J. Cole hasn’t delivered an album since 2018’s KOD and anticipation for a follow-up is palpable on social media. On Tuesday (May 4), the Dreamville Records boss ramped it up when he randomly tweeted, “Is this thing on?” But the elusive Cole quickly returned with the announcement fans have been waiting for — a release date for The Off-Season.
According to the man himself, J. Cole’s sixth studio album is expected to arrive Friday (May 14), bringing the long, laborious wait to an end.
“Just know this was years in the making,” he wrote alongside the album’s dramatic cover art. “My new album The Off-Season available everywhere 5/14.”
Just know this was years in the making.
My new album The Off-Season available everywhere 5/14 pic.twitter.com/aBw4po8fvx
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) May 4, 2021
J. Cole has already given the highly anticipated album a test drive. On Friday (April 30), Cole took to his Instagram Stories for a rare social media update and let the world know his latest project had officially passed his personal driving test.
“Just rode through the city to The Off-Season,” he wrote. “Dawg… Too excited.”
If the success of KOD is any indication, The Off-Season will surely appease Cole fans. KOD debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 upon its release, selling over 397,000 total album-equivalent units in its first week, earning Cole his fifth consecutive No. 1 album in the United States. HipHopDX Editor-in-Chief Trent Clark called the project “one of the most important rap albums ever” due to its themes.
The 12-track project boldy tackled addiction to not just drugs but money, sex, power and relationships. The closing song, “1985 (Intro To The Fall Off),” also sparked controversy as a “backhanded well-wish to a particular young gunner [Lil Pump] whose slander breached Dreamville County” and “a one-size-fits-all forewarning that riding Hip Hop trends will eventually take artists down a dead-end street.”
With all eyes set on J. Cole, fans now have something to anticipate in the coming week.