J. Cole has tapped into the world of “typebeats” for his latest (and most unorthodox) release: a surprise song called “Procrastination (Broke)” — check it out below.
Instead of being rolled out on Cole’s official channels on Spotify and Apple Music, the track was uploaded to YouTube late Wednesday (Jan. 18) by a largely unknown producer from Brooklyn, New York named Bvtman.
As explained in the song’s cover art — a screenshot of a message the Dreamville boss sent to Bvtman — the Roc Nation rap star struggled for inspiration one day when he searched for “J. Cole type beat” on YouTube and came across the producer’s instrumental.
After writing some rhymes to the beat, Cole decided to keep it locked away in his vault and instead gave Bvtman permission to share the song with the world as a sign of his appreciation for him and other producers.
“This song should live on your channel and serve as a thank you to you and all the producers out there who cook and share their work with the world,” Cole wrote in the message. “There’s a million artists out there right now, just like me, hungry and searching every day for something to spark a word, a melody, a hook, a verse, a punchline, a way to vent or a way to cut through on.
“On a day when I couldn’t find much motivation, I looked for something to inspire me. Out of curiosity, I typed ‘J. Cole type broke into YouTube. Yours was the first one I saw. I pressed play, focused and wrote this. It’s crap that would normally stay in the vault, but I don’t want to keep the music like that anymore.”
He added: “This is for you and whoever else needs to hear it. God bless bro and keep doing what you’re doing!”
Bvtman shed more light on the story behind the song in an Instagram post, revealing that J. Cole’s longtime manager, Ibrahim “IB” Hamad, had texted him out of the blue telling him that Cole likes his music. Needless to say, the producer was blown away.
“Yeah. If you know me, you know what this post means to me and what this song means to me. If you know me, you know this is my peace at last, my dream. Big love to @dreamville & @realcoleworld & @kingofqueenz25,” he wrote in his caption.
“It’s crazy how this happened. Randomly riding high with my shorty and I get a text from @kingofqueenz25 saying Cole fuccs my beats. I can’t believe this was real life.. . But it is.”
Anchored by a soft, bluesy beat from Bvtman, “Procrastination (Broke)” captures J. Cole in lyrical training mode as he reflects on the challenge of maintaining the hunger that fueled his early career now that he’s achieved wealth and success . At one point he admits that he has been procrastinating rather than finishing his next album.
“I don’t even know if anyone wants to hear this / Got so many songs they disappear into the endless folders on the hard drive, I wish I was more fearless / “Cause I just say ‘fuck it’ and dump it all the music to n-ggas who hate it and n-ggas who use it / As fuel to push them through long nights at school,” he raps.
“Writing that last minute paper for class due in the morning / And I’m still dealing with that procrastination with assignments / Cause I gotta finish this album but damn, how many more times can I send this wooden bucket down in it well / And pull it up again with the hope that it is full?”
The song has amassed over 500,000 views in less than 10 hours. The rest of Bvtman’s YouTube channel is full of “typebeats” inspired by the production choices of Kendrick Lamar, André 3000, Kanye West, Drake, Isaiah Rashad and many more.
He has previously released several J. Cole-inspired instrumentals, including one that has nearly two million plays.
As for the North Carolina native, “Procrastination (Broke)” serves as his first offering since his contribution to Dreamville’s D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape, which dropped in March last year. It followed his sixth studio album The low seasonwhich arrived in May 2021.
Cole sparked excitement for a new project earlier this month by clearing out his Instagram page, a tactic usually used by artists to signal the start of an album release. Although there have been no updates, speculation suggests he could be preparing Fallen off or It’s a boytwo albums he teased as part of “The Fall Off Era” back in 2020.
Another possibility could be soundtrack for Creed III, which Dreamville has used to executive produce. The film itself will be in theaters on March 3.