J. Cole has confirmed that his next album will be the long-awaited The Fall Off.
Featuring a heartfelt verse from Cole sandwiched by a tender hook from Walker, the song serves as an “audio hug” from the North Carolina rapper to the Atlanta singer — reminiscent of his uplifting poem about self-acceptance at the end of Logic’s “AfricAryaN.”
“I’m thinkin’ about ya, I heard you just had you another lil baby/ Congratulations, I hope you got through it with no complications/ I find it amazing, the way that you juggle your kids, the biz, the fame, the bitches that’s hatin’/ They sit around waiting for you to fall off like the album I’m making,” he raps.
Elsewhere in his verse, the father-of-two reflects on how his own journey as a parent has softened him up, spitting: “Session 32 bring me to tears, be getting chocked up when I hear it/ Seem like I keep crying off so much since a n-gga had these kids/ And I don’t know what it is that makes me so sensitive, more than I already was.”
Listen to “To Summer, From Cole” below:
J. Cole announced The Fall Off back in 2020, sharing an Instagram post that laid out his release plans for “The Fall Off Era.” The post also mentioned The Off-Season, his sixth album which dropped the following year, a possible project called It’s a Boy and, finally, The Fall Off.
Cole’s longtime manager, Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad, recently fueled excitement for the project by naming The Fall Off as the album he’d most want to see the rapper perform front-to-back on tour.
While further details remain scarce, The Fall Off could be be a bittersweet release as it may serve as J. Cole’s last hurrah. Despite being only 38 years old, the Grammy-winner has hinted at retirement on more than one occasion this year.
“Just cop ‘The Fall Off’ and he’ll explain/ Is it the end of the chapter? Happily ever after?/ Bet this gon’ be the year that fulfill his reign, man,” he rapped on the Dr. Dre-sampling “Adonis Interlude (The Montage)” from the Creed III soundtrack.
And on his “On the Street” collaboration with K-pop superstar J-Hope of BTS, he spit: “Some days, I wonder if I need to pick a different hobby/ I’m deep in with this rappin’, it’s all a n-gga know/ I never didn’t nothin’ better, it’s hard to let it go/ But like a father watching his daughter walk down the altar with tears in his eyes/ You gotta let her grow.”
J. Cole and Summer Walker, meanwhile, appear to have struck up a friendship in recent months. The R&B starlet performed at Cole’s Dreamville Festival in April and the pair were seen having fun and shooting hoops together at an afterparty at Dave & Buster’s.