J. Cole ¦ The Off-Season

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The Off-Season
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 14, 2021
StudioThe Sheltuh (Raleigh, North Carolina)[1]
J. Cole chronology
Lewis Street
The Off-Season
Singles from The Off-Season
  1. "Interlude"
    Released: May 7, 2021
  2. "My Life"
    Released: May 25, 2021

The Off-Season is the sixth studio album[2] by American rapper J. Cole. It was released on May 14, 2021, by Dreamville Records, Roc Nation and Interscope Records. The album was executive produced by Cole, Ibrahim Hamad, and T-Minus. It also featured guest vocals from Morray, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Bas, and 6lack. It became Cole's first album since 2013's Born Sinner to contain guest features. Production was handled by multiple producers, including Cole himself, T-Minus, Timbaland, Boi-1da, Frank Dukes, DJ Dahi, Tae Beast, and Jake One, among others.[3]

The Off-Season was supported by two singles: "Interlude" and "My Life". The Off-Season was accompanied by a twelve-minute short film upon its release titled, Applying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary.

The Off-Season received positive reviews from critics and topped the US Billboard 200. It sold 282,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, earning Cole his sixth consecutive number-one album in the country. At the time of its release, The Off-Season achieved the largest streaming week of 2021, accumulating over 325.5 million streams. Four songs from The Off-Season debuted in the top ten on the US Billboard Hot 100; every song on the album charted in the top forty.


On August 7, 2018, Cole released "Album of the Year (Freestyle)",[4] accompanied by a music video. Cole announced The Off-Season,[4] which will precede the release of what was originally planned to be his sixth studio album, The Fall Off. In the description to the video, it reads: "The Off Season coming soon... All roads lead to The Fall Off - Cole".[5] In an interview with Billboard in September 2018, Cole announced his plans to take off time in 2019 from touring to finish work on The Off-Season, The Fall Off, and his Kill Edward project.[6]

On December 29, 2020, Cole posted a photo on Instagram where he documented a list titled, "The Fall Off Era". On the list crossed out, was features and Revenge of the Dreamers III. Also listed, but not crossed out was two projects, The Off-Season and It's a Boy, which he intends to release ahead of The Fall Off. The caption of the post read: "I still got some goals I gotta check off for' I scram...", alluding to a potential retirement.[7]

Recording and production

As one of the executive producers of the album, T-Minus began producing with Cole in 2017, collaborating on "Kevin's Heart", "Middle Child", and "Lion King on Ice". He spoke on producing for Cole in an interview saying, "Cole is very much a producer, so he likes to direct where the music is going as far as arrangement, or the bounce, or the feeling that he wants to have. So he gave me a bunch of ideas and pointers for what he wanted to do."[8] When asked about Cole's creative mindset for the mixtape, he said: "Cole is tapped into every aspect of the creation of the record. He writes all of his own music, writes all of the songs. He produces, he mixes; he's super involved [...] he's just that guy who's very grounded when it comes to the creation of the entire record, which is dope because when I create with him, he's very much directing where he wants the record to go."[8]

Artwork and title

The cover art was organized by Dreamville's creative director Felton Brown and shot in North Carolina by Justin Francis.[9] The artwork shows Cole standing in front of a basketball hoop on fire, referencing the basketball theme on the covers of his mixtapes The Warm Up (2009) and Friday Night Lights (2010), and debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011).[10] Brown told Complex magazine:

