In his revealing Applying Pressure: The Off-Season documentary, J. Cole breaks down the rationale behind his new album’s title, details its creation, and pursuing his basketball dreams.
From the opening scenes, in which Cole converses with 21 Savage, recalling the moment he decided to take rap seriously, the documentary provides insights into Cole’s work philosophy, such as his belief that “comfort is the enemy,” and his reactions to becoming a father.
The documentary precedes Cole’s upcoming album The Off-Season, which is due to drop this Friday after Cole took 2020 off to try to make a pro basketball roster. This week, he’ll also accomplish that dream; earlier today, famed reporter Shams Charania revealed that Cole had signed a contract for three to six games with the Rwanda Patriots of the Basketball Africa League, the joint venture between the NBA and FIBA to create a premiere international league on the continent.
While Applying Pressure also features some of Cole’s basketball ambitions, the primary focus is on his new creative process. He talks about having writer’s block, comparing rapping to playing basketball, and putting in the work on being the best player he can be.
Watch Applying Pressure: The Off-Season above.
The Off-Season is due 5/14 via Dreamville/Interscope.