The best plans unfold over time.
More than two decades ago, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, fine artist, filmmaker, and entrepreneur The-Dream first put the pieces into play for one of music’s most influential and impactful legacies. Since then, he made one methodical move after another. Behind-the-scenes, he cemented himself as the generation’s pioneering preeminent prolific songwriter with a total of four GRAMMY® Awards under his belt and a staggering eight nominations.
Along the way, he penned era-defining smashes such as Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Ciara’s “Ride,” Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” JAY-Z’s “Holy Grail” [feat. Justin Timberlake], Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” and “Ultralight Beam” [feat. Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, & Kirk Franklin], and countless others as well as producing albums including I Am… Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé.
As a solo artist, he delivered a classic in the form of the 2007 gold-selling Love Hate and its lead-off smash “Shawty Is A 10” followed by a pair of Top 5 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, namely Love Vs. Money  and Love King . In 2016, he broke ground with the visual album Genesis and its short film, which premiered at the Versace Mansion.
However, The-Dream always aspired to fulfill a 360-degree vision…
Throughout this journey, he quietly built an empire as an entrepreneur. He franchised eleven Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants and nine Burger King locations throughout the Southeast. He also made history in 2018 by selling the publishing for 75% of 302 titles from his back catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited owned by Merck Mercuriadis and listed on the London Stock Exchange. The deal would be the first of its kind.
Not to mention, he honed his talents as a fine artist, painting pieces for the homes of collaborators and friends and on display in The Bahamas.
Simultaneously, his plan came to fruition.
“I’ve been planning all along,” he affirms. “I play the long game. Since I was a kid, I’ve seen everything from my grandfather’s point-of-view. He was a master mason. He knew exactly what he was great at, and he hustled harder than anybody else. Even though we didn’t do the same thing, he passed that work ethic on to me. It starts with mastering something. It’s writing. Then, it’s production. It’s pictures. It’s films. You’re in your prime when you realize and know exactly who you are. Ten years ago, I knew who I wanted to be. Now, I am that person. When I come around, it’s going to be extremely loving and extremely sexual. I got to the place of being unapologetic for who I am.”
“Unapologetic” only scratches the surface though. 2019 sees The-Dream manifest every ambition at a new level. He continues to expand his catalog with the 100-track Sex Tape series and aligning his own Radio Killa with HitCo Entertainment.
At the same time, he comes full circle by fully embodying the implications of his chosen moniker.
“I chose to live up to the name,” he exclaims. “‘The American Dream’ is somebody coming from where I came from. As a kid, I learned you work, you get paid, and you reinvest into yourself. It’s how you make life work for you. The-Dream is something bigger now. It’s a legacy for my kids. It’s about the liberty of being an adult.”
R&B levels up as a result. Tapping into what he describes as “grown energy,” he delivers his most powerful, passionate, and provocative epic to date. Introduced by way of three 12-track introductory volumes, he builds a space for raw and real R&B to thrive, adding another dimension with the short film Taupe.
“The title actually isn’t the focus,” he admits. “It’s more intrusive than the tunes actually are. It’s about the fact I’m going to fucking say, ‘Sex Tape’ out loud. I’m talking real shit. If you’ve been thinking it, I’m going to say it. If you want this kind of music, you know you can rely on me for it with the Sex Tape series.”
In the end, The-Dream’s plan is just starting to fully materialize, and his biggest, boldest, and best era has just begun.
“I’m good with who I am,” he leaves off. “I’ve been working to get here for so long. When you listen to anything I do, I want you to take away the value of being alive. That’s what this is.”