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J. Cole Struggles To Hold On To His Inner Child In 1st ‘Off-Season’ Video

J. Cole is in heavy album promo mode after dropping his sixth studio effort The Off-Season last week. On Monday (May 17), the Dreamville Records visionary and Basketball African League star returned with a visual for the track “amari,” which finds Cole melodically rhyming about his journey to success.

“Country n-gga never seen a passport/’Til I popped off and got a bag for it,” he spits. “Now I’m at the Garden sittin’ half court/Watchin’ Jr. catch it off the backboard/’Ville n-gga never seen nothing/’Cept a fucking triple bean jumping/Good dope leave a fiend krumping/Made it out, it gotta mean something.”

Throughout the visual, Cole is repeatedly shown with little hands on his chest, but it’s unclear who they belong to until the very end, when a young boy with Cole-like dreads struggles to hang on to the adult Cole. As the clip comes to a close, the words, “Hold On To Your Inner Child” flash across the screen for a nano second, making the video’s concept suddenly crystal clear.

“Amari” serves as the first video from The Off-Season and is one of 12 tracks on the project. The highly anticipated album arrived on Friday (May 14) with features from Lil Baby, Cam’ron, Morray and 21 Savage and is on track to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It would mark Cole’s sixth consecutive chart topper behind 2018’s KOD. 

The Off-Season will make a run for the overall biggest first week in the first five months of 2021. The current No. 1 is Taylor Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) with roughly 291,000 total album-equivalent units. Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj’s updated 2009 Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape is projected to move around 65,000 to 75,000 total album-equivalent units in its opening week.

With Cole’s projected 280,000 to 310,000 total album-equivalent units, he could potentially slide by Swift later this week. On Sunday (May 16), Chart Data reported The Off-Season is 2021’s largest streaming debut on Spotify with a tweet that read,“.@JColeNC’s ‘The Off-Season’ earns the biggest streaming debut for any album on Spotify this year with 59 million streams.”

Watch the Mez-directed “amari” video above.