As an avid basketball fan, if there is one thing that can get hip-hop’s favorite hermit, J. Cole, to take a break from parenting in seclusion, it would be the NBA playoffs. With this season more competitive than any in recent history, the Dreamville general turned his hoop dreams into an eloquently delivered spoken word.
This sighting came via ESPN, who tweeted Cole’s piece on the day the playoffs began (Apr. 14). In this free verse, the 4 Your Eyez Only artist riddles the commercial with witty wordplay like, “There’s gold at stake for Golden state” or “Bottles for the ‘Wolves and they thirsty for blood” that show the attention he has paid to this NBA season.
Through this verse, however, Cole also drops lines that remind the audience why he is a coveted lyricist. By choosing to stray away from the somewhat obvious NBA references that filled the first half of the verse and choosing to say things like “’Cream rises to the top’ is a favorite of mine. And the cream of this crop is pretty impressive, but to quote the boy Hov, ‘gotta finish your breakfast,’” this ad seems to be Cole’s lyrical exercise, warming him up to give the genre what some may feel has been missing.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 14, 2018