J. Cole — The Off-Season
J. Cole is back. After delivering a few hints and choice tracks from his new album over the past few months, Jermaine Cole returns to the scene with his newest album, The Off-Season.
The new 12-song LP features the previously released songs “t h e . c l i m b . b a c k.” and “i n t e r l u d e.” It also boasts array of new tracks, including production from Timbaland, Boi-1da, Jake One, T-Minus, and more. 21 Savage, Cam’ron, Lil Baby, Morray are among the featured acts.
Cole broke down his new album’s concept during a conversation with 21 Savage in his Applying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary.
“One more time before I leave, before I feel like I’m fulfilled in this game, let me try to reach new heights from a skill level standpoint,” he said. “I put myself through drills. I really try to work on my craft to reach new heights and push myself. That’s why I called it The Off-Season.”
Later in the same documentary, Cole went on: “If this is as high as you ever got, not career success wise but from a skill level [standpoint], have you wrote your best song? Did you leave no stone unturned creatively?” he asked himself. “When I thought about that feeling, I was like, ‘No. I’m not cool with that.’”
Listen to The Off-Season below.
Nicki Minaj feat. Drake & Lil Wayne — “Seeing Green”
Produced by Kid Masterpiece and Govi, the track begins with Lil Wayne. “Ever since the pandemic, they don’t wanna let Drake out of Canada, I’ve been screaming free Drizzy,” he rhymes. “I know bae trust my vision but don’t want me to see prison / I said ‘I can’t make no promises, so either leave or come visit.’”
Minaj follows up with the song’s second verse. “I am the star in any room that I stand in / I am the standout, you just my stand-in,” she raps on the track. “Life is a beach house, don’t let the sand in / I ball in any arena, go let the fans in.”
Drake adds a third verse to finish things off. “2021, I had to wet the streets up,” he raps on the song. “Your girl was better in the morning like a slice of pizza / That’s when I had to hit her with the ‘nice to meet ya.’”
“Seeing Green” appears on the new version of Beam Me Up Scotty, which is now available on streaming services. “Fractions” and “Crocodile Teeth (Remix)” are also among the new cuts added to the 2009 mixtape as part of this re-release.
Stream this edition of Beam Me Up Scotty below.
Migos — “Straightenin”
Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset are back on the scene with their newest single, “Straightenin.” The brand new Migos track was produced by DJ Durel, Atake, Slime Castro, Sluzyyy, Nuki, and Osiris.
Quavo launches the track with a boastful verse about how he turned the “pandemic” into a “band-emic.” Huncho continues: “On an island, it’s a movie I’m making / I’m counting dinero with Robert De Niro, he telling ‘em Cho amazin’.”
Takeoff picks up the baton for the second verse: “I keep it on me, believe me / I be up high where the trees be / I go and put on so much of this ice / They say, ‘Don’t touch me, you gon’ freeze me.’”
Offset finalizes the cut with a final showing. “Spin an opp block, rock a bye baby,” he rhymes. “Made his heart stop, made his momma hate me / We were trappin’ out the spot, out the basement / Tasmanian devil, we spin on your block.”
The song’s music video was directed by Keemotion. It features all three members in front of friends, fancy rides, and cash stacks. Watch the visual and listen to “Straightenin” below.
Evidence — “Pardon Me”
Evidence is ramping up the rollout for his newest album, Unlearning Vol. 1. Fresh off the release of his “Better You” single, the veteran Venice rhymer unleashes a new track and visual in the form of “Pardon Me.”
Produced by Animoss, the new single features insightful lines from the Dilated Peoples wordsmith. “Beat bleeding, I ain’t over it,” he raps. “Nothing corporate / Incorporate what I learned and pay the mortgages / Never forfeiting or forbidding what the greatness of my aura is.”
He goes on to share lessons from fatherhood. “I’m orbiting / My son gave me more living,” and then adds: “Played the backseat just to get more driven.”
Directed by Stephen Vanasco, the new visual features a pensive Evidence walking through mountainside roads in California while rhyming about speaking things into existence, Yoda, and more.
Watch the visual and listen to “Pardon Me” below.
T-Pain & Kehlani — “I Like Dat”
T-Pain and Kehlani connect. The two power hitters join forces on “I Like Dat,” a new collaboration that was produced by DJ Montay and Pain himself.
“She don’t want drinks no more if you ain’t bringin’ no dough to the table,” Pain sings on the track. Kehlani adds: “It’s real bossed up, fly shit / I ain’t the passenger, I’m the pilot / You could hop in but you ain’t drivin’ / All I need is somebody to ride with.”
Kehlani beamed about the collaboration before it arrived. “woke up out my sleep to say i really have a song wit t pain,” she tweeted. “on the flipped beat of ‘Buy You A Drank!!!!!!!’ this bitch ‘Buy You A Drank Part 2!!!!’ what is my life!!!!!!!!!!”
The singer, of course, is referencing “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” from Pain’s 2007 Epiphany LP. The song, which featured Yung Joc, went on to peak at No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
Listen to “I Like Dat” below.