After a successful 2018, Dreamville Records is ready to takeover and reach new heights in the new year. Ahead of the inaugural Dreamville Fest next month, the label covers XXL‘s new spring issue. Shot by famed photographer Jonathan Mannion, the cover story and shoot was done with Atlanta during the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions that brought out many of today’s heavyweight artists and hot producers to work on the upcoming compilation album. Lead by J. Cole, the spring issue features individual Q&A’s with Dreamville’s full roster that includes Bas, Cozz, EarthGang, J.I.D, Lute, Omen and Ari Lennox.

The Revenge of the Dreamers III recording sessions, individual solo projects, the path each artist took leading up to joining Dreamville, and plans in 2019 are all discussed. Read each artist’s individual interview by clicking here and check out some J. Cole excerpts and behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot below.

Continue after the jump….

XXL: Not every artist has the ambition to start a label. Why was it important for you to launch Dreamville Records?

J. Cole: This is something I wanted before I was even signed. I had the whole label name: Dreamville. I remember when I came up with it I told R.J., I told Ib[rahim Hamad]. We were walking through Manhattan. I had the concept back then and I don’t know why. I don’t know if it was because that’s how Jay[-Z] did it, how Ruff Ryders did it. Then me being 22, 23 years old saying, “I want to do that, too.”

XXL: Having your own label was a mark of success.

J. Cole: Exactly. The past fucking five or six years, it’s become like, I’m responsible—I owe it to these artists, to the fans of these artists. I’ve got to pop this shit off to give them the best shot to have sustainable careers doing this shit because this is my family now. I love these people and I’m a big fan of them. I really believe in their talent.

XXL: You’ve been known to be hands on with your production. Was it an adjustment to relinquish some of that control during these sessions?

J. Cole: Me and T-Minus been locked in for months. I don’t even want to make beats no more unless I’m working with T-Minus and I just want to add some shit or help. But, for at least the next month or two, I don’t even want to make no beats. I just want to rap. For the first time I’ve been able to focus on that for the most part.

Previously: J. Cole Announces New Dreamville Fest Lineup with SZA, Big Sean, 21 Savage, Nelly & More