We finished the album artwork two weeks before we announced it. We flew down to North Carolina and went through a few different renditions of creative and it got down to where the album was creatively, sonically, and the overall tone. We wanted something that was a little more encompassing of the whole feel of the album, so because of that, we had to go back [to North Carolina] again. Basically, Ib [Hamad] had an idea that he wanted me to flesh out, and usually that process—the vetting, figuring out who we’re going to use—takes some time, but because we didn’t have any time I knew I had to lean on things that I trust. We can’t fly him [J. Cole] somewhere to shoot it, so we’re going to shoot close to home. We leaned inwards. We reached out to Scott [Lazer], and he recommended a production team that we got, and I reached out to a close friend of mine who is an incredible photographer that I’ve worked with in my years in advertising named Justin Francis. He’s an incredible photographer, director, and cinematographer. I was just like, “Look, it’s fourth quarter, I need someone who’s super multi-disciplinary like me and who’s very agile on his feet,” and we talked through the whole night about the project and idea, put together a crazy presentation, and sent it to Cole and Ib. I wanted to meet and talk about it on the phone, but Cole was like, “Nah, that looks good. Let’s just get to it,” which was great because usually he’d want to talk about it. But I’m thinking, since he’s finishing recording it anyway, he looked at the game plan and saw it was solid, and he just gave me the blessing. We hit the ground running, Justin brought out this $50,000 camera, we got the pyrotechnic guys and got going.[11]

On May 10, 2021, it was announced that J. Cole signed a contract with the Rwanda Patriots in the Basketball Africa League.[12] Cole was also featured on the cover of the American basketball magazine Slam for the May 2021 issue. Cole explained the title of the mixtape, relating it to his basketball career saying:

The Off-Season symbolizes the work that it takes to get to the highest height. The Off-Season represents the many hours and months and years it took to get to top form. Just like in basketball, what you see him do in the court, that shit was worked on in the summertime. So for an athlete, if they take their career seriously and if they really got high goals and want to chase them, the offseason is where the magic really happens, where the ugly shit really happens, where the pain happens, the pushing yourself to uncomfortable limits.[13]

Release and promotion

On November 8, 2018, Cole made a playlist on streaming services titled, Where the fuck is The Off Season, which contains all of his 2018 features. The playlist also includes Jeezy's song "American Dream" (2017), J. Cole's singles "Everybody Dies" (2016), "False Prophets" (2016), "High for Hours" (2017), "Album of the Year (Freestyle)" (2018), and "1985" (2018).[14]

On May 4, 2021, J. Cole officially announced the release date of the album on social media, and revealed the artwork.[15][16][17] On May 10, 2021, Cole released a documentary titled, Applying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary via YouTube.[18] The short film is divided into four chapters where Cole shares a behind the scenes look in the studio as well as private moments during the album's creating process. The film was executive produced by Cole himself and Ibrahim Hamad, and directed by Scott Lazer. The film features a cameo from fellow rapper 21 Savage.[19][20] While describing the inspiration of the mixtape, Cole said in the documentary:

This is the moment that a lot of your favorite rappers hit a crossroads. Are you okay with getting comfortable? Did you leave no stone unturned creatively? And when I thought about that feeling, I was like, 'Nah, I'm not cool with that.'[21]

On May 13, 2021, hours prior to its release, Cole revealed the album's tracklist and production credits via social media.[22]

Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage made an appearance on the album's single, "My Life".

To further promote the album, Cole announced The Off-Season Tour on June 22, 2021. The tour includes 20 North American dates, and is set to begin on September 24, 2021 in Miami and end in April 2022, in Raleigh at the Dreamville festival. 21 Savage will serve as the co-headliner and Morray will serve as their supporting act on the tour.[23]


On May 7, 2021, Cole released "Interlude", the first single from the album, initially planning on releasing the album all at once with no singles prior to its release, as he had done in the past starting with his third studio album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The interlude was produced by T-Minus, Tommy Parker, and Cole himself.[24] In the US, the song debuted with 8.5 million on-demand audio streams in its first day.[25] It also reached number one on US Apple Music in less than a day.[26] "Interlude" debuted and peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100.[27]

"My Life", with 21 Savage and Morray, impacted rhythmic contemporary radio in the United States on May 25, 2021, as the album's second single.[28][29] It debuted and peaked at number two on the Hot 100.[27]

Other songs

On July 22, 2020, Cole released "The Climb Back" as a dual single along with, "Lion King on Ice", under the title Lewis Street. According to Cole, the two songs were originally intended to be the first singles from his upcoming album The Fall Off. "The Climb Back" is included on the album.[30]

