J. Cole sent a tweet earlier today that is throwing the internet for quite a loop. Less than a week after the release of his record-breaking new project, KOD, J. Cole appeared to subtweet Kanye West with a quote from “These Are Our Heroes” by Nas. 

"These are our heroes" - @nas

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) April 25, 2018

Keep in mind, J. Cole could have just been bumping Nas this afternoon and felt the need to tweet out some lyrics. Nothing wrong with that. However, if you care to jump down the rabbit hole with me, you’ll note that Kanye has been ripping Twitter apart by continuing to tweetstorm about a whole bunch of topics. The most controversial, of course, is his support for Trump.

This weekend, Kanye signaled his support for alt-right Trump supporter Candice Owens. Today, he’s praised Trump’s  “dragon energy,” called the president his “brother,” and even tweeted out photos wearing a Make America Great Again hat. 

my MAGA hat is signed 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/DrDHJybS8V

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

Kanye, prompted by his wife Kim Kardashian, attempted to walk back his support of Trump by saying that he doesn’t agree with his policies 100 percent. (“The only person I agree 100 percent with is myself,” Kanye wrote.) Still, it’s disheartening for many to see such non-nuanced support of a man that has continually made decisions that hurt huge swathes of the county (including, but not limited to: ending DACA, calling Neo-Nazis “very fine people,” and harassing  any woman he dislikes.) 

Nas has spoken out about the inspiration behind “These Are Our Heroes” before. In a 2004 interview, Nas said the song was about “the sellout situation” of artists who “sell out the whole game.” In the song, Nas was directly targeting Kobe Bryant, who had at the time recently been accused of rape, but it appeared it applied to more people, too. “Some of these brothers even deny the blackness in them, and that’s not hip-hop,” he said. “Hip-hop is not with the establishment that enslaves and systematically throws young people, poor people, in jail, for just trying to survive, when they set up the situation that made them poor in the first place.”

Interestingly, one of the four different albums Kanye has announced in the past few weeks is Nas’ new album, slated for a June 15 release, which Kanye produced.  

J. Cole’s tweet garnered lots of different reactions from fans and critics alike. Kanye supporters brought up the fact that J. Cole might be salty over the fact that Kanye helped out on Nas’s new album. Others made a connection between the subtweet and J. Cole’s 2016 song, “False Prophets,” which was generally regarded as a Kanye West diss track. “There was a time when this n***a was my hero, maybe/That’s the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take,” J. Cole raps. 

Even Jaden Smith got involved in the subtweeting action, tweeting simply “False Idols.” Smith didn’t reply at J. Cole directly, but judging by the time of the tweet and the context of the past few hours on the Twitterverse of the music industry, it seems almost certain he was at least referencing J. Cole’s 2016 single. (In the interest of balance, a quick scroll through Jaden’s Twitter timeline reveals he has retweeted at least five Kanye tweets in the past couple of days, though they are mostly of the “philosophical” kind. Jaden also welcomed Kanye back to Twitter on April 15.) 

False Idols

— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) April 25, 2018

Check out some of the other social media reactions to J. Cole’s (possible) subtweet of Kanye.