Thoughts on the “Director’s Cut” of ROTDIII

This updated version of Dreamville Records’ 2019 GRAMMY nominated compilation, Revenge of the Dreamers III, was released on January 16th this year, and I figured I’d give my opinion of the 12 new tracks that were added. I did a similar thing with Young Thug’s “Deluxe” version of So Much Fun; I might start doing this more often. Anyway, I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy these additional songs that much, especially since I wasn’t that crazy about the original, standard edition of the compilation. I think two of these tracks were released as singles, and I wasn’t really a fan of either of them, so that lowered my expectations even more. Then, they finally released the track listing, which pretty much expunged any remaining anticipation I had. To be honest, I’m only checking this out because I think there’s a slight chance that I may enjoy a song or two. None of the features are particularly intriguing, especially since 99% of them were already present on the original version of the album. I was also disappointed to see that J. Cole isn’t on any of the new songs. Some people may be happy about that, but I personally think he’s one of, if not the number one best rapper on the regular version of the album. I think J.I.D makes better albums, but J. Cole is a much better rapper in my opinion. Oh, one more thing; I just wanna point out how ugly the official cover for this updated version of the album is.

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I feel like they were trying to go for the same aesthetic that Mavi had for the Let the Sun Talk cover, but they just failed miserably. These faces look bad, man… They look really bad. They did T.I. so dirty.

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How come they got my man lookin’ like Shaun King here? The overwhelming majority of these miniature portraits just look ugly as hell. Who the fuck is that dude above Saba supposed to be? You know what? Fuck it. I think that’s enough dickin’ around for now. Lemme go ahead and listen to this shit…


This collection of new songs ended up being slightly more enjoyable than I was expecting it to be. I don’t think it’s good, and it’s certainly not better than the standard edition of the album, but I did get a handful of entertaining tracks out of it. It starts off with Big Black Truck. I think the beat is pretty damn hard. The hook is alright too. There’s just one verse from J.I.D on the song, but it was cool to me. As always, his flow and delivery stand out much more than his actual lyrics, but none of them were bad. I feel like if any song could’ve used a T.I. feature, it was this one. It feels like a huge missed opportunity. I do like the song to some extent, but it is admittedly a little bland. If you’ve never been a fan of J.I.D in the past, this won’t do anything to change your opinion of him. Nothing about the song stands out as being particularly unique or creative. It’s just a cool verse with a solid hook over a hard hitting beat. I do like it, but it’s not an essential track. With that said, this definitely should’ve made the original cut over some of the other tracks on the standard edition of the album. Still Up was one of the two singles that I heard before checking out the full project. The first verse from Johnny Venus is really underwhelming, but his hook is pretty catchy. The song really loses my attention by the time Reason’s verse begins. I think his flow was kinda cool during certain parts of the verse, but overall it fell flat in my opinion. Doctur Dot actually did a really great job though. He’s the only artist who really impressed me on this track. Everything else about the song is pretty boring. The production from Meez & Louie Ji is very flat. Overall, the song is just really mediocre to me. The third track is called Outta Pocket. The production from Girl Talk on this track was actually pretty dope to me at first, but it gets very repetitive and tiresome by the time the second verse begins. The first verse from Bas is okay, and his hook is decent I suppose. The second verse from Cozz is painfully underwhelming. Honestly, this is the least interesting song on the project up to this point; it’s a very boring track. It’s certainly not unlistenable, but it’s just very nondescript to me. I think it’s wack. I like the smooth production on Late Night from Monte Booker. Cozz’s verse isn’t amazing or anything, but I was thankfully somewhat interested in what he had to say. That line about using prayers instead of condoms definitely caught my attention. It’s not really a relatable, funny or cool line; I think it just stood out to me because it’s so crazy and stupid. The hook from Landstrip Chip is very underwhelming. He has a super generic and conventional voice. I feel like his feature here is really pointless. Buddy probably would’ve sounded better singing that shit himself. Omen’s verse was very dull to me. Honestly, the song just gets more and more boring as it progresses. Omen does absolutely nothing to stand out on this track; he just sounds like “Passable MC #8520934702.” Buddy had a pretty nice flow, but the lyrics aren’t really that good. I guess that’s to be expected from him though. The song is pretty bad to me overall. Honestly, I think it could’ve been decent. Nothing about it really stands out as being particularly bad. Everything is basically just “tolerable,” and the sum of all these tolerable parts ends up being pretty boring. This shit damn near put me to sleep. The beat on Spin Move is weird as hell; I don’t really like it to be honest. It sounds like Monte Booker was trying to go for a lush, Electronic influenced, Tobacco or Illingsworth type beat, but it just sounds really disjointed in my opinion. I do appreciate that it actually sounds far more unique than any of the other material though. Saba’s performance on this track is okay. The lyrics aren’t really worth reading into, but his flow sounded good. Bas’ verse didn’t do much for me, but I think his voice sounds good over this beat. Smino’s verse was actually really bad to me to be honest; it sounded very rushed and unpolished. The feature from The Hics is actually fantastic, but it really comes outta nowhere. It’s kind of an abrupt & jarring switch up from the rest of the song, but I like it. I definitely think this is one of the better songs from this new collection of tracks, but it’s not something I’d return to. It’s just okay to me. It’s followed by BUSSIT, which was the second of two singles that I heard before checking out the full project. I think it’s an okay song. Honestly, it really just sounds like an Erykah Badu track to me. Ari Lennox sounds very good over this instrumental in my opinion, and the first verse is cool. I’m not really into the hook, but it’s not bad. This definitely isn’t a wack song, but it just doesn’t have any replay value for me. It’s a smooth track, but I don’t see myself coming back to it. It’d be cool to have on in the background, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to turn this shit back on and actively listen to it. It’s just decent to me. I really love the instrumental on Passcode, but the opening verse from Buddy is pretty underwhelming in my opinion. I’m not a fan of the bridge from Smino at all either. The mixing on King Mez’s verse seems a little rough to me; for some reason it sounds like certain parts of his verse are drowned out by the instrumental. He was okay I guess. The content of this song really just doesn’t interest me at all. It’s all about relationships and women being suspicious of their cheating boyfriends. I don’t even really care for Ari Lennox’s vocals on this track, but I think she sounds better than anyone else. The words from Guapdad 4000 at the end of the song were lame to me. Honestly, this track is really bad in my opinion. I like the instrumental a lot, but this song is a complete mess. The way it’s structured is strangely sloppy. The artists on this track have zero chemistry, and it just feels like a meandering slog. I think this shit is terrible. The next track is called Up, Up & Away. Vince Staples keeps trying to do this thing where he replaces his B’s with C’s, and it just does not work at all. It sounds so awkward and dumb. It’s already stupid as fuck when Bloods do that shit, but it’s even harder to take seriously when Vince reverses it. I mean, I know it’s probably not supposed to be taken seriously, but it’s still just super lame to me. Anyway, his hook on this track is thankfully pretty nice. J.I.D’s verse was honestly trash from a lyrical standpoint though.

