Dreamville Records is done watching the throne. With an undeniable momentum, J. Cole's clan is staking its claim as hip-hop's No. 1 collective. Sleep at your own peril.

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of XXL magazine, on stands now.

Cozz
Age: 25
Reppin’: South Central, Los Angeles
Signed to Dreamville: 2014

XXL: What is the thread that unites everyone in Dreamville?

Cozz: Everybody on the squad is humble, real down-to-Earth people. No egos. We take our time with our lyrics. We lyricists and we all different, too. We don’t make the same [music]. We have the Queen of Soul, Ari Lennox. She’s amazing—performance-wise, all together. We have Bas with the vibe. J.I.D do a little bit of everything. EarthGang like a little OutKast. Omen [is] the poet. We got weapons in different areas.

What is it like being the lone West Coast artist on the label?

It feels amazing. I got my own lane. People got they own ideas of what a West Coast rapper is supposed to sound like. We got a couple of spittas that prove that we are people to talk about. Ain’t too many of us. I do my hip-hop boom-bap, but I got my fun shit, too. I’m just proving that the West can hang, lyrically.

Do you have any recurring dreams that you can remember?

It’s this reoccurring dream I have where I’m in Africa and in those brown [wheat] fields. I hear people yelling, African dudes. I don’t know what they are saying, but I just start running. And they always run after me. They throwing spears and shooting at me, but they always miss. I be so scared. In dreams you usually run slow [and] fight slow. I start off running slow and after a while I just get fast as fuck. It’s the only dream that I consistently remember. I don’t know what the fuck that means, but I don’t like it.

What do you have planned to follow up last year’s Effected album?

A lot, man. I loved [Effected], but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to drop more. This year, I’ma be way more active in the game. I had a lot of distractions last year. I plan on showing off and dropping records. Cole, too. We used to drop an album and wait for the next one. We ain’t doing that shit. I’m dropping all types of shit: freestyles, songs, vibing with different artists. I didn’t used to do that. I was kinda just chilling and being on my own. This year you gon’ see Cozz flourish, man. I planted the seed. It’s time to see that mutherfucka grow.

XXL

See All Photos From Dreamville's Spring 2019 XXL Magazine Cover Story