Since 2021 started the rap game seemed to be going in a southern direction with artists like Pooh Shiesty, his partner BIG30, 2020’s MVP Lil Baby, Moneybagg Yo, & plenty more emerging on to the hip-hop scene. With just two weeks' notice, J. Cole dropped an album, The Off-Season that was subtly much needed. As we’ve been waiting for Drake’s CLB we were lucky enough to get an unexpected Cole album. Before May 14th (when the project was released) & after listening to “The Interlude” I got a 2014 Forest Hill Drive vibe. After two weeks of this project being out, I could say this one here is classic J. Cole. It started with “95.south” a great start that really had me wanting to listen to more. The song “My Life” featuring Moray & 21 Savage definitely resembles a previous song the two collaborated on entitled "A lot".
It’s not until the next three songs that I am then highly convinced that this album is exactly what rap fans needed. It seems to me that Cole was having fun making this body of work. The surprise features truly made the project worthwhile as well. Whether it was Cam’ron & Diddy speaking or 21 & Baby rapping this album is definitely a top-five album of the year.