Dreams 2 Reality fights to give rappers an environment that is shaped by the streets. The only trouble is keeping their stable in the studio and out of prison. At the moment, they have more rappers locked behind bars than on the outside.
The authenticity of labels like Dreams 2 Reality can’t be faked, but the curse is that they don’t have the structural support of major labels to provide their artists a gateway out.
Lenos started the label with a group of friends who were hanging out together. It all started with G-Seta, a rapper currently in prison and facing deportation. “It was never about music. Until just one day, G-Seta started rapping,” laughs Lenos. “I was like fuck! He’s good bro.”
“Before G-Seta released his first single, song got leaked and gained over a million streams online.” G-Seta released Halfway Crooks with A1 from 21 District and began receiving offers from labels. “G-Seta got an opportunity to get signed, but he didn’t end up signing because he wanted to bring others on board with him. The label didn’t want that. So he came to me with the idea of starting something. I decided to do it for him.”
“I didn’t have the means to do anything for anyone. I didn’t have the money back then for music videos and studios for recordings,” says Lenos. He knew he had to bring something to the table. “If I want these people to stick by me I have to learn a trade in which I can keep these people around me and that’s when I used my money to buy equipment. I had to buy a speaker, mic and I have to go to uni to study audio engineering. I started learning how to mix and set up a studio at my mate’s house.”
The first track Lenos mixed and mastered for G-Seta was Good Intentions. “We didn’t have any soundproofing and the room was echoey so we use to put a blanket over the person recording so we could get the soundproof quality as we saw other big rappers who do it online.”
“G-Seta brought along D’Monz because they’re family friends. They had already made a demo that I had heard which got me thinking and I was actively looking for artists. When I first heard Dmonzz rapping I knew he had what it takes, that superstar aura, we became brothers before we even released anything or thought about doing music together. I had to sit down and talk to Dmonzz before we made anything official because you can be the most talented artist in the world but if I don’t fuck with your mindset and your mentality then it just won’t work.”
“I did not want my relationship with Dmonzz to be just a business relationship, he became my brother. As things went on he ended up jumping on board and We dropped our first track Cyberviolence and within a month he went inside.” Dmonzz wasn’t able to celebrate the release of his debut single. “He didn’t get to feel how much gravity his song pulled. We got put on algorithm Spotify playlists and the Bulldogs played his song before the game which meant a lot to heaps of boys I’m guessing you know why haha”
As the label started gaining momentum, tragedy struck again when Lenos was arrested. “Me and G-seta ended up catching a case together. When your fighting a case and your on bail, music isn’t your priority, everything is about your freedom.”
Lenos eventually beat the charges and started hustling to find new artists.
“I met CG around the same time I was recording with Dmonzz. One day I was in the car with my mate, he showed me a track on Soundcloud by CG. As soon as I heard his verse, I wanted to hit him up. I knew him from the area. I messaged him and he was down. We met up at the crib and started making music. And the first track we put out was “Top of the league.” The response was pretty wild.”
When Top of the league was released, the track quickly sparked controversy when CG was arrested as a suspect in a murder case.
“I guess people are just attracted to rappers who speak their real life into their music. Most of our artists are locked up now and it’s hard for me to not see these boys reach their full potential. I kind of feel like it was my fault, that they still had to be in the streets, instead of in the studio just focusing on their music.”
With the first release by rapper Dmonzz since his release from prison, titled “Power Trip.” Dmonzz is planning on keeping off the streets and focusing on the music.
He says, “It’s heaps difficult because around us are a lot of boys that are into the street life. They’re all the boys that I love. They’re into that. I feel like I seen the cycle when I got out. When I did get out I thought to myself I got a lot of boys locked up right now that should be doing music. They’re facing double digits. I wanted to give them hope. There is an opportunity to do something different.”
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