It’s been almost eight years since J. Cole released a single before an album. His last three full-length efforts, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, 4 Your Eyez Only, and KOD all arrived with little promotion beforehand, none in the form of new music. While many thought the Dreamville rapper would stick to the script that’s worked so well for him in the past, Cole decided to go against his grain and share a new song before next week’s The Off-Season album. “Told myself I would drop the album all at once,” he wrote in a tweet. “Sometimes you gotta say f*ck it tho.” With that declaration comes “Interlude,” the first taste of his forthcoming release.
The new track is carried by a soulful sample and a heavy drums that are a bit distant from the sound Cole has given us over the years. Just a few days ago, Cole announced that The Off-Season would officially arrive on May 14. The news came after months of teasing from himself and fellow Dreamville artists. Prior to this, Bas shared a now-deleted image of Cole working on the album in the studio. “The Off-Season,” he wrote in the caption. “pack your bags. [rocket emoji] in two weeks.” Cozz also shared his thoughts on the album, calling it Cole’s “best sh*t to date.”
The Off-Season will be Cole’s first full-length album since 2018’s KOD, and while fans are definitely happy to have him back, it’s not all that Cole has in store for them. He also plans to follow up the project with The Fall Off, an album he’s been teasing since 2018.
Press play on the video above to hear “Interlude.”