J. Cole: The Off-Season

It was a big week for music releases last week. Leading the releases, fans rejoiced when North Carolina rapper, J. Cole, announced in early May that a new album was on the horizon. The first Friday of May, we got a tease of new music in the form of ‘I n t e r l u d e’, two minutes of heavy hitting bars leaving fans wanting more. This past weekend, the wait is over as the artist returned with The Off Season.

Marking his first solo release in three years, J. Cole’s sixth studio album has been known for a little while now. At the end of last year, the rapper teased on Instagram the project along two more projects before his rumored retirement of music. In July 2020, J. Cole released a pair of singles including ‘The Climb Back’ featured on The Off Season. A few weeks ago, the rapper released a documentary on YouTube entitled “Applying Pressure: The Off Season” depicting the album’s creation and his role as executive producer on the project. From the first track, ‘95 South’, J. Cole comes out of the gate taking no prisoners in his verses. The grime, grit and ferocity shines through seamlessly throughout the project. The album has features from 21 Savage, Bas, Lil Baby, Morray & 6LACK.

12 tracks didn’t seem like enough tracks for The Off-Season, but the project packs punch to hold fans over hoping for a Deluxe version. It’s refreshing to see the growth of J. Cole’s hunger over the years. I had the pleasure of seeing him in a free concert at Xavier University in 2009 at the beginning of his career when he released his second mixtape The Warm Up. Since then, I’ve been inspired by his creativity and sincerity in his writing. Thank you Cole for the new music. You can listen to The Off Season available now on streaming services.

Drunken Karaoke Writings:

95 South


Pride Is The Devil

95 South

I’m coming harder than ever

Words resonate more than ever

On that 2009 Drake Forever more than ever

Someone flipped the switch

Yeah I handed them the lever

I handed them a level

Tried to put em on game

Then they lost to a boss

Now they remember my name

They remember the old me

I remember you calling me lame

I remember everything

Now nothing was the same

Look at yourself 

You was the one to blame

I’ve ignited the flame

Cutting up

Going against the grain

Unleashed an animal

I’m not the one to tame

My pen and paper is lethal 

A weapon like Donald Glover

Feels like Summer me coming

2021 Danny Glover

Better get on board

I’m not the one to hover

Get up to par if you want 

But I’m the one with the putter


Plotting what to do next

Been in the background 

reviewing text

Y’all in the background

Exchanging texts

Critiquing my every move

Thinking what’s next

Made ten books

With a lotta pieces

Made a lot of points

Made a lot of thesis 

Many think my time up 

Ending my leases

Yeah time’s up

No more teases

No more nice guy 

No more pleases

Ironed out everything

And the creases

Now when I pop fast

Hope the food last

Hold on to the greases

Putting the pieces together

I’m a make some stories

Make some changes

No need to worry

Wherever the words at

They gonna be there for me

Pride Is The Devil

Pride is the devil

Thankfully I got patience

I used to get stuck on that level

And I moved on so gracious 

Pride like to pop up

Like an ongoing side quest

Pride must be in DC

Clark Kent with an S on my chest

Pride must think life is easy

When I’m up against the rope

I’m 2008 Weezy

Punchline after punchline

1984 Punch Out

Been Little Mac my whole life

I’m coming for the knockout

No more leaning against the rope

Got my bearings ready to fight

Going against the odds

Doing it all with my might 

I’m a be beyond the stars

While you be high as a kite

And when the strings get cut

You just let the devil be right

So I never have to worry 

I’m a have it all

No one’s gonna get it for me

Reggie Johnson is a poet reigning from Cincinnati, Ohio. Starting at the age of nine, Reggie has been writing poetry through their love of music and life experiences. He has 9 books now available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter @r_d_johnson and on IG @rdjohnsonwrites

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