Joyner Lucas has been on our radar at DJBooth since late 2013—his first feature was for the single "What Do They Know?"—but it wasn't until late last year, after announcing he had signed a label deal with Atlantic Records, that the greater hip-hop community was introduced to his name and his pen.
As it turns out, though, Atlantic Records wasn't his first choice for a record label home. That distinction belongs to Dreamville.
According to the Boston emcee, Sha Money, Joyner's manager and a longtime industry executive and A&R, reached out to Cole about Joyner's interest in signing to the label, but all they received was crickets.
Given Dreamville's propensity to sign artists who are great storytellers, Joyner would have certainly fit in with the rest of Cole's stable of artists, which includes Bas, Omen and Booth favorite J.I.D.
While it's possible Sha sent a text to the wrong number or Cole accidentally deleted the text before getting the chance to read it and respond—out of curiosity, we reached out to Cole's manager Ibrahim 'Ib' Hamad for clarity but haven't received a reply—it doesn't really matter.
Joyner secured a deal anyway, he has already released a stellar debut album (which he says is a "mixtape") and his future is bright. As for Cole, Dreamville is one of the most respected labels in the business, with or without an addition like Joyner.
Wins all around.