J. Cole has announced the release of his highly-anticipated sixth studio album “The Off-Season,” set to drop on May 14.

“Is this thing on,” the rapper wrote on Twitter, teasing fans with the possibilities of what he would say next. Moments later, he confirmed the news: a new album was coming.

“Just know this was years in the making,” he Tweeted.

The news comes on the 14-year anniversary of his debut mixtape “The Come Up,” which is referenced in “The Off Season” album cover. In both, he stands off to the side, the background smoking.

It has been about three years since Cole last released an album. He put out “KOD” in the spring of 2018, an abbreviation that stands for “Kids on Drugs,” “King Overdose” and “Kill Our Demons,” and earned his fifth consecutive number one album.

It’s no surprise “The Off Season” has been years in the making. Last fall, Interscope imprint Dreamville Records, which was co-founded by Cole, expanded its ventures into the digital space. It announced the formation of Dreamville Ventures, a multi-disciplinary media company, and Dreamville Studios, which will allow the brand to branch into TV and film, music, publishing, apparel and live events.

When Cole released singles “The Climb Back” and “Lion King on Ice” in July 2020, he said the tracks were tied to upcoming album “The Fall Off.” However, it was made clear in a December 2020 Instagram post that “The Fall Off” would not be his newest album, but rather the close out project for his entire “The Fall Off Era.” An outline of titles showed “The Off Season” was to follow “”Revenge of The Dreamers III,” a compilation album made by various Dreamville recording artists, such as Ari Lennox and EarthGang, alongside Cole.