Review: J. Cole’s “The Off Season” highlights consistency, levity

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J. Cole’s on the album cover for The Off Season.

Jahleel Miller, Staff Writer

“The Off Season,” by J. Cole, is a rap album released May 4, 2021. It includes some hit singles, such as “Applying Pressure,” “95 South,” “Pride is the Devil,” and “Let Go My Hand.” J. Cole was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. When he raps, you can hear him incorporate his exciting, storytelling style into his songs.

Critical reception of the album seems divided. Some critics say that J. Cole has clearly improved from his younger years, while others argue that his earlier works were better.  What has remained consistent is J. Cole’s impressive flow, his unique lyricism, and the fluency of his songs. Simply put, to this reviewer, he sounds like he was born to rap. 

The way that he rhymes and manipulates the syllables to match with the beat is magical. One of the best songs from “The Off Season” is “Amari” because it showcases J. Cole’s ability to loosen up and have some fun. The track describes the life that J.Cole lives now, making millions. He captures our fascination with seeing people, who started with nothing, rise from the dirt and make a living doing something that they love. This is a fantastic album because J. Cole continues to tell honest stories about his life while entertaining people.

Cole has also made sure to feature lesser known rappers such as Morray and Bas. I would rate this album a 9/10. If you like lyrical hip hop and fast rap, then J. Cole is the rapper for you.