On May 17, 2021, the music video was released for the song, "Amari",[31] the video was directed by Raleigh-based rapper Mez, who also directed the music video for Cole's 2019 hit and multi-platinum single, "Middle Child".[32][33] Cole released the music video for the song, "Applying Pressure"[34] on May 25, 2021, and a music video for "Punchin' the Clock" on June 3, 2021.[35] Both videos were directed by Scott Lazer, "Applying Pressure" features an appearance from rapper Dave East, who Cole also made a reference to in the song. All three music videos were filmed in New York City.[36]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[39]
NME3/5 stars[43]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[45]
Tom Hull – on the WebB+ ((1-star Honorable Mention))[47]
Vinyl Chapters4/5[48]

The Off-Season was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 76, based on nine reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[38] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 7.2 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[37]

Clash gave the album a positive review saying, Cole "reached astronomical heights. Fortunately for fans, they did not have to wait long, and the North Carolina rapper did not disappoint." The writer continued to say "The Off-Season is a solid project with no expiration date and can easily be digested for months and years to come. While some fans may be eager for more, The Off-Season is a great appetiser for the main dish and contains just enough for those that have been waiting for three years on The Real."[40] Writing for Exclaim!, Luke Fox praised the album, calling Cole "refocused and rejuvenated", he continued saying: "If 2018's concept-heavy, dangerously didactic KOD was Cole drifting into the player-coach stage of his career, The Off-Season is Cole lacing up squeaky high-tops and drilling 100,000 hours of threes".[41]

Variety's Brandon Yu wrote the following: "Particularly as hip-hop continues to transform as the new pop, Cole, a steadfast rap traditionalist now a good decade into his career, might appear as a relic (for some fans, the generation-war of his "1985" read as this very truth). On "The Off-Season," he is burnishing a reputation as a lingering titan. If "The Off-Season" is Cole's first record of The Fall Off Era, he appears far from ready to bow out, nor should he be."[49] Yoh Phillips of Complex called the album a "workout session", he wrote, "The Off-Season sets Cole up to create the conversation about his place in rap history, and he'll need to deliver a blockbuster finale to fulfill the premonition he made 11 years ago on "Last Call."[50] Craig Jenkins of Vulture said: "As the title suggests, The Off-Season is sort of a training montage, a blade-sharpening exercise not unlike Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late in its core objective of showing the work it takes to stay on top while cultivating buzz for a future release (in this case, Cole's forthcoming The Fall Off) – and maybe notching a few more hit records along the way."[51] Writing for AllMusic, Fred Thomas said, "The album is a varied selection with solid performances and production throughout. Much like the title suggests, The Off-Season feels like Cole running through different exercises as he gets in shape for something bigger."[39]


Accolades for The Off-Season
ComplexThe Best Albums of 2021 (So Far)
HipHopDXThe Top Hip Hop Albums of 2021 (December – June)N/A

Commercial performance

On the day of its release, The Off-Season broke Spotify's one-day streaming record for 2021 up until that point with 62 million streams.[27] In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, earning 282,000 album-equivalent units (including 37,000 copies as pure album sales) in its first week.[54] This became Cole's sixth US number one album on the chart.[54] At the time of its release, The Off-Season achieved the largest streaming week of 2021, accumulating over 325.5 million on-demand streams of the album's 12 tracks, surpassing Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album which debuted with 240.18 million streams for its 30 songs in its first week.[54] The project also earned the largest week of 2021 for a hip-hop album, until being surpassed by Kanye West’s album Donda.[55] and Drake's album Certified Lover Boy.[56] In its second week, the album dropped to number two on the chart, earning an additional 92,000 units.[57] In its third week, the album dropped to number three on the chart, earning 58,000 more units.[58] In its fourth week, the album dropped to number four on the chart, earning 44,000 units.[59] As of October 2021, the album has earned over 900,000 album-equivalent units in the United States.[60]

Four songs from The Off-Season debuted in the top ten on the US Billboard Hot 100, with "My Life" (at 2), "Amari" (at 5), "Pride Is the Devil" (at 7), and "95 South" (at 8). Drake, Juice WRLD, and Lil Wayne are the only other artists to have four songs debut in the top ten. "Interlude" debuted at number eight the previous week giving the album five top ten singles.[61] Every song on the album charted in the top forty on the Hot 100.[62]

