It’s been two years since J. Cole released his fifth studio LP KOD, which saw 12 new tracks from the North Carolina emcee and earned him his fifth number one on the Billboard 200 thanks to an amazing 397,000 album equivalent units sold. One of the album’s standouts was its closer, “1985 (Intro to The Fall Off),” which garnered a lot of attention for its apparent message to rappers from the new generation. It also confirmed that a new album from Cole was soon to follow — fast forward to today, when the Roc Nation star unveils two new tracks from The Fall Off titled “The Climb Back” and “Lion King On Ice.”
Both singles are produced by Cole himself, with “Lion King On Ice” seeing additional production from jetsonmade and T-Minus. “Lion King On Ice” also marks the latest track to continue Cole’s “Simba” series first heard on 2007’s The Come Up Vol. 1.
Earlier this week, J. Cole penned an essay for The Players Tribune titled “The Audacity,” which saw him reflecting on his decision to pursue his dreams in the music industry over his still very active love for basketball. He also revealed that The Fall Off was officially birthed four years ago, when he returned to Jamaica, Queens to live in an apartment he resided in prior to his major label deal:
“For the next three months I would wake up in that old, familiar room, putting myself through morning writing drills before heading off to Electric Lady Studios with a short term plan to finish the 4 Your Eyez Only album before the arrival of my first child, and a long term plan of becoming the best rapper I could possibly be before hanging up my jersey, leaving nothing on the table when all was said and done. The seeds for The Fall Off were planted.”
Press play on “The Climb Back” and “Lion King On Ice” below.