J.Cole Talks About The Possibility of Retiring From Music
Rapper J. Cole, closed his 2018 album KOD with a song title “1985 (Intro To The Fall Off),” with which he has made fans anticipate its release. For one thing, lyrics, interviews, and social media posts he’s made since then have all seemed to imply his plans to retire from rap once the album drops.
However, in a new cover story in Slam magazine, the Carolina rapper opened up about his future in the rap game as he poised the question, “Am I going to be doing this forever?”
Cole, 36, revealed that this retirement thought first entered his mind years ago in 2014, following the success of his third studio album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. “After 2014 Forest Hills Drive, that was the first time I ever got that feeling. “It was after I got off tour and I could breathe. I was like, Damn. For the first time, I felt comfortable in a good way. I allowed myself to just chill, watch TV, play video games. Simple shit that ni**as do, but I don’t do. Shit that before I wouldn’t allow myself to do, because it was like, Yo, I got way bigger shit to do, way bigger fish to fry. I wouldn’t even give myself the pass of watching a whole TV series.”
It was around this time, Cole recalls, that he started writing again, but he was still in break mode and totally uninspired. “I could tell, sometimes I would pick up the pen and write at that time. And I didn’t really have any real reason. I had just got off tour, there was no rush to do anything. But if I tried to pick up the pen, if I tried to make a beat, the shit would be uninspired.”
Cole realized that his rap form wasn’t delivering in the way he had become accustomed to, despite having acquired his best project prior to and during the year. He said his latest creations were flimsy and not meeting his own personal standard.
“OK, here’s the reality. The shit that I just wrote is not even impressing me. That’s the reality. Or the shit I been writing this week, or the shit that I wrote this month, none of it has even moved me at all. Why is that? Oh, OK, well the answer to that question is, clearly, comfort.
“You’re doing things you never did before. You’re sitting around the house. You’re going to play ball every day. You’re watching fucking Narcos. And that’s cool, but this is the inevitable result of not pushing yourself”, he reflected.
For him, it’s less about announcing a confirmed retirement and more about pushing himself. “I’m super comfortable with the potential of being done with this shit. But I’m never going to say, Oh, this is my last album…Because I never know how I’m going to feel two years, three years, four years down the line, 10 years down the line, but please believe, I’m doing all this work for a reason”, Cole told Slam.
It may seem a little out of place for a rapper to be doing cover stories for a basketball magazine. Well, Cole made sure to legitimize that as well as he announced that he had signed a contract to play in the newly created Basketball Africa League as part of Rwanda’s Patriots team ahead of the release of his next album, The Off-Season, which is decidedly not the same as The Fall Off.