J. Cole has announced the release date for his “years-in-the-making” album, ‘The Off-Season’.

The 36-year-old chart-topper surprised his fans this week by confirming the hotly-awaited record will arrive on May 14.

Cole teased his first project since 2018’s ‘KOD’ by posting the artwork on social media, which sees him stand next to a lamp on fire.

He captioned the cover: “My new album The Off-Season available 5/14. Just know this was years in the making.”

It had been assumed that his next LP would be called ‘The Fall Off’ around three years ago, when he captioned the promo for ‘Album Of The Year (Freestyle)’ on YouTube: “The Off Season coming soon… All roads lead to The Fall Off.”

However, in December, Cole explained that ‘The Fall Off’ is not his next studio effort and will come after ‘The Off-Season’.

Meanwhile, the ‘Crooked Smile’ hitmaker admitted last summer that he was already thinking about retirement, although his short-term focus remained on completing his upcoming album.

Cole – who also revealed that he is the father to two sons – shared: “[I have a] long-term plan of becoming the best rapper I could possibly be before hanging up my jersey, leaving nothing on the table when all was said and done.”

But he still has a few things to tick off his “career bucket list” yet.

He said: “The fire that was once dying out has returned, and for that I’m grateful.

“On my career bucket list, there remain a few more items to check off before I give myself permission to enter whatever the next chapter of my life may be.”

However, the award-winning star thinks he’ll eventually lose his motivation.

He explained: “As I approach the summit of this mountain, I still find myself staring at that other one in the distance, wondering if I can climb.”



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