The Off-Season is almost here.
With just five days until his new album, J. Cole gives fans a peek into his mind and creative process in his new documentary, ďApplying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary.Ē The nearly 13-minute clip, which is divided into four chapters, opens with 21 Savage asking Cole how he came up with the album title.
ďThe Off-Season was like the same concept,Ē he says, referring to his 2009 mixtape The Warm Up. ďOne more time before I leave, before I feel like Iím fulfilled in this game, let me try to reach new heights from a skill-level standpointÖI put myself through drills. I really tried to work on my craft to like reach new heights and push myself.Ē
From there, Cole is seen boarding a Puma private jet as he reflects on his journey. ďThis past five years has been a fight against comfort,Ē he shares. ďThis is the moment that a lot of your favorite rappers hit a crossroad where they did what the f**k they set out to do and then the fruits of their labor started working against them.Ē
He admits that he started to get comfortable with his routine before realizing he had to change the course. ďAre you okay with getting comfortable, chilling, mailing it in, waiting around on inspiration?Ē he ponders. ďDid you leave no stone unturned creatively? And when I thought about that feeling, Iím like, ĎNah, Iím not cool with that.’Ē
After his wife told him she was pregnant, Cole decided to ďrefocusĒ and ďlock back inĒ so he returned to Mohammadís Crib in New York where he lived while attending St. Johnís University.
He also shared advice from Pharrell, who told him that he needed to devise a schedule between his work and personal life. So he built a studio at home. ďI love being able to work knowing that my family is right upstairs,Ē he said.
Cole realized he had to put in the hours and start practicing more, which paid off. ďIt literally took years of practice, writing, trying, shooting, sharpening the pen to get it to a level where I feel like itís been the past couple years. Like, itís there.Ē
Chapter 4, ďApplying Pressure,Ē closes out with Cole thinking about his exit plan, which culminates with his final album The Fall Off. ďThere are songs on here in this whole Fall Off era that Iíve been sitting on for years,Ē he said while revealing that his 2019 single ďMiddle ChildĒ was made for The Fall Off.
ďFor a long time, I just knew what I wanted to do but I just couldnít see it. This is the most ambitious shit Iíve ever done. Itís a patience and a trust. Itís a tight rope to walk, but Iím walking that shit.Ē
The Off-Season, the follow-up to 2018ís KOD, drops Friday.