Live Review: J. Cole @ Capital One Arena — 10/4/21

J. Cole
J. Cole performs during his ‘Off-Season Tour’ at Capital One Arena on Oct 4, 2021. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)

It’s the 4th quarter, you’re down by 2 and the game is on the line, who better to pass the ball to for the game winning shot other than Grammy award winning, label owner, and hip-hop Icon Jermaine Lamarr Cole aka J. Cole. 

After a two year live performance hiatus Cole returns to Capital One Arena in Washington DC Monday (Oct 4th) for the 8th stop along his highly anticipated nationwide outing The Off-Season Tour. The tour features frequent collaborator 21 Savage, upcoming Dreamville artist Morray, and rising comedian/social media star Druski. No surprise that the 20,000+ capacity venue was filled to the rafters with anxious Cole stans chanting “Dreamville, Dreamville, Dreamville!” in-between each openers set. The stadium was on fire quite literally and figuratively.

Watch the official music video for “Punchin’ The Clock” by J. Cole on YouTube:

As the lights drop, that all too familiar Chicago Bulls Jordan era intro music can be heard through the stage speakers. Cell phones light up the tour logo adorning the black stage curtain. A live feed follows Cole from the locker room as he spits bars from his song “Punchin’ The Clock” while rocking a throwback Washington Bullets jersey, flipped to read “dreamers” across the chest. The curtain falls to the ground and there stands a stoic J. Cole in front of a flaming basketball hoop recreating his Off-Season cover art. Opening with records ‘95 South’ and ‘Amari’ sets the tone for a night full of new and old hits. Pausing after ‘Applying Pressure’ the North Carolina rapper rejoices about being back in one of his favorite cities. The energetic “fourth quarter” saw an appearance by 21 Savage doing their joint record ‘A Lot’.

Watch the official music video for “A Lot” by 21 Savage ft. J. Cole on YouTube:

On a night when officially the “bars are back in town” Cole’s lyrical prowess continues to be in rare form, connecting his accessible stories of personal struggles and conscious personal elevation with fans who see themselves in the rapper virtuoso. Undoubtedly reserving his place on the Mt. Rushmore of hip-hop.

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Below are images from a night with J. Cole and family at Capital One Arena on Oct 4, 2021. All images and words copyright and courtesy of Shedrick Pelt (www.sdotpdotmedia.com)!

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