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J. Cole's five-part HBO documentary miniseries premieres today

J. Cole's five-part HBO documentary miniseries premieres today


It's on Vimeo, too — but only until January 9th

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We've known for a while that J. Cole and HBO were coming together for a concert film called Homecoming, one directed by Scott Lazer and set to premiere January 9th. (It features performances of every song from Cole's recent LP 2014 Forest Hills Drive in Fayetteville, NC, his hometown.) It turns out Homecoming is actually the final piece of a larger five-part documentary miniseries, the first episode of which premiered this afternoon on HBO Now and Vimeo.

The miniseries is benefiting from a rather unorthodox release strategy. HBO is going to air a new episode on HBO Now and Vimeo every Wednesday until Homecoming premieres, after which every episode will be yanked; as Cole put it in a letter detailing the partnership, "after that you gotta wait for the DVD." The Vimeo versions of each installment will be free, but you'll still need an HBO subscription to watch the Homecoming finale on the 9th. The series will detail the surprise rollout of 2014 Forest Hills Drive and the tours that supported the album, and it'll also tell J. Cole's life story through a series of interviews with Cole, his friends, and his family.

"To keep it real, I'm just as excited about the first four episodes as I am the Homecoming film," writes Cole. "These pieces all document some important moments from the last year of my life... the level of documentary-storytelling-artistry that Scott was able to achieve on these five pieces is groundbreaking."