Atiba Jefferson/SLAM J. Cole

J. Cole Opens Up About Retirement Plans

J. Cole is thinking of an exit plan.

Ahead of the release of his new album The Off-Season, the Dreamville rapper covers the June/July 2021 issue of SLAM magazine where he opens up about his future in the rap game.

In December, Cole announced plans for three more projects including The Off-Season, It’s a Boy, and The Fall Off, rumored to be his final album. While he won’t confirm his retirement, Cole is making sure he goes out on top if he does decide to leave it all behind.

“Oh, bro, 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,” he tells the magazine. “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.”

With the possibility of retirement looming, Cole has been pushing himself to “uncomfortable limits” in order to better his craft. “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, and I’m good with that,” he adds.

“Because there’s a lot of shit I want to do with my life and in my life that, because I have such an intense love and passion for the craft, if I don’t let that go, I’m not going to be able to get to these other things that I also want to learn and grow and be good at.”

One of those things may be a career in basketball. Cole, who was a walk-on at St. John’s University, has reportedly signed on to play for the Rwanda Patriots BBC in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League.

On Friday, Cole will release his sixth studio album The Off-Season. He opened up about his creative process and journey in his new documentary, “Applying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary.”