January 31, 2014 - 4:23pm
BY ALLEN DONNE
J. Cole’s surprise release: ‘The Revenge of the Dreamers’
Jan. 28 was J. Cole’s 29th birthday, and how did he celebrate? By continuing to please fans and perform concerts. But on that special day, he surprised concertgoers with appearances by both Kendrick Lamar and JAY Z and with an unexpected new mixtape online and physically under fans’ seats.
The Revenge of the Dreamers mixtape, featuring the sounds of J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, celebrates the label’s recently negotiated deal with Interscope Records. For those who are unfamiliar, Interscope helped propel the musical careers of notable rappers like Eminem, Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar.
Despite J. Cole not rapping on some tracks, he provides the production for most of the tape.
Whether through basic beats or sampling – snippets of Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. and even Miguel are present – fans can track the growth of J. Cole as a producer. After all, he did produce almost all the tracks for his first few mixtapes (see The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights) and on his albums, most notably his sophomore album Born Sinner.
The mixtape offers an opportunity to learn more about Dreamville Records. Listen as Bas and Omen, the label’s primary signees, exhibit their abilities on the microphone. On the cover of the Internet-released tape, Bas also reveals the Mar. 6 release date for his debut album Last Winter. Hopefully this mixtape is a pleasant foreshadowing of things to come. I know I’ll be bumping this release for a while.