J. Cole announced his brand new studio album releasing in 2021, and “i n t e r l u d e” is the first tease of what’s to come. The two-minute track acts as an interlude to the album as well as the first single off of it. On the track, J. Cole sings about a range of topics from successes to failures to personal struggles.
J. Cole announced his sixth studio album ‘The Off-Season’ scheduled to be released on May 14, 2021. The announcement was made just a week ahead of the release as he mentions that he always wanted to drop an album out of nowhere; “Told myself I would drop the album all at once.” However, this album is nothing that was rushed, as Cole himself says “Just know this was years in the making.” This is J. Cole’s follow-up project to his 2018 album ‘KOD.’
The track samples a work by one of the producers of the track, Tommy Parker. “i n t e r l u d e” will be the only single released ahead of the album release.
Listen to “i n t e r l u d e” by J. Cole
“i n t e r l u d e” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the intro to the song, J. Cole reminds us that he literally started from the bottom and climbed all the way to the top. His personal story is filled with struggles–having his father abandoned him at a young age. As an African American in the streets of Fayetteville, North Carolina, he endured his fair share of racial discrimination as well. However, he was a smart kid and scored a 4.2 GPA in high school and graduated college with a 3.8 GPA. As luck would have it, this was not enough to land him a proper job. After graduating, J. Cole worked in various part-time jobs in Fayetteville, including a working ad salesman for a newspaper, a bill collector, a file clerk, and a kangaroo mascot at a skating rink.
Only by 2009, after two mixtapes, J. Cole managed to get the attention of Jay Z and got signed to Roc Nation record label. The rest of the journey was all up afterward.
Now, the Grammy-winning artist, J. Cole, is truly at the top of his career. He is aware of the fact but chooses not to think of himself as impervious to change. He knows that it still can sway both ways–up or down. But for a person who has come from nothing, there is very little that can break them. he is prepared for whatever life throws at him.
In the only verse of the song, J. Cole tackles several topics. One prominent subject is gun violence in the streets of the USA–specifically in the areas, he grew up in. He recalls how a mother weeping over her son being gunned down had become a too frequent sighting. While he does want an end to this madness, he is glad he experienced the worst of society. He was traumatized almost every week, but it made him stronger as frequently. He had one goal in mind every waking minute–to make it. So he kept grinding until he did.
Next, J. Cole hints about the album he is about to release. He expects ‘The Off-Season’ album to do well in the coming Summer. He knows a lot of artists will not even be able to match his sales numbers even if they release double-disc albums (twice as many songs).
J. Cole relapses back to racial discrimination in the United States. He reminds us how the death toll of African Americans keeps climbing every week. J. Cole calls them “voiceless” likely because they are ignored and ripped off of fair opportunity in most areas of society. This ‘system’ forces most of them to become petty criminals which result in them getting shot dead in the streets. J. Cole brings up a friend of a friend who has sold more ‘coke’ than the soda industry. ‘Coke’ is slang for cocaine.
J. Cole ends the verse by paying respects to two artists we lost recently–Pimp C and Nipsey Hussle. Both of them died at the age of 33. And J. Cole draws parallels between these deaths and the passing of Jesus Christ, who is also said to have died at the age of 33. J. Cole knows all three of them went to heaven after their passing.
J. Cole is setting his fans up for what is about to come from his upcoming album. And it is going to be good by the looks of just the “i n t e r l u d e.” Let us hear what you think about this track in the comments below.
Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.