Dyin’ easy as dinosaurs, Mayan prophecies
Michelangelo, Maya Angelou, now I’m ramblin’
Take ya panties off and make a man of me
Thick and juicy booty like a manatee

nigga what

His flow was at least pretty nice. Vince Staples’ verse was actually really dope; he did a good job. Dot fucking killed that last verse though. He easily had the best performance in my opinion. Overall, I think this is one of the best songs out of the 12 new tracks. The first verse from J.I.D definitely tarnished the song, but it wasn’t bad enough to completely ruin it. This track is dope. The beat on No Chorus is pretty awesome to me honestly. The first verse from Bas is actually pretty dope too. The hook  is kinda trash, but it doesn’t last long enough for me to really be bothered by it. The second and third verses from Buddy & Guapdad 4000 respectively are decent to me, but I could’ve done without them. Dreezy’s verse was more entertaining in my opinion, but I think Bas had the best verse overall. None of the verses were amazing, but I liked them to some extent. The song would’ve been better if it genuinely had no chorus, but I still enjoy it as a whole. It’s pretty good. It’s followed by Disgusted, which is an okay song. I think it’s pretty good sonically, but the content just does not appeal to me at all. I don’t give half of a fuck about anything they’re rapping about. It’s cool to hear Cozz & Childish Major trading quick 8 bar verses, and I like the production a lot. I won’t be coming back to the song though. The lyrics really go in one ear and out the other for me, so I just don’t care about the song at all. It’s decent though. Thankfully, the final two tracks are the best songs on the album in my opinion. The penultimate track is called Revenge. The production from Ron Gilmore & Kal Banx is fantastic, and Ari’s vocals sound glorious over it. The first couple of verses from Dot & Childish Major are pretty solid. Lute’s verse was pretty nice too, but Omen actually killed his verse in my opinion. He did a surprisingly stellar job. However, Reason really ended up having the best verse. You can tell that they all knew he had the most poignant verse on the song. It’s crazy to think about how they almost didn’t release this track. Reason was probably mad as hell when this emotional ass verse didn’t make it onto the original album. This is easily one of the best songs in the new collection of tracks. It’s dope af. The last song is called Still Dreamin’, and it’s probably my favorite track. It easily has the best instrumental on the album in my opinion, and the sung hook is pretty nice too. The first verse from J.I.D is dope, and the second verse from 6LACK was surprisingly good as well; he’s really hit or miss with me, but I enjoyed his performance here. Lute easily had the best verse on the song, but it seems like it ended kind of abruptly. I feel like he wasn’t done rapping, but the hook just came in suddenly, so he had to stop early. It’s not a big enough issue to really tarnish the track for me, but it did kinda bother me. The song’s still dope af though. I fuck with it. 🙂


As I said earlier, this album is marginally better than I was expecting it to be. Honestly, I genuinely didn’t think I’d get more than a couple enjoyable songs out of this. I can see why most of these songs were left off of the standard edition of the album because most of them are just very bland and underwhelming. There’s honestly no reason to check out this Director’s Cut unless you’re a huge Dreamville fanatic who loved the original album. I mean, I guess it’s worth skimming as long as you keep your expectations in check. The relative lack of publicity for this version of the album along with the unremarkable track listing should make it apparent that it isn’t gonna sell any Dreamville doubters on the potential of the label. Most of these songs should’ve remained on the cutting room floor in my opinion, but it’s cool that we at least got some enjoyable material here. It’s a decent, albeit somewhat forgettable collection of songs.

Favorite Song: Still Dreamin’
Least Favorite Song: Passcode

61

C flat
Grade: C

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