Hours before the release of his long-awaited album The Off-Season, J. Cole revealed his tracklist as well as the producers he worked with on the project.
On Thursday (May 13), the emcee took to Instagram and shared a post featuring two photos. In the first, the titles of 12 tracks are listed on the cover art — an image of a burning basketball hoop. According to the picture, Cole executive produced the album alongside his longtime manager, Ibrahim Hamad and producer T-Minus. It will be distributed under his Dreamville imprint and Roc Nation.
Though Cole’s project has no features, a swipe to the left displays an image that reveals he collaborated with beatmakers Tommy Parker, Mario Luciano, Jake One, Frank Dukes and more.
He produced one of his own records and was also able to work with Boi-1da and legend Timbaland, who previously shared his excitement for the album shortly when Cole announced the release date.
After the Fayateville emcee returned from his Twitter hiatus to let fans know The Off-Season was dropping on May 14, the Virginia producer posted on Instagram, writing, “I told y’all the king has returned !!!!! @realcoleworld @beatclub watch me work!!” The post led to speculation that he was involved in the project, adding on to high expectations of the album.
Dreamville artists Bas and Cozz also increased fans’ anticipation by referring to the project as one of Cole’s best works to date. Cole’s “I n t e r l u d e” single, a film documenting the album’s recording process and a pair of freestyles were subsequently dropped. The K.O.D. star also made history as the first rapper to grace the cover of SLAM.
When addressing rumors of The Fall Off being his final album, he explained that he’s “super comfortable with the potential of being done with” rap though he’s uncertain of how he’ll feel years down the line. For now, he’s working hard to make way for other ventures.
“I’m doing all this work to be at peace with — if I never did another album, I’m cool. That’s the reason for all of this, so I know that I put everything on the table,” Cole said in the cover interview. “I left everything on the table, and I’m good with that. Because there’s a lot of shit I want to do with my life and in my life that because I have such an intense love and passion for the craft [that] if I don’t let that go, I’m not going to be able to get to these other things that I also want to learn and grow and be good at.”
The Off-Season comes out at midnight, two days before Cole is expected to play for the Rwanda Patriots in the premiere season of the Basketball African League.
Look below to see the tracklist to The Off-Season.