Last night, J. Cole's Dreamville collective released their Revenge of the Dreamers II collaborative project as a surprise on iTunes. With the new project, Dreamville also announced the signing of two new artists—Lute and Ari Lennox—to the label. While fans got a quick introduction to each artist with a pair of solo songs on the project, not much is really known about the young artists. Lute, a North Carolina native like Cole, is a rapper, while Ari Lennox is a talented singer/songwriter out of Washington D.C.
Though the signings were just announced last night, it appears that Lute was on Cole's radar for some time. In concert footage from August, Cole not only shouted out Lute, but also said he's currently the best rapper out of Charlotte. Lute probably isn't on most people's playlists yet, but he's steadily been releasing dope music for quite awhile.
His 2012 mixtape, West1996, garnered plenty of attention, and his loyal supporters are still waiting for a proper follow-up. Stand out songs like "Queen City Slummin" display Lute's lyrical abilities as well as his polished flow and slick delivery to match. It's unclear how Lute and Cole originally linked, but the pairing could lead to something special. Much like we've seen with the other rappers Cole has brought to Dreamville like Bas and Cozz, Lute is a raw, but talented MC that when put in the right situation, could really flourish.
The Dreamville crew is packed with talented rappers, so it's nice to see the label expand the squad with a talented singer/songwriter in Ari Lennox. Again, Lennox is not a known commodity by most fans, as she's only really released a little bit of music and barely has over 1,000 followers on Twitter. She also hasn't used the page in months, and last tweeted about her appearance on Omen's project, Elephant Eyes, back in July.
Though her SoundCloud page features a handful of tracks, it doesn't even look like Lennox has dropped a full project to this point. Songs like "Bound" and "Cascade" are graceful examples of Lennox's spectacular, though not overpowering voice. Her soulful vocals balance perfectly with her personal lyricism. Lennox's versatility as an artist should play well in her future under the Dreamville imprint. Much like Lute, it's unknown how Lennox ended up on Cole's radar, but the potential for what they could create together in the future is exciting.