Track listing

The Off-Season track listing
1."95 South"Jermaine Cole
3."My Life" (with 21 Savage and Morray)
4."Applying Pressure"ColeCole2:57
5."Punchin' the Clock"Cole
6."100 Mil'" (with Bas)
  • Cole
  • B. Evans
  • G. Hendricks
  • M. Hugee
  • Cole
  • T-Minus
7."Pride Is the Devil" (with Lil Baby)T-Minus3:38
8."Let Go My Hand" (with Bas and 6lack)4:26
  • Cole
  • T-Minus
  • Tommy Parker
10."The Climb Back"
  • Cole
  • Gary Bailey
  • Maximilian Axelrod
  • Montey Bailey
12."Hunger on Hillside" (with Bas)Cole
  • Boi-1da
  • DrtWrk
  • Don Mills
Total length:39:03


  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • All track titles are stylized in all lowercase and are letter spaced with a period between words. For example, "My Life" is stylized as "m y . l i f e".

Sample credits

  • "95 South" contains samples of "Throw It Up" and "Put Your Hood Up" by Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz.
  • "My Life" interpolates "The Life" performed by Styles P and Pharoahe Monch.[63]
  • "Applying Pressure” contains a sample from "Calafia" performed by Gerald Wilson Orchestra of the 80's.
  • "Punching the Clock" contains a sample of a post game interview from Damian Lillard.[64]
  • "100 Mil'" contains a sample from "There's Something Missing" performed by Double Exposure.
  • "The Climb Back" contains a sample from "I'm So In Love With You” performed by Brief Encounter.
  • "Close" contains a sample from "Do It Again" performed by The New Birth.
  • "Hunger On Hillside" contains a sample from "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone” performed by Junior Parker.


Credits adapted from Tidal.[65]


Chart performance for The Off-Season
Chart (2021)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[66]3
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[67]2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[68]1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[69]7
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[70]1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[71]19
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[72]1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[73]1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[74]4
French Albums (SNEP)[75]33
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[76]16
Irish Albums (OCC)[77]1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[78]23
Lithuanian Albums (AGATA)[79]1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[80]1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[81]1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[82]30
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[83]2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[84]5
UK Albums (OCC)[85]2
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[86]2
US Billboard 200[87]1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[88]1


RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[89]Gold7,500double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

List of release dates, showing region, format(s), label(s) and reference(s)
VariousMay 14, 2021[22]
July 16, 2021[90]
August 27, 2021Vinyl LP

See also


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  83. ^ "Veckolista Album, vecka 20". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  84. ^ "Swisscharts.com – J. Cole – The Off-Season". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  85. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  86. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  87. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  88. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  89. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – J Cole – The Off-Season". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  90. ^ "The Off-Season". amoeba. Retrieved July 22, 2021.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von J. Cole die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

The Off-Season

J. Cole auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

J. Cole (2013)

Jermaine Lamarr Cole (* 28. Januar 1985 in Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland)[1], bekannt unter seinem Künstlernamen J. Cole oder auch King Cole, ist ein US-amerikanischer Rapper, Musikproduzent und Basketballspieler.[2] Er war der erste Künstler, der von Jay-Zs Plattenlabel Roc Nation unter Vertrag genommen wurde.


