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J. Cole could hang up his microphone right today and would deserve every accolade thrown his way, but it appears more music is coming sooner than later. The North Carolina MC and producer shared a somewhat cryptic Instagram post that seemingly hints at retirement.

Born Jermaine Cole, the 35-year-old Dreamville honcho turns 36 next month and has been spending more time behind the scenes than in front of the camera. Cole has already suggested that retirement was on the horizon but he has continued to dangle the carrot ever so artfully as evidenced by his latest Instagram post.

In an image of notepad atop recording studio equipment, Cole has marked off a number of goals for what he titled as, “The Fall Off Era.” Marked off on the list are “features” and “ROTD3,” the latter of which is short for the stellar Dreamville Records compilation, Return Of The Dreamers 3 from 2019.

Listed under ROTD3 are “The Off-Season” and “It’s A Boy” before the final line, “The Fall Off,” stands boldest.

The caption of the image reads, “I still got some goals I gotta check off for’ I scram…,” perhaps the clearest indication we have as a listening audience that Cole does intend to leave the game behind after The Fall Off.

J. Cole’s last studio project, KOD, was released in 2018 to high acclaim and equally high sales. Each studio album from Cole has sold platinum or more, all with Cole handling the production and microphone duties all by his lonesome. He released the Lewis Street EP earlier this summer, featuring songs that reportedly will appear on The Fall Off.

If Cole decides to step away, he’ll leave a massive hole within Hip-Hop’s ecosystem.

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