New York’s newest festival, The Meadows, had a rough inaugural year. The Weeknd dropped out from his headlining spot (twice) due to scheduling conflicts with Saturday Night Live, and Kanye had to cut his set short, as according to E! News, wife Kim Kardashian West was bound, gagged and robbed at gunpoint inside of her Paris hotel room. We sincerely hope she’s okay.
Instead of The Weeknd, J. Cole headlined the festival on Saturday, and during his performance—one in which he asked audience members to join arms as a display of unity for social justice—we received another shock. He ended his set with the announcement that, “This is my last show for a very long time.”
The crowd was surprised and bewildered; the only rapper to go double Platinum with no features in 25 years is taking a break from touring? During the video, one hopeful fan asks aloud, “New album?”
Cole is a touring beast. Since 2013, he’s gone on five tours and has basically been on the road for two straight years (raking in an incredible amount of money in the process). So while many with hopes of seeing him on stage at some point in the near future might be disappointed, let's cut him some slack.
As the hopeful fan mentioned, it’s safe to assume that Cole is working on the follow-up to his twice Platinum-certified glory, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which is much easier to do when you’re not constantly touring, forced to record on a bus or in a hotel room. We reached out to J. Cole’s manager Ibrahim "IB" Hamad for further comment, but at press time he had not yet responded to our inquiry.
Ultimately, if Cole is expected to follow-up his last album with something equally prolific, he will need and deserves a break.