Early Wednesday morning (June 17), once fans digested the lyrics to “Snow on tha Bluff” and began tweeting their thoughts that they think he took aim at fellow rapper Noname, the “Wet Dreamz” MC has tweeted in his defense.
“Morning,” he begins. “I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night.” In the portion of the track’s lyrics that fans have taken issue with, Cole describes a Black woman angered by systemic oppression, police brutality, racial inequality as well as members of her community who have behaved ignorantly amid the current civil unrest. He raps about how he sees her social media timeline and how she interacts with people.
However, as this portion of the track goes on, J. Cole begins to suggest she educate rather than talk down on those around her. “I scrolled through her timeline in these wild times, and I started to read,” he raps. “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/Now I ain’t no dummy to think I’m above criticism.
“So when I see something that’s valid, I listen/But shit, it’ something about the queen tone that’s botherin’ me/She strike me as somebody blessed enough to grow up in conscious environment/With parents that know ’bout the struggle for liberation and in turn they provide her with/A perspective and awareness of the system and unfairness that afflicts ’em/And the clearest understandin’ of what we gotta do to get free,” Cole rhymes on the Wu10-produced single.
Though the Dreamville Records founder never makes any direct mention to Noname, fans have speculated that J. Cole’s remarks stem from a tweet the Chi-town native posted recently. Last month, Noname shared a message criticizing artists who benefit from using the Black plight in their music, but haven’t tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Poor Black folks all over the country are putting their bodies on the line in protest for our collective safety and y’all favorite top-selling rappers not even willing to put a tweet up,” Noname wrote in her since-deleted tweet. “Niggas whole discographies be about Black plight and they nowhere to be found.”
Many people assumed Noname’s message was pointed at J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, who have been noticeably absent on social media during the fight for George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black lives lost at the hands of police violence. However, both rappers have been physically present for the fight, showing up to protests in their communities.
While one-half of the criticizers have put a face to the nameless figure in J. Cole’s song, others have concluded that the “No Role Modelz” rhymer is speaking about any Black woman who has voiced her frustration during these turbulent times. People have also condemned the Fayetteville, N.C. native suggesting that people should be treated like children to aid in their comprehension of what is currently happening in the world.
One person tweeted, “Cole thought he was standing up for the average person but really just told women to pipe down and stop acting holier than thou and ‘treat people like children’ is this dude joking???”
As Cole’s comments continued to roll in, the rapper admitted he would not clarify who the song is speaking about. He did, however, say that he honors and appreciates Noname for her work for the Black community. Cole also made mention of feeling as though he is not equipped to be a leader in the movement for racial equality.
“Some assume to know who the song is about,” Cole tweeted. “That’s fine with me, it’s not my job to tell anybody what to think or feel about the work. I accept all conversation and criticisms. But Let me use this moment to say this. Follow @noname . I love and honor her as a leader in these times. She has done and is doing the reading and the listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people. Meanwhile a nigga like me just be rapping.”
Check out the fans, critics’ and even Open Mike Eagle responding to J. Cole’s lyrics in his new song “Snow on tha Bluff” below.
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