Kindheit und Jugend

J. Cole wurde am 28. Januar 1985 als Sohn eines afroamerikanischen Soldaten der U.S. Army und seiner deutschen Frau[3] im US-Militärkrankenhaus 97th General Hospital[4] im Frankfurter Nordend geboren, dessen Räumlichkeiten heute das Amerikanische Generalkonsulat beherbergen.[5] Sein Vater verließ die Familie, als Cole noch ein Baby war.[6] Im Alter von acht Monaten zog seine Mutter mit ihm und seinem älteren Bruder Zach in die Vereinigten Staaten, wo sie sich in Fayetteville im US-Bundesstaat North Carolina niederließen. Dort wuchs Cole den Großteil seiner Kindheit in ärmlichen Verhältnissen in ständig wechselnden Unterkünften auf. Um für das Einkommen der Familie zu sorgen, hatte seine Mutter meist mehrere Jobs auf einmal. Als Cole elf Jahre alt war, heiratete seine Mutter erneut, woraufhin die Familie mit dem neuen Ehemann der Mutter in ein Haus im Forest Hills Drive zog. Dort wohnte Cole bis zum Alter von 18 Jahren.[7] Er besuchte die Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, wo er als talentierter Basketballspieler auffiel. Im Jahr 2003 schloss er die High School mit einem GPA von 4,2 ab.[8] Anschließend zog er nach New York City, wo er an der St. John’s University im Hauptfach „Kommunikation“ und im Nebenfach „Wirtschaft“ studierte. Seinen Abschluss machte er im Jahr 2007 mit der Gesamtbewertung magna cum laude („mit großem Lob, sehr gut“).[9]

Erste Erfahrungen mit Rap

J. Cole begann mit dem Rappen im Alter von 13 Jahren, als sein Cousin ihm die Grundlagen des Reimens und der Wortspiele zeigte. Am meisten wurde Cole von Rapper Tupac Shakur inspiriert, aber auch von anderen Künstlern wie Notorious B.I.G., Canibus, Nas, Eminem und Jay-Z. Cole entwickelte eine Liebe für Geschichten in seinen Texten. Im Alter von 15 Jahren hatte J. Cole mehrere Notizbücher mit verschiedenen Reimen gefüllt, aber er besaß keine eigenen Beats, die er mit den Reimen hätte zusammenstellen können. Seine Mutter kaufte ihm darauf hin eine Roland TR-808 Beat-Machine, mit der Cole letztendlich seine eigene Musik produzieren konnte. Im Alter von 17 Jahren sendete Cole seine Songs auf verschiedenen Internet-Foren unter dem Spitznamen „Therapist“ (deut. „Therapeut“).[10] J. Cole stand drei Stunden vor dem Gebäude von Jay-Zs Label, um ihm einen Beat zu zeigen, den er von Idris Muhammad samplete, so dass Jay-Z ihn unter Vertrag nehmen könnte. Allerdings mied Jay-Z Nachwuchsrapper.[11] Bevor J. Cole von Roc Nation unter Vertrag genommen wurde, arbeitete er als Großhändler. Eines Morgens schaute er auf sein Handy und bemerkte, dass er eine Nachricht von einem Mitarbeiter bekommen hatte, der J. Cole sagte, er solle ihn zurückrufen. Er ging ins Badezimmer, um auf die Nachricht zu antworten, weil er an seinem Arbeitsplatz sein Handy nicht privat nutzen durfte. Als J. Cole den Mitarbeiter zurückgerufen hatte, sagte dieser, dass J. Cole einen Anruf von Jay-Zs Management bekommen habe und dass er sich so bald wie möglich mit diesem treffen solle. J. Cole beschloss nicht länger bei der Arbeit zu bleiben und ging, um sich umzuziehen und sich für sein Treffen fertig zu machen.[12]

2007–2011: Mixtapes und Features

J. Cole im Jahr 2011

Cole veröffentlichte sein Debütmixtape, The Come Up, im November 2007 nach dem Abschließen seiner College-Zeit. Jay-Z nahm Cole unter Vertrag, nachdem er seinen Song Lights Please hörte. Vor der Veröffentlichung seines zweiten Mixtapes veröffentlichte Cole die Single Show Me Somethin’[13] für Werbezwecke. Er veröffentlichte sein zweites Mixtape, The Warm Up, am 15. Juni 2009. Nach der Veröffentlichung von The Warm Up veröffentlichte er Back to the Topic.[14]

Cole ist als Feature auf Jay-Zs Album The Blueprint 3 zu finden. Er wirkt bei dem Song A Star Is Born mit.[15] Er ist außerdem auf Wales Debütalbum Attention Deficit an dem Song Beautiful Bliss beteiligt, nachdem er bereits auf Wales Mixtape Back to the Feature vertreten war. Cole hat auch erklärt, dass er mit Produzenten wie No I.D., Pharrell, und für sein Debütalbum gearbeitet hat. Cole stand als Vorgruppe von Jay-Zs Blueprint 3-Tour auf der Bühne.

