It goes without being said that J. Cole is one of the best rappers in the game — and honestly, it has been that way for quite some time now. Since his arrival back in 2007 with the release of his debut mixtape The Come Up, he’s been poised for greatness. His second mixtape, The Warm Up, was when people started to pay attention. His third mixtape, Friday Night Lights, was the first defining moment in his career when the world listened and thought “oh shit, this dude is going to be special!”
When you heard these mixtapes, you can literally hear the hunger in his voice and over a span of 14 years, five studio albums and three EP’s, the Dreamville front-man taps back in to his ‘09-’10 ways on the release of his sixth album The Off-Season.
With Cole declaring his departure from rap sooner than later, The Off-Season serves as yet another pivotal point in his career. Before he hangs up the mic for good, the North Carolina rapper let it be known that he had a checklist to complete beforehand and this album is the first of three projects (The Fall Off being his last project we will receive) to surface.
When he first announced the album’s arrival last week, fans across the world went into a frenzy seeing him tweet a simple question: “Is this thing on?” From there, he announced the release of the album’s interlude that further got everyone more than excited.
Ahead of The Off-Season’s release, J. Cole dropped off a documentary detailing the album’s concept and how it came about. As he explained, it’s a reference to his mixtape The Warm Up: “One more time before I leave, before I feel fulfilled in this game, let me try to reach new heights from a skill level standpoint,” he added. Other moments in the documentary see Cole revisiting his old home in Queens, New York City, and him reflecting on how Pharrell inspired him to make music with a schedule in mind.
Press play below!