You know what they say about opinions…..Here’s Mine:
Earlier this year, The Dreamville All-stars as I call them, made their way to Birmingham, AL. Through a friend, I was fortunate enough to attend the concert. While I was there, I was introduced to a few new (new to me anyway) artists. J.I.D., Ari Lennox, and Lute West. Here’s my take on each of them:
First up to bat was Lute West. This Carolina native has an intelligent flow. When I hear him rap, I hear an old soul… remnant of the days when skill and subject matter, mattered. His voice and cadence are similar to Cole’s. (Similar in the way that two best friends sound alike and finish each other’s sentences). However, his words are his own. This young single dad is wise beyond his years lyrically and is a great father to his daughter. Instead of slinging rocks, he’s slinging these tapes to support his, which makes him a good dude in my book…..that and responds to my comments on his IG stories 🤷🏾♀️. Check out Lute’s latest, released 09/29/17, West 1996 Part 2 on iTunes.
Next up: Ari Lennox – This girl’s voice is cool and sultry.
Personally, I am more of a fan of very mature sounding voices, but Ari can SANG, child! If you have J. Cole’s last album, then you’re familiar with Ari. She blessed the track, “Change”, with her gift but has a catalog of her own. This naturalista ✊🏾 sings freely about sex and unapologetically makes a point to say some uplifting words to all of the queens out in the audience when her set is up. Ari just released a visual for her song entitled, “Night Drive” from the EP PHO, which, of course, is out now!
Bringing up the rear is J.I.D – WHOOOOO! Ever heard the phrase, “looks can be deceiving”? This young man right here embodies it. Hailing from Atlanta, he threw me for a loop. J.I.D raps like a 90’s cat over Dr. Dre beats. Although small in stature, his stage presence and lyrical content command your attention. Having never heard of him or his music, I was pleasantly surprised. Recently, the legendary Mos Def stated that he listens to J.I.D. I haven’t researched all of the details yet, but his life up to this point has been a hard one and you can feel that in his music. His latest, “The Never Story” is out now.
J. Cole did a great job adding these young artists to his label. I look forward to who else will be added to the Dreamville roster in the near future. ✌🏾