Dreamville Records, led by North Carolina rapper J.Cole and his manager, Ibrahim Hamad, recently released their long-awaited collaborative album, Revenge of the Dreamers III. Every Dreamville artist does make an appearance; however, the majority of them have their solo albums dropping sometime in 2019. Who are all the artists signed to Dreamville Records? Keep reading to find out!
J. Cole – Founder
While the rapper worked on his first mixtape, The Come Up, he started his record label in 2007. He met his now manager, Ibrahim Hamad at St. Johns University a couple of years prior. Cole wanted a way to release his music and Hamad wanted to start a label, so they teamed up to launch Dreamville Records. Cole has since released four studio albums, one live album, two EPs, two mixtapes, and has two albums, The Fall Off and The Off Season scheduled to release in 2019. The rapper’s most successful album yet is 2014 Forest Hills Drive, released with Roc Nation and Columbia, which charted at number one and went three times platinum.
Omen – Signed in 2009
Chicago rapper and producer Damon Coleman met Cole on a chat forum at 17-years-old and they began sharing music. He released his debut mixtape, Delayed, in 2010, then followed it up with Afraid of Heights which included features from Cole and Compton rapper, Kendrick Lamar. Omen finally dropped his debut studio album in 2015 after officially signing with Dreamville, titled Elephant Eyes, and then joined Cole for his “2014 Forest Hills Drive” Tour. He then went on his own Elephant Eyes tour, visiting Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Chicago. Omen is scheduled to release an album in late 2019.
Bas – Signed in 2013
At a show in 2014, Cole announced that Dreamville Records partnered with Interscope Records for distribution. Attendees received flyers promoting the new deal and mixtape, Revenge of the Dreamers, and then he announced the new signing of French rapper from Queens, Bas. Born Abbas Hamad, he is also the younger brother of Cole’s manager and label co-founder, Ibrahim. Bas has released three studio albums, a mixtape, and an EP. His most successful album to date is 2016’s Too Hot To Riot, peaking at number six on Billboard US Rap charts. Bas’ next album, 2018 Milky Way charted in the US, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands, unlike any of his other projects. The French rapper is scheduled to drop another album in 2019 with electronic indie band, The Hics.
Cozz – Signed in 2014
In June 2014, Cole officially announced they signed Los Angeles rapper Cozz to the label. Born Cody Osagie, he began pursuing rap in 2013. He dropped a music video for his single “Dreams” and received attention from several labels before deciding to sign with Dreamville Records. In October 2014, the rapper released his debut studio album, Cozz & Effect, which Cozz initially wanted to distribute for free. However, after hearing the finished album, it sounded better than he and the label thought, so they agreed to sell it. Cozz has released two mixtapes and two albums, his most successful being Cozz & Effect, charting at number 17. He is also scheduled to release another album before the end of the year.
Lute – Signed in 2015
In December 2015, when Dreamville Records released the second installment of Revenge of the Dreamers, it officially announced the two new signees, North Carolina rapper Lute and singer Ari Lennox. Born Luther Nicholson, he is a former member of the defunct Charlotte hip-hop collective, Forever FC. He dropped his first mixtape, West1996, in February of 2012 which garnered a lot of attention from people in the industry, including DJ and rapper Pete Rock. Lute dropped his only studio album, West1996 pt. 2 in 2017, but unfortunately, it did not reach the Billboard charts. He also released an untitled EP in 2018 and is scheduled to drop his sophomore album in 2019.
Ari Lennox – Signed in 2015
Born Courtney Shanade Salter in Washington D.C., she shaped her stage name after Mary Lennox, a character in the 1993 fantasy drama, The Secret Garden. She began uploading her music on Internet sites in 2012 and released her first mixtape and an EP in 2013. In 2015, Omen featured her on the song “Sweat It Out” from his debut album, and then the Dreamville team started listening to her music. Cole wanted her to work with him on music for Rihanna, so he signed her in December 2015. Dreamville’s first lady released her debut album, Shea Butter Baby, in May of 2019 which peaked at number 38 on the Billboard US Top R&B / Hip Hop Albums chart.
J.I.D. – Signed in 2017
Having toured with Dreamville artists before in 2014, East-Atlanta rapper J.I.D officially joined the team in 2017. Born Destin Choice Route in Atlanta, his stage name comes from his grandmother’s nickname for him because of his “jittery” behavior. He released his first mixtape in 2010 and then formed a musical collective, Spillage Village, with EARTHGANG, Hollywood JB, and JordxnBryant. J.I.D. dropped three more mixtapes before opening for rapper Ab-Soul’s 2014 These Days Tour after the collective released their first mixtape. Several Dreamville artists made appearances on Spillage Village’s third collective mixtape including Cole himself. The following year, he announced that J.I.D joined the Dreamville family. He has since released two albums on the label, with 2018’s DiCaprio 2 being the most successful, charting at number 41.
EARTHGANG – Signed in 2017
Hip hop duo EARTHGANG, consisting of Atlanta rappers Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, are also the co-founders of Spillage Village. The duo formed in 2008, and they released their first mixtape in 2010. They also dropped numerous singles and two more mixtapes in 2011, and then released their debut album in 2013 which was very well received. They released another album in 2015 which also received positive reviews before singing to Dreamville Records. Venus and Dot released three EPs from 2017 to 2018 which will lead up to their third album, Mirrorland, dropping in 2019.
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