Upon receiving the track list prior to the project’s release, however, it appeared as though the songs were missing — and there’s a pretty viable reason why.
Speaking with Billboard about the album’s most talked-about elements, such as the “Deja Vu” single, Cole’s manager and producer Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad shared that the tracks simply didn’t fit the storyline. Hamad revealed that though the album originally started off including the songs, they made the decision to cut the tracks despite both of them being the Dreamville team’s favorites.
“So when we cut out ‘False Prophets’ and ‘Everybody Dies,’ it really hurt because ‘False Prophets’ was on the album the whole time and it was one of our favorites,” he said. “But we had the documentary piece already in the works.”
He added that even though the tracks made it to the documentary for the album, they weren’t “a real representation of the album” and thus, had only been useful for the documentary’s narrative with regard to the entire project.
Hamad also mentioned that, despite the Roc Nation emcee being a founding artist for Jay Z’s Tidal steaming service, Cole chose to release the album through all streaming services because he didn’t want to leave any of his fans behind for a chance to enjoy the album.
“I think it was just important to us to get our music out to everybody at once. People look at the numbers and they’re like people will find the music anyway, but we were thinking about giving everybody the same chance to get the music at the same time,” he said. “That’s just something that’s important to Cole.”
Hamad said that the Dreamville team had even brought the album’s all-inclusive release to Jay’s attention priorly.
“It was a conversation we had, and shout out to Jay for being very understanding,” Hamad said. "[Tidal's team is] all very cool people and they just give us the chance to bring our ideas to life.”
Read the entire Billboard interview with the Dreamville president here.