Why did J Cole sample Damian Lillard in ‘The Off-Season? NBA Bubble interview explained

Joshua Rogers May 14, 2021
Why did J Cole sample Damian Lillard in ‘The Off-Season? NBA Bubble interview explained
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Damian Lillard is featured on J. Cole’s new album The Off-Season. Dame is featured on the J.Cole track Punchin The Clock – here’s what the sample is and where the ‘punchin the clock interview’ comes from.

J. Cole has released his new album The Off-Season, featuring cameos from the likes of 21 Savage, Lil Baby, and Cam’ron.

All five of J. Cole’s studio LPs have been certified platinum by the RIAA. The last three – 2014 Forest Hills Drive, 4 Your Eyez Only, and KOD – famously doing so with no features.

The rapper has a close affinity with basketball, and recently signed a deal to play in the Basketball Africa League with Rwanda’s Patriots BBC.

In his new album, The Off-Season, J.Cole has sampled an interview of Damian Lillard’s and people want to know about it.

  • ANSWERED: Did J.Cole play basketball in college?
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Damian Lillard interview sampled on Punchin The Clock by J.Cole

The Portland Trail Blazer’s point guard is sampled on J.Cole’s new album The Off-Season.

On the track Punchin The Clock, a sample interview from Lillard in last year’s NBA bubble can be heard.

The track takes Lillard’s words from an August 11 2020 post-game interview after Lillard dropped 61 points.

Lillard’s nickname is “Dame Time”, a moniker he earned through drilling big shots, buzzer-beaters and game winners. The title of the track Punchin The Clock therefore references his nickname and clutch mentality.

According to genius.com the phrase ‘punching the clock’ also refers to logging the hours spent at work.

With another Dame quote bookending the song, the theme of Cole working on his craft during The Off-Season is further highlighted.

Cole said in his interview with SLAM magazine: “The Off-Season symbolises the work it takes to get to the highest height. The Off-Season represents the many hours and months and years it took to get to top form. The Off-Season is where the magic really happens.”

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Dame’s punchin’ the clock interview

Damian Lillard’s exact words from his post-game interview feature on the outro of Punchin The Clock.

These are:

A lot of times, those situations are, um, are handled way before the time comes
In the summer, I think when you truly prepare yourself, and
With training and conditioning, and things like that
When you cheat yourself, you fail in those moments
You know, you crash, and when you really put the time in and
Whether people see it, or whether people know it or not
You know, it always come to light’

Damian Lillard responds to J.Cole’s Punchin The Clock

Earlier, Damian Lillard replied to Blazer teammate CJ McCollum, who stated that he’d been listening to the album.

Acknowledging the inclusion of his interview on Punchin The Clock, Lillard replied: ‘Cole a real one.’

Lillard comes up short against the Suns

Damian Lillard dropped 41 points against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday but it was to be in vein.

The All-Star dropped 24 in the fourth quarter, including what looked like the dagger to put the Blazers up three with 34.7 seconds left.

However, Devin Booker was able to draw a foul of his own late on and steal the game 118-117 for the Suns.

The Blazers now find themselves sixth in the Western Conference with one game of the regular season left against the Denver Nuggets.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.