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J. Cole – Punchin’ The Clock

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Punchin' The Clock by J. Cole

On the shortest song on the album, J. Cole raps on how long he’s been “punching the clock” or working.

The introduction uses a clip from NBA star Damian Lillard’s post-game interview from August 11, 2020, when he scored 61 points. Due to his ability to hit game-winning shots, Dame is referred to as “Dame Time.” Lillard’s moniker and the “point to the clock” celebration may be referenced in the song’s title.

The song’s bookend samples Lillard’s media statement following his walk-off three-pointer against Oklahoma in the 2019 playoffs. The portion emphasizes the album’s subject, which Cole described in his SLAM Magazine interview from 2021:

I’m hoping that the success of this album will help the Afro-classic crooner reach new heights.

The Off-Season symbolizes the work that 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 offseason is where the magic really happens.

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