Far from a break, J Cole’s ‘The Off-Season’ is the perfect summation of the new heights Cole has risen to since 2018.
Upon first listening to this tape, there’s something about Cole’s sixth studio album ‘The Off-Season’ that is completely different and refreshing, which in this current time is something we all seriously need.
The twelve tape track features production from Boi-1da, Timbaland, Jake One and T-Minus plus vocals from 21 Savage, Bas, 6LACK, Lil Baby and Morray amongst others.
Ya gal recommends that you give the tracks a couple of listens to ensure you get the full flavour and experience of this up-tempo, organic sound.
Somehow Cole always seems to pen lyrics that remain relatable and sustainable alongside a sound that is modern yet remains raw and soulful.
Let’s break down ya gal’s top five picks.
‘100.mil’ featuring Bas is about Cole’s evolution as a lyricist, producer and overall artist despite continuing to attain significant success in all three.
Ultimately, the lesson Cole wants us to take away is that although we may achieve ‘success’ this shouldn’t stop us from continuing to work and perfect our craft, as Cole repeats, ‘one hundred mil’ and I’m still on my grind’.
‘pride.is.the.devil’ like the name suggests describes how the fortunes of Cole’s success and how this has allowed him to see many things his friends have been incapable of being able to experience.
The message this tune reminds us that ‘pride’ is often a double-edged sword, trying to fill our voids but at the same time causes a lot of consequences.
If you listen carefully, you may even hear Anime’s ‘Can’t Decide’ which was sampled.
Have you ever felt the need to walk away from something to experience something new? ‘let.go.my.hand’ featuring Bas and 6LACK sums this up perfectly.
“Sh*** don’t always connect as soon as you press play, at times you gotta step away, do some livin’, let time provide a new prescription, givin’ truer’ vision.”
If there’s one thing you should remember after listening its that the remedy for inspiration is time.
However, there’s also something that lingers and this how Cole analyses his life, despite all his mounting success he still isn’t afraid to allay the fears and doubts he has as a father of a black son in America.
“Today my son said, ‘Dad, let go my hand”, reminded me today he’s gonna be his own man”.
‘the.climb.back’ is a song not just about him but also very much about the people around him as Cole reflects on his career advancements but in a relatable manner.
Despite his evolving endeavours, ‘hunger.on.hillside’ reaffirms how he will remain true to his roots, as ultimately this is what will maintain his longevity.
On the latter, Bas interjects with some optimistic wisdom, almost like a good friend, ending the tune singing, “god has a plan for you and all you’ve got to do is believe”.
Now all you got to do is grab your own copy of ‘The Off-Season’ HERE.