Im Frühjahr 2010 wurde Cole auf Platz 49 der “50 Great Artists Breakthroughs” des Beyond Race Magazine gewählt.[16]

Im Januar 2010 war Cole zusammen mit Jay Electronica und Mos Def an Talib Kwelis und Hi-Teks Single Just Begun beteiligt. Der Song erschien auf Reflection Eternals Album Revolutions Per Minute.[17] Cole erschien auch auf B.o.Bs Mixtape May 25 (veröffentlicht im Februar 2010) auf dem Song Gladiators.[18] Am 27. April 2010 veröffentlichte er den Song Who Dat.[19] Cole war auch an Young Chris’ Song Still the Hottest beteiligt und war auf Miguels Lied All I Want Is You zu hören.[20] Außerdem hatte Cole ein Feature auf We On von DJ Khaled.[21]

J. Cole ging vom 19. März bis 30. April 2010 auf College-Tour und schloss sie in New Brunswick, NJ am jährlichen Rutgersfest in der Rutgers University ab. Die Tour beinhaltete auch einen Auftritt in der Syracuse University gemeinsam mit anderen Rappern wie Wiz Khalifa.[22]

Um den Jahrestag der Veröffentlichung von The Warm Up zu feiern, veröffentlichte J. Cole am 15. Juni 2010 den Freestyle-Titel The Last Stretch. Am 21. Juni desselben Jahres wurde J. Coles Musikvideo zu seiner ersten Single Who Dat erstmals bei BETs 106 & Park gezeigt.[23]

Am 12. November 2010 veröffentlichte J. Cole sein drittes Mixtape mit dem Titel Friday Night Lights.[24] Das Tape beinhaltet Features mit Drake, Wale und Omen mit den meisten der Produktion gehandhabt durch Cole mit Unterstützung von Syience, Bink & L&X Music. Außerdem drehte er ein Video für In the Morning featuring Drake.

Am 17. Januar 2011 veröffentlichte J. Cole eine Remixversion von Rihannas dritter Single S&M von ihrem fünften Studioalbum Loud.[25]

Am 14. März 2011 veröffentlichte J. Cole eine Single mit dem Titel Killers. Am 25. April 2011 führte Vibe ihn auf Platz 5 der Liste der besten lebenden Rapper unter 30 auf. J. Cole verwendete bisher Analog-Technologie, um seine Beats zu machen. Aber nun macht er seine Beats allein digital. Er mixt seine Musik in einem Programm namens „Recycle“. Dann nimmt er die Probe und bringt es in Logic. Von dort aus hat er alle seine Proben geschnitten und bereit und kann alles von seiner Tastatur steuern. In letzter Zeit beginnt J. Cole seinen Herstellungsprozess, indem er erst seine Drum-Patterns macht und später eine Melodie dazu fügt.

Am 22. Mai 2011 veröffentlichte J. Cole die Single mit dem Titel Return of Simba, die dritte Single aus der „Simba-Reihe“ nach Simba und Grown Simba. J. Cole war außerdem für den BET Award 2011 für Best New Artist nominiert.[26] J. Cole war Bestandteil der Vorgruppe von Drakes Light Dreams and Nightmares UK Tour vom 5. bis 21. Januar 2011. Er trat im Herbst 2011 im Vereinigten Königreich im Vorprogramm von Tinie Tempah während seiner 7-city Arena Tour vom 31. Oktober bis 8. November auf.

J. Cole war auch Vorgruppe von Rihanna bei der Nordamerika-Etappe ihrer Loud Tour, die am 4. Juni 2011 begann und am 5. August 2011 in Barbados endete.

Seit 2011: Debütalbum und kommerzieller Erfolg

J. Cole schrieb am 4. Mai 2011 via Twitter:

“All singles done. Album ridiculous. Title Perfect. Music incredible. Thank you for your patience. Let’s change the game.”

