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.

EarthGang
Names: Olu O. Fann, a.k.a. Johnny Venus (Left); WowGr8, a.k.a. Doctur Dot (Right)
Age: Olu: 29, WowGr8: 28
Reppin’: Atlanta
Signed to Dreamville: 2017

XXL: How did you end up signing with Dreamville?

Olu: We met Cole and Bas when we were on the road with Ab-Soul. We was in New York. We did a show up there and Cole was digging it. That’s when we started the connection. We just was working and creating with them a little while and they was like, “Let’s make this official.” It was a genuine connection.

WowGr8: We was kind of doing our own thing, working that indie scene pretty heavy. Then an opportunity opened up that seemed organic, seemed real.

What are your all-time favorite hip-hop groups of the past and present?

Olu: Wu-Tang [Clan], Dungeon Family, Death Row, Bone Thugs[-n-Harmony], UGK, Three 6 Mafia.

WowGr8: I got a lot of respect for A$AP Mob.

Olu: 2 Live Crew—they brought about a lot of that ratchet-bass shit. People need that. People need to move, shake, bob and let loose. The drums remind me of our culture, us being African. We about the drum. You hear that drum and your body start moving. Something happens. Vibrations go. I just appreciate them putting that into hip-hop.

What makes Dreamville different from other rap crews?

WowGr8: The freedom to create. We can go anywhere and set up shop. It ain’t gon’ turn into no Hollywood event, no award show-looking event, no shootout. It’s gon’ turn into a workshop. There’s a lot of power in that ability to come together for the focus of making the best music we can make.

Describe Dreamville’s roster in five words or less.

Olu: Stacked the fuck up.

WowGr8: We got so many flavors, people that do so many things. Each artist has a lot of versatility within themselves. It’s not, we gotta do this or we gotta do that. Each artist does so many things. Limitless is probably the best word.

What’s coming from EarthGang in 2019?

Olu: We dropping Mirror Land, a cinematic musical experience filled with delectation and delight. More Dreamville shit. More features. More tours. More festivals.

WowGr8: More love.

Styling by Raeana Anaïs.

XXL

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