J. Cole has released his first song of 2020.
The song is called “Snow On Tha Bluff” and was posted on the rapper’s YouTube page on Tuesday (June 16th.) The song’s artwork is a notepad with the lyrics and the date, June 4th, on the top. (We’re just going to assume that’s when he wrote the song.)
“Snow On Tha Bluff,” which is named after the 2011 movie, sees J. Cole wrestling with the times. However, instead of addressing any particular protests or injustices it seems like he’s talking to one person (or woman.)
And, while he doesn’t say any names, it seems like he is rapping about Chicago rapper Noname. On the track he says:
“Niggas be thinkin’ I’m deep, intelligent, fooled by my college degree
My IQ is average, there’s a young lady out there, she way smarter than me
I scrolled through her timeline in these wild times, and I started to read
She mad at these crackers, she mad at these capitalists, mad at these murder police
She mad at my niggas, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve
She mad at the celebrities, lowkey I be thinkin’ she talkin’ ’bout me.”
Later on, J. Cole gets more direct with his critique, saying:
“How you gon’ lead, when you attacking the very same niggas that really do need the shit that you saying?
Instead of conveying you holier, come help get us up to speed.”
Noname has taken a more political turn over the last year and a half. She has not put out as much music, instead investing her time into her Book Club and organizing efforts. It seems like Cole is upset with a May 29th tweet that Noname sent out and deleted.
Twitter had mixed — we’re being kind here — feelings about the song.
Even though Noname herself didn’t seem to be too phased by it all. Tweeting and deleting “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!” which is a reference to a line in the song.
Interestingly enough, Ari Lennox, an artist signed to Cole’s Dreamville label, wrote an Instagram post dedicated to Noname, writing “I feel and appreciate everything you put out to the world.”
On Wednesday morning J. Cole responded to the criticism on his Twitter. In a series of tweets he said he stood by everything on the song. He also didn’t say explicitly who the song was about. (Even though it’s clearly about Noname.)
Cole then dedicated some tweets toward Noname, calling her a “leader” and also adding that, “We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other.”
J. Cole was recently seen at a George Floyd protest in North Carolina.
Listen to the track below.
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