Switched On Pop | J Cole’s The Off Season and the Power of the 12/8 Shuffle
A podcast breaking down the music of pop hits.
Switched On Pop
Published 10 June 2021
J Cole

Pop music surrounds us, but how often do we really listen to what we’re hearing? Switched on Pop is the podcast that pulls back the curtain on pop music. Each episode, join musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding as they reveal the secret formulas that make pop songs so infectious. By figuring out how pop hits work their magic, you’ll fall in love with songs you didn’t even know you liked.

J Cole is one of the most successful rappers of his generation, someone who racks up hits while sustaining critical acclaim.

But that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Cole’s sixth studio album “The Off Season” finds a musician struggling to stave off complacency and keep his skills sharp. In a short documentary about the album, Cole describes the album as an attempt to “push himself,” a sentiment reflected in a line from the Timbaland-produced track “Amari”: “If you solo these vocals, listen close and you can hear grumbling”.

Cole is never satisfied on this album, pushing his technique to the breaking point through verbal dexterity and rhythmic complexity.

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