Published: May 11, 2021

Last Updated: November 29, 2023

J. Cole Becomes First Artist To Be Featured In SLAM

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On Tuesday, May 11, rapper J. Cole became the first artist to be featured solo on the cover of iconic basketball publication SLAM. The cover is for SLAM 232, the June/July 2021 issue of the magazine. The issue’s cover story was released this morning and can be read at

“J. Cole stands for everything SLAM stands for—the way basketball and music overlap and inspire greatness in one another,” says Adam Figman, Chief Content Officer at SLAM. “This cover was a long time coming, and we’re proud that we were able to make it happen just as Cole was about to release an album influenced by his love of hoops.”  

The cover comes as J. Cole is readying the release of The Off-Season, his forthcoming sixth studio album, which drops everywhere this Friday, May 14th.  “The Off-Season symbolizes the work that it takes to get to the highest height,” Cole says in a rare interview for the cover story, written by Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins. “The Off-Season represents the many hours and months and years it took to get to top form.” 

The magazine can be ordered at and found on newsstands at all locations magazines are sold through the end of June. 

J. Cole

Elsewhere in music news, Los Angeles artist Desdune shares his debut single “Work It Out.”