When J. Cole takes to social media, you know it's deliberate. So, when the rapper posted a cryptic photo to Instagram yesterday detailing a list of unreleased albums and teasing impending retirement, best believe there is substance to it.
The Dreamville boss shared his plans for the "Fall Off-era" of albums, which seemingly involves dropping two other projects before released his previously-teased and highly-anticipated The Fall Off album.
Cole's post includes a trajectory of projects with some already-completed entries crossed out. For instance, "Features" appear to be done, while Cole hasn't released any solo music since 2018's KOD, he has appeared on a number of tracks with the likes of Gangstarr, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and his Dreamville cohorts. Then his Dreamville compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III, which dropped last year, also appears crossed out on the list.
What follows next are two as-yet-unreleased projects, The Off Season and It’s A Boy, leading up to The Fall Off.
However, another detail that has fans scrambling is Cole's caption, which hints at retirement. “I still got some goals I gotta check off for’ I scram…” he wrote. Unfortunately, this isn't news. Earlier this year, he published an essay titled “The Audacity” in which he discussed retirement.
"... A long term plan of becoming the best rapper I could possibly be before hanging up my jersey, leaving nothing on the table when all was said and done. The seeds for The Fall Off were planted ..." he wrote. "The fire that was once dying out has returned, and for that I’m grateful. On my career bucket list, there remain a few more items to check off before I give myself permission to enter whatever the next chapter of my life may be."
It's unclear when J. Cole's The Off-Season records are set to arrive and whether this will really mean his retirement from the rap game. Keep it here for updates.