J. Cole[27]

J. Cole hielt aus Angst vor der Inkonsistenz den Titel seines Debütalbums geheim. Er verkündete, dass Jay-Z auf dem Album zu hören sei.[12]

Am 27. September 2011 erschien sein Album Cole World: The Sideline Story.

Während des letzten Auftritts von Cole bei Rihannas Loud Tour in Barbados drehte Cole das Musikvideo für seine zweite Single Can’t Get Enough mit Trey Songz (der als Gastmusiker im Lied auftritt) und Rihanna.[28]

Am 18. Juni 2013 erschien unter hohen Erwartungen sein zweites Album Born Sinner, das nach drei Wochen die Nummer eins der amerikanischen Billboard 200 Charts erreichte. Aria Nejati schrieb für Hiphop.de, dass das Album „kaum Schwächen“ zeige und J. Cole das, „was er tut, unglaublich gut tut“. Vorzuhalten sei ihm lediglich „die fehlende Vielfältigkeit seiner Themenauswahl“. Insgesamt zeige Cole „auf seinem zweiten Album vor allen Dingen, dass er sich in einem enorm schnellen Tempo weiterentwickelt“.[29]

Am 9. Dezember 2014 veröffentlichte J. Cole sein drittes Studioalbum 2014 Forest Hills Drive nachdem es nur drei Wochen zuvor angekündigt worden war. Das Album debütierte auf dem ersten Platz der amerikanischen Billboard Charts und erreichte nach knapp vier Monaten als erstes Album von J. Cole den Platinstatus.[30]

Am 1. Dezember 2016 wurde das Cover zum vierten Studioalbum 4 Your Eyez Only veröffentlicht,[31] welches dann am 9. Dezember mit zehn Songs erschien und in den Vereinigten Staaten die Platinauszeichnung erhielt.

Am 17. April 2018 wurde das fünfte Studioalbum KOD über Twitter angekündigt und gleichzeitig das Datum bekanntgegeben.[32]

Als Mitautor und Gastrapper beim Song A Lot von 21 Savage wurde er bei den Grammy Awards 2020 für den besten Rap-Song ausgezeichnet.



Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen
(Jahr, Titel, Musiklabel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2011Cole World: The Sideline Story
Roc Nation/Columbia
(2 Wo.)CH

(2 Wo.)UK

(70 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 27. September 2011
Verkäufe: + 1.100.000
2013Born Sinner
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Columbia
(1 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)CH

(7 Wo.)UK

(105 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. Juni 2013
Verkäufe: + 2.140.000
20142014 Forest Hills Drive
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Columbia
(2 Wo.)CH

(16 Wo.)UK

(… Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 9. Dezember 2014
Verkäufe: + 3.170.000
20164 Your Eyez Only
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)CH

(11 Wo.)UK

(69 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 9. Dezember 2016
Verkäufe: + 1.110.000
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
(3 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)AT
(3 Wo.)CH

(11 Wo.)UK

(72 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 20. April 2018
Verkäufe: + 1.140.000
2021The Off-Season
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
(4 Wo.)DE
(5 Wo.)AT
(6 Wo.)CH
(10 Wo.)UK
(… Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 14. Mai 2021
Verkäufe: + 7.500

Professionelle Basketball-Karriere

Am 10. Mai 2021 wurde bekanntgegeben, dass Cole einen Vertrag bei dem in der (BAL) unterschrieben hat.[2]

In seinem Debüt am 16. Mai 2021 erzielte er drei Punkte, drei Rebounds und zwei Assists und verhalf den Patriots damit zu einem 83:60 Sieg gegen die .[33]


