J. Cole is making a ‘Gangsta Grillz’ mixtape with DJ Drama

'D-Day' showcases the Dreamville Records roster and arrives a day before the Dreamville Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 23: J. Cole performs onstage for SiriusXM and Pandora's Small S...
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ByJayson Buford

Just as the Dreamville Festival is set to return after a three-year hiatus, J. Cole and his Dreamville label are set to release a Gangsta Grillz mixtape, joining the legion of other artists like Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Pharrell who have done so.

Late Wednesday, on his Instagram, J. Cole announced that Dreamville will drop a Gangsta Grillz mixtape hosted by Atlanta mixtape DJ/record exec DJ Drama. Titled D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape, the mixtape will come out on Thursday at 7 PM EST. The project is the latest group release from Dreamville — whose roster includes JID, Earthgang, Bas, Lute, Ari Lennox, and Cole himself — since 2019’s Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation, and the first with J. Cole’s name attached since his May 2021 album The Off-Season. Dreamville Festival, the company’s annual event in Cole’s hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, is April 2-3 and flaunts J. Cole, Lil Baby, and Kehlani among its performers, along with members of the label, and a special DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz set with Lil Wayne, T.I. and Jeezy.

There’s been somewhat of a renaissance in the career of the legendary mixtape producer in the past two years. DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz mixtape series helped catapult multiple artists to superstardom in the 2000s and 2010s, but his Aphilliates Music Group offices in Atlanta were raided in 2006 on racketeering charges. While he’s done other mixtapes and albums since then, he’s largely been on the executive side, helping steer the careers of artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Jack Harlow as co-founder of the label Generation Now. But mainstream rappers, in a youthful nostalgia for a past era, are helping to bring him back on wax. He just served as the host of Tyler, the Creator’s stellar 2021 album Call Me If You Get Lost, and Dreamville’s D-Day could start a new winning streak.