songs. I like the difference in the vibe, but I could really listen to “Swerve” by itself. I’ve been wanting to get into Maxo Kream more, and I think re-listening to this song might have just given me incentive too.
“Don’t Hit Me Right Now” is another good one. I love Guapdad 4000. I like his features more than I like his solo tracks (I’ve tried several times to listen to something other than “Gucci Pajamas, and it just wasn’t happening), but he just seems like such a fun guy to be around. And he really was the best person to have on the chorus of this song. I love Buddy, too, but I kinda wish he wasn’t on this track and Cozz had a longer verse instead. But the next song? “Wells Fargo”?????? I LOVE THIS TRACK I LOVE THIS TRACK I LOVE THIS TRACK!!!!! This is what I wanted the whole project to sound like. Just a whole bunch of my faves very obviously having a bunch of fun making music together. It was one of the few songs that I loved the first time I listened to Revenge. You can literally feel the energy popping off of this song.
I love the production on “Sleep Deprived.” I could have done without DaVionne’s chorus; I really wouldn’t have minded if they jumped straight from Mez’s verse to Omen’s. I don’t think this song really needed a really obvious chorus. Like maybe just a sampled chorus or something? I don’t know lol something about it just kinda threw me off; the verses on this track were really solid, though. I could go for an entire Mez, Omen, and Lute EP. Sometimes Ari Lennox’s voice gets on my nerves lol (she’s a great singer, but idk…something about her voice doesn’t always work for me) but I did like her at the beginning of “Self Love,” though I kindaaaa liked Baby Rose’s iteration of the chorus better; I really like the deepness and soulfulness of her voice. I don’t hate the Bas verse, but like I mentioned the first time around, he doesn’t switch up his flow a lot, and it can get a little repetitive and very similar to other songs he’s made. It was a solid verse, but I don’t know if it really did anything special for me. I do really like the guitar at the end of the track, though. And again, the production is great.
“Ladies, Ladies, Ladies” was another one of my favorite tracks. I need a JID and T.I. collab album IMMEDIATELY. This track actually made me realize that T.I.’s voice on production like this is something that’s very pleasing to my ears. This and “Fuck Nigga” really do GREAT things for me. The slightly Georgia southernness of their voices on such a jazzy instrumental…chef’s kiss!!! “Costa Rica” was fine. It was another moment of there being too many folks on the track. And it just goes on and on…and on. But I did like JID’s verse. Buddy is a star on “1993;” his interlude at the beginning and the little interruptions throughout the song really bring it all together. I love the Smino sighting on this song that finally happens after waiting basically the entire project. Cozz killed another verse, as well. And Doctur Dot! And JID….oh my GODDDDDDDD. We’ll talk about him more at the end, but WOW!!!!! The beginning of his verse was so smoothhhhh.
“Rembrandt…Run It Back” was good. I love Cole’s flow on “Sunset;” I really wish they put “Middle Child” after it, thought. It seems like the perfect follow up. I don’t listen to a lot of Ty Dolla $ign but I LOVE a Ty Dolla $ign feature, and he gave us another winner on “Got Me.” He never lets me down. His voice on this production does great things for my mental health! Ooh, and that back and forth between him and Ari on the chorus is N I C E. And I love how it leads into her verse; it gives me SZA vibes. Omen gave us a good verse as well. And Dreezy???? Her verse is great!!! We all love “Middle Child,” so I don’t really have much to say about it, though I kind of wish it wasn’t on the project. It felt weird to have a Cole solo track on here. But I am glad there was a Mereba moment on the album. Mereba RUNS “PTSD.” Great song.
The project ends with “Sacrifices,” and I have to say that it was just as strong as the intro track. I love how Johnny Venus opens this song, and his FLOW on here is GOD LEVEL. Smino was perfect as always, and y’all already know I love me some Saba. I would have loved to hear him on more of this project – well, I guess we got more of him on the Director’s Cut, but he should have been on here more from the JUMP. It was another kind of LONG track. But it is fitting for a finale.
So I guess I have to retract my previous statements about this project. I don’t think I’ll be listening to it anymore after this, and I don’t really have any songs that I think I’ll pull out to listen to individually outside of the ones I’ve already saved – “Ladies, Ladies, Ladies,” “Wells Fargo,” and “Middle Child” – but it was a really good album. It feels a lot more put together after hearing it for a second time. I do think that the pacing is a little weird – I wish there was a little bit more of a clear sonic narrative – but it’s a collab album, so I don’t hold my critique of that very strongly at all. There were a couple moments that kind of threw me off, but overall, it really did hold together pretty strongly. JID was really the best part of the project, and I mentioned that when I listened to the Director’s Cut. Every verse, every bar, every line was absolutely perfect in every way. And nothing felt recycled. It felt like we were getting a new JID on every song he was on. Lute and Omen also did their thing. Cole’s verses were solid. The ONE Saba verse we get on this initial release was great. Smino was great. There were a lot of good moments on this project. It’s one of those things that I’m really glad was able to happen, and I’m glad I gave it another listen through.
They could have kept the Director’s Cut, though.
Featured Image Credit: https://genius.com/album_cover_arts/363536, edited by me 🙂
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First Listen #5: Dreamville’s ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director’s Cut’ (but only the new songs!)
So I have a confession to make before I even get into this review. I have not listen to all of the original version of Revenge of the Dreamers III. Go ahead and cue the boos. I’m sorry. I tried. The first couple of songs were good, but it quickly went down hill for me … Continue reading First Listen #5: Dreamville’s ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director’s Cut’ (but only the new songs!)