J Cole’s label, Dreamville has come together once again to curate a lineup of singles that form into a full-length project. I say a lineup of singles because there is an absence of a cohesive narrative on Revenge of the Dreams III. You can give a pass for a non-story on projects like these because it is a solid group of minds coming together to create tracks and not all would agree on a narrative for the project. With the talents attached to this label and project such as JID, Ari Lennox, Bas, and J Cole, himself, you would expect this to be a fairly entertaining album that delivers memorable tracks to be listened to years down the line. However, that is not what ROTD III provides for even its most passionate listeners. This album is tedious to listen to and that is not an exaggeration.
J Cole has become a very divisive artist ever since he broke onto the scene. Many people love the melodic beats and thought-provoking lyricism in most of his music. Today, I still believe that KOD is a fantastic album and better than most of the trap projects that we get in a given year. On the other hand, many people are calling J Cole out on his BS and his fake “wokeness”. They also find the instrumentals to most of his music to be too drab for their tastes. While there is a compelling argument for both sides, I have tended to lean more positive in J Cole’s favor because I have enjoyed most of his discography. When it comes to ROTD III though, not all the artist are meant to be delivering vocals with melodic backgrounds. JID’s talents are mostly compromised on this project minus an absolute banger in “Down Bad”. Ari Lennox is practically absent on this project and shows up on one of the most annoying tracks on this project, “Self Love”. Cozz and Bas have a lot of airtime but lack any memorable moments on here. Smino comes in well on the final track, “Sacrifices”, but that will be the best you get out of him. The best tracks on this album come at the beginning of the one-hour project. EARTHGANG delivers a breakout performance on “Swivel” and “Oh Wow…Swerve” brings the classic J Cole that we have come to know and love.
What breaks this project is the lack of intriguing and cutting-edge production. Most of these tracks will force you to try to stay awake to survive the onslaught of bland and basic trap beats. All of these artists should stray away from doing another collaboration project like this because it does not do them any service. Their talents are stripped back heavily and do not equivalate to their solo endeavors. At the end of the day, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an airball of a project from the Dreamville acts.
Richest Tracks: “Down Bad”, “Swivel”, “Oh Wow…Swerve”, “Ladies, Ladies, Ladies”, “1993”, “MIDDLE CHILD”
Worst Tracks: “LamboTruck”, “Self Love”, “Sunset”