It's been 2 years since we received a full-length studio album from Hip Hop titan J. Cole, the last being The Off-Season in May 2021. Fans everywhere have been satisfied with the many one-off features since its' release, including "Johnny P's Caddy" with Benny The Butcher, "London" with BIA, and "Scared Money" with YG, to name a few.
But fans have also been awaiting an announcement since J. Cole cleared out his Instagram 5 months ago, usually a sign that a new project is coming. Today, we may have just gotten our confirmation of what is in the works in a collaboration project he did with Summer Walker on her fresh CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP on the track titled "To Summer, From Cole".
How did J. Cole announce his upcoming album, The Fall Off?
It really should come as no surprise that rather than simply announcing a new project on social media or during an interview, monstrously successful Hip Hop artists such as J. Cole wouldn't just apply their creative talent to tangible projects but also to marketing and announcing their work. This is a perfect example of not only garnering hype and excitement around an upcoming release but presumably helping out a fellow artist that J. Cole appreciates.
Summer Walker, the "No Love" R&B singer, recently performed at J. Coles' Dreamville Festival back in April of this year, utilizing that opportunity to announce that she would be dropping the EP. Unexpectedly, we got more than we bargained for with a creative, ingenious announcement of J. Coles' next album, The Fall Off.
"I find it amazing the way that you juggle your kids, the biz, the fame- J. Cole / To Summer, From Cole
The b*****s that's hatin', they sit around waitin' for you to fall off, like the album I'm makin'"
The craziest part of this potential album is the fact that it hints at something we've all been weary of in recent years, J. Coles' retirement.
The Fall-off Era
Coming as a surprise to some, J. Cole has spoken of retirement on more than one occasion in the past, paving the way toward a remarkably bitter-sweet exit from Hip Hop. The Fall Off Season album may be more intentional than some thought as he laid out his plans to make a graceful exit in the past, citing "The Fall-Off Era".
In a collab titled "j-hope on the street (with J. Cole)" released by K-Pop star j-hope, J. Cole hinted at his feelings about quitting Hip Hop:
"Some days, I wonder if I need to pick a different hobby- J. Cole / j-hope on the street
I'm deep in with this rappin', it's all a n***a know
I never did 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"
This album could potentially be the last studio album released by one of Hip Hops' most adored artists of our lifetimes. We don't currently have a confirmed date for the release of The Fall Off, though amongst all of the other album releases coming out before the end of summer, it very well may be a while before we have a confirmed release date.
Will this album really be J. Coles' goodbye to Hip Hop forever? Follow Rhyme Junkie and stay up to date on all things J. Cole and Hip Hop!