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Is J. Cole Ready for The-Offseason?

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via @jcole

by Dan Runcie

Every Monday, Trapital's free weekly memo will give you insights on the latest moves in the business of hip-hop. Join 10K+ readers who stay ahead of all the trends:

On Friday, Jermaine Cole drops his sixth studio album The-Offseason, his first since 2018!

A lot has changed. Three years isn’t that long, but it’s long in hip-hop. When KOD dropped in April 2018, the album set tons of streaming records. That was his month. He proved, yet again, that he can avoid the forced “mainstream hits” and still get mainstream success.

But KOD broke those records and earned those headlines due to perfect timing. It dropped a few months before bigger releases like Drake’s Scorpion, Travis Scott’s Astroworld, and Lil’ Wayne’s The Carter V.

With The-Offseason, he’s in a similar boat. He’ll drop before the other big stars rumored to have albums coming in 2021. His timing also lines up with the NBA playoffs. He probably has another hit ready for the playoff promo commercials.

Still the same Cole? The ‘double platinum, no features’ rapper is in a different position than he was three years ago. Last we heard from Cole, he wanted a ten-day NBA contract, had a regrettable incident with Noname, and posted a list of goals on Instagram. He still has his Dreamville day-one base, but the casual Cole fans aren’t buzzin about him like they were in 2017 and 2018.

If he outperforms the 397,000 that KOD sold in its first week, I’ll be shocked. In his defense, Cole has never obsessed too much over numbers. But superstars don’t drop on New Music Fridays unless they want to track it.

Want more on Cole? Read my 2018 essay on his 1,000 True Fans, and listen to my Trapital Podcast interview with his manager and Dreamville President, Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

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