Dreamville Release Director’s Cut for Revenge Sessions | 12 New Tracks
Evan Dale // Jan 16, 2019
It’s a statement.
After absolutely dominating 2019 with the release of their syndicate masterpiece, Revenge of the Dreamers lll, Dreamville are back with its subsequent Director’s Cut. But unlike the releases when artists in the past have brought to life extended editions to their successful projects, Revenge of the Dreamers lll: Director’s Cut nearly doubles the length of the original. In a way, it makes sense. The original was already 18 tracks in length, exuberantly long for the modern hip-hop scene. With not only the number of names involved, but also due to their respective range, the Director’s Cut tops off at 30 songs: all differentiated, all necessary. Not a moment of its nearly 2-hour run time is wasted. And that must be owed to the sheer abundance of musical genius that the studio had pulled together through their 10-day camp session that brought it all akin in the first place.
There is so much literary response already dedicated to the brilliance of Revenge of the Dreamers lll so if that’s something that’s new to you or interesting to revisit, find it here:
And from here on out, let’s just focus on what’s new.
The Director’s Cut is Revenge of the Dreamers lll tethered seamlessly at its end with the addition of 12 new tracks, many of which were teased in the album’s accompany documentary, and two of which, Bussit and Still Up led the Director’s Cut full length release as the 1/16 A-Side/B-Side. The former of which is an Ari Lennox classic, emotionally crooning her way through a romantic R&B joint; the latter of which is an experimental, addicting hip-hop anthem that the world has come to expect from EARTHGANG with the lyrical matter-of-factness TDE’s REASON always brings in tow.
It seems apparent that though this version of the album was released second, it was the first final product that Dreamville brought to fruition. And if it wasn’t, and some sort of Master’s Cut exists, and that it’s even broader and more expansive than this absurdist 30-piece, then it must be 100 songs long. Nonetheless, Revenge of the Dreamers lll: Director’s Cut is, as stated earlier, a statement. And once the original release received the acclaim a celebration that it did, it was a natural next step to grant an audience not the first collection of tracks that didn’t make the cut, but the second half of tracks that was always going to be released.
And why wouldn’t these 12 tracks eventually see the light of day?
They could have made up the entirety of the original release and it still would have been the best, most influential project to come out in 2019.
And that’s thanks to the myriad styles of so many different, risk-taking playmakers coming together so cohesively and boldly.
There are the moments where the rapper rappers like JID, Bas, Cozz, and REASON pick up right where they left off – or simply continue the explosiveness of their predicated Revenge of the Dreamers lll playbill – make a collective case for most talented wordsmiths in the game today. JID’s Big Black Truck, Bas & Cozz’s Outta Pocket, and REASON’s verses on Still Up & Revenge are some of the most lyrically endowed, poetically devisive moments on the entire 30-track album.
There are the vocal moments. Mostly dominated by Ari Lennox featuring hooks on Passcode & Revenge and of course with the inclusion of the entire project’s most emotional, well-rounded R&B joint, Bussit, Ari Lennox continues her dominance as one of the best and most quickly rising young vocalists in all of music. And with Ari Lennox’s experimental delivery comes also a featuring spot from 6LACK on Still Dreaming, tying further hip-hop and R&B coalescence into Revenge of the Dreamers at large.
There are the moments that are rooted purely in experimenting with the boundaries of hip-hop and R&B, calling into question the point of such genrefication and labeling at all. EARTHGANG lend their unpredictable skillset to a number of tracks on the album’s new cut, sometimes singing, sometimes rapping, but always sounding like no one ever quite has before. Two new verses from the incomparable Smino on Spin Move & Passcode also pull into focus questions about genre and what the future of music will come to be under the influence of artists perpetually fluid with their stylistic states.
There are so many more moments also worth discussing, but, just as with the original 18-track masterpiece, each new addition to Revenge of the Dreamers lll: Director’s Cut is better simply to listen to.
And it should also be listened to in whole. Though not everyone has two hours with which to dive mind-first into the depth of such a complex and indefinable work of art, it’s worth making time for. As a 30-track collaborative syndicate project, it emerges even better than the original, still the greatest collective project in history and bound for influence across so much music for the foreseeable future.