by Brayden Laslo, Staff Writer
J. Cole has released his new album The Off-Season. The record includes last week’s “Interlude” and boasts production from Timbaland, Boi-1da, frequent collaborator T-Minus, J. Cole, and more. It also features cameos from 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Cam’ron, Morray, and others.
All five of J. Cole’s studio LPs have been certified platinum by the RIAA. The last three 2014 Forest Hills Drive, 4 Your Eyez Only, and KOD have famously gone “platinum with no features.” In the time since KOD, J. Cole has also delivered his own spate of guest verses. To name a few, Cole has featured on Gang Starr’s “Family and Loyalty,” Ty Dolla $ign’s “Purple Emoji,” Young Thug’s “The London,” and 21 Savage’s “a lot,” which earned the rappers the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Rap Song.
Then, in 2019, J. Cole and Dreamville released Revenge of The Dreamers III. The following year, he shared the singles “The Climb Back” (which appears on The Off-Season), “Lion King on Ice,” and “Snow on tha Bluff.”
The Jaguar Times got to sit down with a few J. Cole fans to get their opinion on “The Off-season”. Hunter Wilson said, “I love J. Cole and I think that this is his best work so far in his storied career. My favorite song is “My Life ft. 21 Savage”(12). I have to agree with Hunter on his favorite song being “My Life” because the production and 21’s verse make the song more lively and add more to it.
“I never really listened to J. Cole but I gave this album a try and thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite song is “Pride is the Devil ft. Lil Baby” because Lil Baby is my favorite rapper so when I heard his verse I fell in love with the song right away”(Hockman 10). I really like this song as well because of the production and the beat. I'm not really a Lil Baby fan but this song meshes both artists together perfectly.
“I really loved this album. The production, lyrics, and features really bring it all together. My favorite song is “Amari” it captures everything I love about J. Cole and the beat is so good.” (Way 10) Amari is a great song too it just gives you classic J.Cole vibes and has great lyrics as he is known to do.
In other J. Cole news, the rapper is reportedly signing with Patriots Basketball Club to play for the Rwandan side in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League. The Patriots are scheduled to play their first BAL game this Sunday, May 16, against the Nigerian team Rivers Hoopers. Cole played basketball at Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He made the team at St. John’s University but chose to focus on his education and music. Two of his early mixtapes, The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights, had basketball-themed covers. Hopefully this isn’t the last project we get from Cole but no matter what his storied career has inspired a new generation of artists.