Commons: J. Cole – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien


  1. Pete Lewis: J. Cole interview. Blues & Soul, March 2011
  2. a b Rob Goldberg: Report: Rapper J. Cole to Sign Contract to Play in Basketball Africa League. In: BleacherReport.com. 10. Mai 2021, abgerufen am 16. Mai 2021 (englisch).
  3. 25 Things You Didn't Know About J. Cole. In: complex.com. 10. Juni 2013, abgerufen am 17. Januar 2019 (englisch).
  4. J Cole announces Tour! In: wybeaconnews.org. 21. Februar 2017, abgerufen am 19. August 2017 (englisch).
  5. Peter Badenhop: Vom Luftwaffen-Hospital zum diplomatischen Zentrum. In: faz.net. 16. November 2003, abgerufen am 19. August 2017.
  6. J. Cole Biography.com. In: biography.com. 30. Mai 2017, abgerufen am 19. August 2017.
  7. Grant Brydon: Before Chiraq, There Was Fayettenam: J. Cole Takes Us Back To His Hometown. In: noisey.vice.com. 18. Mai 2015, abgerufen am 19. August 2017.
  8. J. Cole Reminisces On MTV’s ‘When I Was 17’. In: rap-up.com. 12. November 2011, abgerufen am 19. August 2017.
  9. Jay-Z Protege J. Cole Takes Unusual Path to Stardom. ABC News.
  10. J COLE: Bref Control, May 2011 (Memento des Originals vom 10. September 2012 im Webarchiv archive.today)  Info: Der Archivlink wurde automatisch eingesetzt und noch nicht geprüft. Bitte prüfe Original- und Archivlink gemäß Anleitung und entferne dann diesen Hinweis.@1@2
  11. Nardwuar vs. J. Cole. NardwuarServiette. Abgerufen am 22. Juli 2011.
  12. a b Grime Daily meets J. Cole [Interview 2011]. GrimeDaily. Abgerufen am 10. Januar 2011.
  13. J. Cole - „Show Me Somethin’“
  14. J. Cole - "Back to the Topic" Freestyle
  15. J.Cole to appear on Blueprint 3. Rap Basement. Abgerufen am 18. August 2009
  16. beyondrace.com (Memento des Originals vom 12. Februar 2010 im Internet Archive)  Info: Der Archivlink wurde automatisch eingesetzt und noch nicht geprüft. Bitte prüfe Original- und Archivlink gemäß Anleitung und entferne dann diesen Hinweis.@1@2
  17. Reflection Eternal - "Just Begun" feat. Jay Electronica, J. Cole, & Mos Def thatsthatish.com
  18. J. Cole - "Knock On Wood" X "Gladiators" w/ B.o.B
  19. Thatsthatish.com: "J. Cole: 'Who Dat'"
  20. thatsthatish.com
  21. J. Cole - "We On"
  22. Rapper Wiz Khalifa set to perform at SU after incarceration. (Memento des Originals vom 27. September 2011 im Internet Archive)  Info: Der Archivlink wurde automatisch eingesetzt und noch nicht geprüft. Bitte prüfe Original- und Archivlink gemäß Anleitung und entferne dann diesen Hinweis.@1@2 The Daily Orange
  23. J. Cole – “Who Dat” music video
  24. Download “Friday Night Lights”!. JColeMusic. Archiviert vom Original am 13. Juli 2011.  Info: Der Archivlink wurde automatisch eingesetzt und noch nicht geprüft. Bitte prüfe Original- und Archivlink gemäß Anleitung und entferne dann diesen Hinweis.@1@2 Abgerufen am 19. Mai 2011.
  25. rapdose.com
  26. Best New Artist. BET. Abgerufen am 21. November 2011.
  27. twitter.com
  28. Peep This: Rihanna Hangs Out With J. Cole And Trey Songz At The ‘Can’t Get Enough’ Shoot. Vibe
  29. Aria Nejati: J. Cole – Born Sinner (Review). Hiphop.de, abgerufen am 1. Juli 2013.
  30. rapradar.com
  31. HipHopDX: J. Cole's New Album Announcement Got The Internet Going Nutty. In: HipHopDX. (hiphopdx.com [abgerufen am 17. April 2018]).
  32. J.Cole kündigt neues Album für den kommenden Freitag an. Abgerufen am 17. April 2018 (deutsch).
  33. Jordan Mendoza: Rapper J. Cole makes professional basketball debut in new Basketball Africa League. In: eu.USAToday.com. 16. Mai 2021, abgerufen am 16. Mai 2021 (englisch).


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