J. Cole has tapped into the world of “type beats” for his latest (and most unorthodox) release: a surprise song called “Procrastination (Broke)” — check it out below.
Rather than being rolled out on Cole’s official channels on Spotify and Apple Music, the track was uploaded to YouTube late Wednesday (January 18) by a largely unknown producer from Brooklyn, New York named Bvtman.
As explained in the song’s cover art — a screenshot of a message the Dreamville boss sent to Bvtman — the Roc Nation rap star was struggling for inspiration one day when he searched “J. Cole type beat” on YouTube and came across the producer’s instrumental.
After penning some rhymes to the beat, Cole decided against keeping it locked away in his vault and instead granted Bvtman permission to share the song with the world as a token of his appreciation for him and other producers.
“This song should live on your channel and serve as a thank you to you and every producer out there cooking up and sharing their work with the world,” Cole wrote in the message. “It’s a million artists out there right now just like me, hungry and searching every day for something to spark a word, a melody, a hook, a verse, a punchline, a way to vent, or a way to CUT THROUGH.
“On a day when I couldn’t find much motivation, I was looking for anything to inspire me. Out of curiosity, I typed in ‘J. Cole type beat’ into YouTube. Yours was the first I saw. I pressed play, focused, and wrote this. This is some shit that would normally stay in the vault, but I don’t want to hold onto the music like that no more.”
He added: “This is for you and whoever else need to hear it. God bless bro and keep doing what you do!”
Bvtman shed more light on the story behind the song in an Instagram post, revealing that J. Cole’s longtime manager, Ibrahim “IB” Hamad, had texted him out of the blue telling him that Cole likes his music. Needless to say, the producer was blown away.
“Yo. If you know me you know what this post means to me & what this song means to me. If you know me you know this is my peace finally, my dream. Much love to @dreamville & @realcoleworld & @kingofqueenz25,” he wrote in his caption.
“It’s crazy how this happened. Randomly driving on the high with my shorty and I get a text from @kingofqueenz25 saying Cole fuccs with my beats. I almost ain’t believe this was real life…. But it is.”
Anchored by a mellow, bluesy beat from Bvtman, “Procrastination (Broke)” captures in J. Cole in lyrical exercise mode as he reflects on the challenge of maintaining the hunger that fueled his early career now that he’s achieved wealth and success. At one point, he admits he’s been procrastinating instead of finishing his next album.
“I don’t even know if somebody gon’ hear this / Got so many songs they get lost in the endless folders of the hard drive, I wish I was more fearless / ‘Cause I just say, ‘Fuck it’ and dump all the music for n-ggas that hate it and n-ggas that use it / As fuel to push them through long nights at school,” he raps.
“Writing that last-minute paper for class that’s due in the morning / And I still relate to that procrastination for tasks / ‘Cause I need to finish this album, but hell, how many more times can I send this wooden pail down in that well / And pull it back up with the hope that it’s filled?”
The song has amassed over 500,000 views in less than 10 hours. The rest of Bvtman’s YouTube channel is full of “type beats” inspired by the production choices of Kendrick Lamar, André 3000, Kanye West, Drake, Isaiah Rashad and many more.
He’s released several J. Cole-inspired instrumentals in the past, including one that has almost two million plays.
As for the North Carolina native, “Procrastination (Broke)” serves as his first offering since his contributions to Dreamville’s D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape, which dropped last March. It followed his sixth studio album The Off-Season, which arrived in May 2021.
Cole sparked excitement for a new project earlier this month by clearing out his Instagram page, a tactic usually deployed by artists to signal the start of an album rollout. While there has been no updates, speculation suggests he could be readying The Fall Off or It’s a Boy, two albums he teased as part of “The Fall Off Era” back in 2020.
Another possibility could be the soundtrack to Creed III, which Dreamville has been tapped to executive produce. The movie itself is set to hit theaters on March 3.