The wait is finally over. After three years, J. Cole has returned to deliver his sixth studio album, The Off-Season. News of The Off-Season erupted on social media last week when Cole announced the album. Following similar basketball themes from his previous projects like The Come Up, The Warm Up, and Cole World: The Sideline Story, Cole’s hunger in hip-hop has been reignited here, like the flaming basketball hoop that looms behind him on the album cover art.
Ahead of the album’s release, Cole dropped “Interlude” to give fans a taste of what The Off-Season had to offer. The North Carolina rapper also shared a mini-documentary, Applying Pressure: The Off-Season, which chronicled the inspiration behind the album, the title, and what Cole has been up to in the interim before its release.
Cole had a busy week leading up to The Off-Season being released. It was reported that he inked a deal in the Basketball Africa League with Rwanda’s Patriots to play three to six games, the first being on Sunday. Cole also became the first musical artist to grace the cover of Slam magazine. In the cover story, Cole explained how he has no concrete retirement plans in mind after The Fall Off, he just wants to put his best foot forward and feel like he’s reached the highest heights in music before it’s time to hang up his jersey. “Oh, bro, I’m super comfortable with the potential of being done with this shit,” Cole said. “But I’m never going to say, Oh, this is my last album.”
Regardless of whether or not The Fall Off will be his last album or not, fans should enjoy the moment we’re in right now. It’s been a long time coming.
Listen to J. Cole’s new album The Off-Season down below which features appearances from Lil Baby, 21 Savage, and more.