J. Cole – Applying Pressure: The Off-Season’ Documentary
J. Cole’s highly-anticipated new album the Off-Season drops this week, and ahead of its imminent release, the North Carolina rapper has shared a documentary.
Announced on Sunday, the documentary is a Scott Lazer-directed film offering a look at how the Off-Season came together. “This is the moment that a lot of your favorite rappers hit a crossroads,” Cole says in the teaser that arrived ahead of the documentary. “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.'”
The documentary opens with Cole speaking with his “A Lot” collaborator 21 Savage, who asked him why he decided to call the project the Off-Season. As he explained, it’s a reference to his mixtape the Warm Up, which dropped all the way back in 2009. “One more time before I leave, before I feel fulfilled in this game, let me try to reach new heights from a skill level standpoint,” he added. Other moments in the documentary see Cole revisiting his old home in Queens, New York City, and him reflecting on how Pharrell inspired him to make music with a schedule in mind.
He also briefly spoke about the albums he plans to release after the Off-Season, specifically in regards to the Fall-Off. “There’s songs on here, in this whole Fall-Off era, that I’ve been sitting on for years,” he explained. “Just tweaking, making better. Even like, ‘the Middle Child,’ that was for the Fall-Off. … I still got more work to do, on the Fall-Off specifically, I got a few more songs I need to write. I got tinkering I need to do.”
Cole has been teasing the Off-Season for quite some time now, and has called it a project “years in the making.” It’s expected to be the first of three albums that he teased in an Instagram post last year, with It’s a Boy and the Fall-Off expected to arrive later down the line. “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,” said Cole upon detailing “the Fall Off Era.” Of the upcoming albums, he said they’re the most ambitious projects of his career.
Leading up to the release of the Off-Season, Cole indicated that he wasn’t going to drop more songs from it before the whole record is out. “Told myself I would drop the album all at once,” he wrote. “Sometimes you gotta say fuck it tho.” He’s shared “Interlude,” but fans will have to wait until Friday, May 14 to hear the rest of the album.
Watch the documentary above.