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On Tuesday, J. Cole surprised fans with the drop of a new song titled "Snow On tha Bluff" that addresses racism, activism, organizing, social media, police brutality, his celebrity status, and much more.
"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*ggas, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve/She mad at the celebrities, low key I be thinkin she talking bout me," Cole rapped on the track. Many people took to social media to hypothesize that Cole's lines were directed at Noname.
The Chicago rapper later addressed it on Twitter, writing, "QUEEN TONE!!!!!!" The line from which Noname was referring to sees J. Cole rap, "But Shit, its something about the queen tone that’s bothering me."
QUEEN TONE!!!!!!— Noname (@noname) June 17, 2020
Back in late May, Noname called out "y’all favorite top selling rappers" for not addressing the protests against systemic racism and police violence that have occurred across the nation. "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 at the time. "n*ggas whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found." Many thought she was referring to Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Although neither made public comments about the wave of Black Lives Matter demonstrations, both rappers were spotted at protests.
Ari Lennox, who's signed to Cole's Dreamville label, thanked Noname "for giving af about us constantly and endlessly" after "Snow On tha Bluff" was released. "I feel and appreciate everything you put out to the world," Lennox wrote. "Almost everything you tweet moves me. I need and I am moved by so much you stand for. @nonamehiding ❤️ thank you for enlightening us queen. I pray more folks will appreciate and understand!!!"
Thank you QUEEN for giving af about us constantly and endlessly. I feel and appreciate everything you put out to the world. Almost everything you tweet moves me. I need and I am moved by so much you stand for. @nonamehiding ❤️ thank you for enlightening us queen. I pray more folks will appreciate and understand!!!
A post shared by Ari Lennox (@arilennox) on Jun 16, 2020 at 8:44pm PDT
Elsewhere on "Snow On tha Bluff," Cole rapped, "How you gon lead, when you attacking the very same n*ggas that really do need/The shit that you saying? instead of conveying you holier come help get us up to speed/Shit it’s a reason it took like 200 years for our ancestors just to get freed/These shackles be lockin the mental way more than physical, I look at freedom like trees/Can’t grow a forest like overnight, hit the ghetto and slowly start planting your seeds."
The track received mixed review online, with some praising Cole and others calling him out for appearing to criticize Noname.
So this J Cole song is basically, "You're right Noname but you could be nicer about it :("— dddan (@ArchineerLock) June 17, 2020
j cole rlly said come get us up to speed like noname didn’t start an entire book club ... where you can ... read ... and get up to speed... pic.twitter.com/8YtZYb9Pt4— lavagirl😡 (@sarphrodite) June 17, 2020
do y’all not see the purpose of J. Cole’s song? It was a wake up call for himself.— ⚡️ (@tymainrobbins) June 17, 2020
He’s not asking to be educated. He’s already an advocate. He believes the same things. So he felt NoName’s message should have been directed to others. But He realizes he’s not doing enough.
Out of all the things Cole could’ve addressed he addressed a Noname tweet? pic.twitter.com/2H5gM0TpAQ— Had To Do It (ft David Lewis) Video OUT NOW (@ParagonDon605) June 17, 2020
J.Cole sat down with Lil Pump and had a civil conversation with him for an hour after he called him a bitch on the internet for 2 years yet Noname gets an entire song dedicated to her for voicing her opinions on her own damn twitter account. Do y’all not see the problem?— Cameron (@MochaNosferatu) June 17, 2020
The North Carolina rapper made no warning on his social media pages before releasing the track to streaming services.
Cole released KOD, his last solo studio album, back in April of 2018. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 397,000 album-equivalent units and also broke Spotify and Apple Music streaming records. The project, of course, went platinum with no features, as he's been known to do on occasion. In 2019, J. Cole's Dreamville label released Revenge of the Dreamers III. The compilation album, which featured appearances from Bas, Omen, Lute, Ari Lennox, EarthGang, JID, Cozz, DaBaby, T.I, Young Nudy, Vince Staples, Ty Dolla Sign, Saba, and others, went on to be nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards.
This post will be updated.