J. Cole dropped a new song on Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning he was responding to the backlash to some of its lyrics.
In "Snow on tha Bluff," Cole talks about not using his celebrity to do more in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on the heels of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minnesota police.
"Morning. I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night," Cole tweeted. "Right or wrong, I can't say, but I can say it was honest."
Lyrics from the song seem to address a tweet that has since been deleted by fellow rapper Noname, who was calling out other artists for not doing more. The tweet, quoted by Complex, read, "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. n— whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found."
Cole raps, "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 n—s, 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."
Though Cole never refers to Noname directly, many listeners saw the lyrics as a direct shot at the Chicago MC. In Cole's statement, he addressed those accusations: "Some assume to know who the song is about. That’s fine with me, it’s not my job to tell anybody what to think or feel about the work. I accept all conversations 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 n— like me just be rapping."
In a since-deleted tweet, Noname seemingly mentioned Cole's song, writing "QUEEN TONE" in all caps — a potential reference to his lyrics. She has yet to respond further. Cole and Noname previously collaborated on the song "Warm Enough" in 2015 from Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment's album titled Surf.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.
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