“I Put Everything on the Table”
Photo Credit: Lorne Thomson for Redferns
J. Cole has been on a hiatus for quite some time. On Tuesday, his latest magazine cover for SLAM was unveiled making him the first rapper to appear solo on the cover.
The cover also releases on the heels of a special announcement that ruffled feathers online yesterday: the rapper recently signed to Basketball Africa League team in Rwanda. He’ll be playing his first game this weekend and is slated to play three to six games this season with the team that was created in partnership with the NBA.
“J. Cole stands for everything SLAM stands for—the way basketball and music overlap and inspire greatness in one another,” Adam Figman, Chief Content Officer at SLAM said. He added, “This cover was a long time coming, and we’re proud that we were able to make it happen just as Cole was about to release an album influenced by his love of hoops.”
But for fans who are merely here for the music, the cover featured Cole in conversation with Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins about his upcoming album, The Off-Season. At one point during the interview, the rapper shared: “The Off-Season symbolizes the work that it takes to get to the highest height. The Off-Season represents the many hours and months and years it took to get to top form.”
He also shared thoughts on ending his career, something that’s been floating around for years:
“I’m doing all this work to be at peace with, If I never did another album, I’m cool. That’s the reason for all of this, so I know that I put everything on the table. I left everything on the table.”
Wise words from a talented man. All the naysayers who have wondered if this is in fact his last album, we venture to think differently. It sounds like he’s not quite done with sharing his music with the world.
Read the entire SLAM cover story here.