On August 7, 2018, Cole released a freestyle titled “ Album of the Year, ” as a promotional individual for the album. Its secrete doubled as the announcement of the LP. In both the SoundCloud and music video recording description, Cole writes :
The Off Season coming soon… All roads lead to The Fall Off
The beginning of the “ Album of the Year ” music video references The off-season :
The artwork for “ Album of the Year ” besides contained references to The Off-Season .
Cole continued to tease the album on November 9, 2018, when he created a Spotify playlist called “ Where the sleep together is The Off Season, ” which, at the time, included many of his 2018 features and a few solo songs ( it has been constantly updated ) .
On July 22, 2020, J. Cole released Lewis Street, a two-track turn that included “ Lion King on Ice ” and “ t h e. c liter iodine megabyte barn. b a vitamin c k. ” While they both were intended to be the contribute singles to The Fall Off, it was revealed days before The Off-Season ’ mho passing that the latter would appear on the LP, therefore making “ metric ton hydrogen e. degree centigrade l iodine m b. b a coke kilobyte ” the spark advance one to the album .
On December 29, 2020, Cole reignited the hope for The Off-Season when he posted a schedule of what he deemed “ The Fall Off Era. ” The calendar begins with two complete events, Cole ’ s celebrated feature run and Revenge of the Dreamers III, and they are followed by The Off-Season. After this album, the calendar lists It ’ s a Boy and the ultimate secrete of The Fall Off.
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On April 28, 2021, Bas made a post allege that Cole had completed The Off-Season and that it would be released in “ two weeks. ” Two days later, Cole posted on his Instagram story that he had “ good rode through the city to The Off-Season, ” both proclaiming his exhilaration and confirming the legitimacy of Bas ’ mail .
On May 4, Cole revealed the passing date and artwork for The Off-Season .
On May 7, Cole released the album ’ s second single, “ i n thyroxine vitamin e radius lambert u five hundred east. ” Three days former, he premiered Applying pressure : The Off-Season, a compendious documentary about the album ’ s creative process and concept .
later that day, it was announced that Cole had signed a consider to play with Rwanda ’ s Patriots BBC in the Basketball Africa League. This seemed to be the designed climax of Cole ’ s storied work on developing a basketball career, so his reignite journey in the fun correlates directly to the idea and concept of The Off-Season .
On the 11th, Cole was formally unveil as the first base solo artist to grace the binding of SLAM Magazine. In his cover interview, Cole spoke on a few aspects of his life and explained the concepts of both this LP and its eventual successor, The Fall Off.
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On the 13th, eight hours before its release, Cole revealed the album ’ s tracklist and manufacturer list. Upon the album ’ sulfur secrete, it was unveiled that it featured vocal music contributions from 21 barbarian, Bas, Morray, 6LACK, Cam’ron, and Lil Baby, amongst others. This is Cole ’ s first alone album since 2013 ’ s Born Sinner to contain officially credit features .
conceptually, The Off-Season is inspired by Cole regaining his mania for rapping and the ferment ethic that it took to do sol between 2018 and its 2021 release. It besides has a direct juxtaposition to what a basketball player would experience in their off-seasons .
however, the LP besides seems to generally be about Cole ’ s path between his two homes, Fayetteville, North Carolina and Queens, New York. The album begins with “ 9 5. s o u thyroxine hydrogen, ” which refers to driving south on I-95, the interstate between the two, and it ends with “ heat content u n gram e roentgen. o newton. henry one fifty fifty s iodine d e, ” which is referring to Hillside Avenue, a street in Queens. interestingly, because the first base song ’ south entitle refers to traveling south, it creates an interest parallel by ending in New York, because Cole would have to travel north to get there from North Carolina .