The surprise news came as a new project, '4 Your Eyez Only', briefly appeared as a pre-order on iTunes

J. Cole will release a surprise new album next week.

The North Carolina hip-hop artist last released an album, ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’, in December 2014. That third studio album followed 2013’s ‘Born Sinner’ and his 2011 debut ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story’. ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ achieved great success upon its release, selling over two million copies in the US alone.

After a period of inactivity, Cole appears to have signaled his return after a new album, ‘4 Your Eyez Only’, briefly appeared as a pre-order on iTunes, as XXL reports. The release date on the listing was December 9, but, as Billboard points out, the pre-order has now been removed from the online music store.

The news comes as a big surprise to Cole’s fans, after the artist revealed on stage at October’s Meadows Festival in New York City that that show would be his last “for a very long time.” While Cole’s representatives have not confirmed that authenticity of that iTunes listing, fans of the 31-year-old have posted screengrabs of the now-deleted pre-order.

See also ‘4 Your Eyez Only”s artwork below.

Back in March, President Barack Obama revealed his admiration for Cole’s music, saying that he “loved” the artist.

“I love J. Cole,” he told the crowd at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. “You know, this is the benefit of having teenage daughters. I actually keep up. I got a chance to see J. Cole’s mum and grandma.”