Review: J-Cole’s releases impressive, unforgettable album


Courtesy of J-Cole

Rapper J-Cole released album “The Off-Season” on May 14. TRL’s James Mapes said that the album “wasn’t better than J-Cole’s previous album” but is still “extraordinary and ground-breaking.”

After solidifying himself in the rap hall of fame with his last album “2014 Forest Hill Drive,” rap artist Jermaine Cole (J-Cole) released a new album titled “The Off-Season” on May 14. J-Cole’s previous album, “2014 Forest Hill Drive,” contained many hit songs such as “A tale of 2 citiez,” “Love Yourz” and the infamous song “No Role Modelz.” This new album contains 12 songs with a 39 minute run time. 

The new album “The Off-Season” kicks off with a hot start from J-Cole on the track “95. South.” This track highlights the factors that make J-Cole the phenomenal rapper he is. His flow, rhyme scheme and wordplay are all set out for display on this song that foreshadows the rest of the album. For those who don’t understand what the artist is trying to portray, Krispy Kreme is a doughnut shop which of course serves in a dozen, but this is not what makes this bar special. Not only does the rapper reference the world-renowned bakery, but in doing so he portrays his view on the social justice system in the U.S.

As the previous song highlighted J-Cole’s worldplay skills, the next song on the album “Amari” specializes the artist’s flow. This 2:28 second song doesn’t go a second without the rapper riding the beat. Although it was obviously not done in one take during production, the significant transitions give the audience a song that they can’t not listen to for one second. Mom walks into your room to talk to you?–Gotta restart the song. That’s just how the song “Amari” is. The track makes the audience never want to take their headphones off. Now that J-Cole has shown listeners that he still possesses these innate talents, it’s time for him to produce a hit song.

J-Cole has done just that on the third, and most popular song off the album, “My. Life.” The sought-after track does not only feature J-Cole’s abilities, but also includes two essential features from artists 21 Savage and Morray. Although there is a bunch to cover on this song, it is hard to look past Morray’s vocals halfway through. “My life is all I have, My rhymes, my pen, my pad, and I have made it out of the struggle dont judge me, what you’re saying now… wont budge me”. On paper, the feature from Morray seems impressive enough, but when actually listening to “My. Life,” it is obvious that his vocals fit the song exquisitely. The lyrics from Morray also serve the purpose of a transition into the rapper 21 Savage’s disgustingly good feature. Usually 21 Savage has mixed opinions on his music… you love ‘em, or you hate ‘em. However, every rap fan’s ears perked up when they heard Savage’s monotone voice say “Say what? The stuff that I’ve seen got you traumatized.” The excitement of this feature doesn’t come from a place of showing amazing rapping ability, but for some odd reason, the pairing of J-Cole and 21 Savage on a song is unforgettable. When listening to “My. Life” it would be hard to not bop one’s head as the track progresses, but the song comes full circle with the fantastic, but unordinary features.

A lot of hype in the rap community surrounded J-Cole’s newest project “The Off-Season,” and one could say that it contained unrealistic standards for the artist. Even so, ‘disappointing’ is not a word that should be associated with the album. Although the album wasn’t better than J-Cole’s previous “2014 Forest Hill Drive,” it is still extraordinary and ground-breaking.

Rating: A-