Dreamville’s strategic genius should not be doubted at this point. Where do we begin? Okay, there isn’t that much time so let’s start around January 2019. The entire roster gathered from “the sixth to the sixteenth” for a rap sleep away camp of sorts, and they invited all of their talented friends to the fun in Atlanta. What we got from that golden-ticketed madness was six months of anticipation followed by a pleasantly surprising collaborative effort in Revenge of The Dreamers III, and a bunch of new artists to check out if we weren’t already familiar. Those who weren’t taking Guapdad 4000, Buddy, and Smino—to name a few—seriously could be super fans by now.
There was this one piece of content they released the week of ROTDIII, though that’s especially important considering this week’s release of “BUSSIT” and “Still Up”. The half-hour documentary featured artist confessionals, and teasers of some of the music we would end up hearing on the album.
Notable clips that we didn’t receive though was: Ari Lennox sitting in a circle of peers reading along from her phone while delivering a typical Ari wind chime melody and TDE’s Reason rapping along to a hard beat asserting he’ll be in Top’s position. For the nerds who watched it multiple times, especially after the album’s release—me—we wondered if those “ideas” would ever see the light of day. It’s music, there’s millions of songs released a day and billions we will likely never hear. For Dreamville, seemingly it was all part of the plan.
“BUSSIT” is the Shea Butter Baby in her liberated zone. Surely she sounds comfortable killing those runs, but the liberation is in how she has no shame asserting her sexual desires and calling out the fact her lover has the same. Ari conveys sexiness in her tone and language effortlessly.
It would be low-hanging fruit to say she is the essence of the 90’s, especially because women are freer to be themselves these days. She’ll talk shit to you while seducing you, and you kind of just have to deal with it. There’s a bounce to the Elite produced-beat, and she fills the spaces more than well.
“I know that you’re into me, you bout it? Then let me see/Ride, don’t be scared of me, I’m rowdy as they can be/I like all the ways you do, ooh, boy, you’re killin’ me/I know that you feelin’ me, buss it to the tenth degree.” If she’s head over heels, we can’t tell. This is straight-shooter talk.
“Still Up” is the first collaboration we have heard from dynamic duo EARTHGANG and the “Flick It Up” rapper. Meez laces them with a mix of synths, pattering hi-hats, and blaring 808s. It’s yet another instance where the trap sounds meets impeccable lyricism.
Johnny Venus pops in briefly discussing emotional baggage before Reason shouts out his label and Dreamville before recounting his come up to this point. “I’m in high position, I ain’t used to have a pot to piss in/Nigga I been so focused/Nigga move forward, niggas ain’t loafin’”.
Doctur Dot closes the show and might have stolen it. “I walk through glow like aquarium-blue/Me and my job/Paradise go wherever I move/Feelin’ like ‘Pac, but I’m livin’ like Snoop/Die in denial, then live in yo’ truth/Givin’ no fuck, still spendin’ like ‘Oops’”. In the end, it’s a near four-minute rap fest flooded with wordplay and quick flow switches. Even in the sprint-like raps, there’s substance and figurative language to mull over.
Ibrahim Hamad, Dreamville co-founder, wasted no time letting us know that a deluxe was coming soon after ROTDIII’s release. History would have taught us to know that meant prepare for another six months, but knowing they made over 200 songs in Atlanta made that a bit difficult for some. What better way to confirm its inevitable arrival than releasing these two tracks many may have forgotten they’d heard, exactly one year after they were made? The Dreamvillians already enjoyed a #1 debut and gold certifications but this decade could be off to a great start if the Grammy’s Best Rap Album category goes their way.
Regardless, they’ve created something special that will likely be imitated but unable to duplicated. Plus, they have got more in store for us and their genuine excitement to be working with a slew of gifted artists is more than evident. The wait is always worth it when the product is quality. Perhaps the Dreamers’ revenge for us hounding them is knowing how great what they’re sitting on is, and keeping it close until the time is right. They nailed it!