Review: J. Cole introduces new artists in mix tape

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Charles Rudison

J. Cole and Dreamville Records show they are a hip-hop force to be reckoned with in the releasing of “Revenge of the Dreamers.”

While being a good mixtape, J. Cole’s other mixtapes and albums do overshadow “Revenge of the Dreamers.”

J. Cole has had a lot to celebrate of late. Following the release of his first collaborative mixtape, Cole introduced his new label, Dreamville Records, and reportedly teamed up with Kendrick Lamar at one of his concerts. Jay-Z even awarded Cole with his original Roc-A-Fella chain.

“The Warm up,” “Friday Night Lights,” “The Come up” and definitely “Born Sinner” are all better than “Revenge of the Dreamers.” These mixtapes paved the way for J. Cole’s career. From the lyrics to the passion the mixtapes were better.

The album’s strength lies in its versatility. The mixtape channels several different sounds and messages.

By displaying an old-school sound, songs like “Motion Picture” and “Revenge of the Dreamers” produce a sound that almost makes listeners feel as though they are in the ‘90s again.

Songs like “Lit” and “Bitchez” manufacture a happy and party-like sound with the upbeat lyrics.

J. Cole and the Dreamville crew stay true to real rap for most of the mixtape. While dropping some clever yet insightful bars, Cole focuses on issues that struggling Americans have to deal with every day in the song “Crooked Smile.”

The only negative in the mixtape is that J. Cole has not gotten any better as a rapper. He is in the same place he was lyrically back in 2011 when he released “Cole World: The Sideline Story.”

It’s not a bad thing, but if Cole wants to reach an elite level he has to step his game up a few notches.

Label mates Omen and Bas also made sure their presence was felt on the mixtape as well. A mix of experience and youth, Omen and Bas bring a unique feel to the mixtape.

Bas is a new up-and-coming artist that Cole is giving a shot.

On the song “Lit,” Bas displays his lyrical talents by using masterful wordplay and showing off a complex rhyme scheme. In “Motion Picture,” Omen raps about struggles in a way that connects directly to your soul while articulating an elaborate flow.

The mixtape was good but not great. It could have been much better.