Noname and J. Cole hopped on phone calls last year shortly before and after Cole dropped his sub-filled track “Snow on tha Bluff”—which led to her own “Song 33”—the Chicago artist told Rolling Stone

In a rare interview, Noname opened up about her history with the North Carolina MC and how she tried to get him involved with signing an open letter about police being hired at venues, just days before the song released. 

“We’ve had each other’s numbers for a few years and we’d text little shit, but my friend came up with this idea to have artists sign this open letter to the industry that [said] we were going to refuse to perform at venues or spaces that hired police,” Noname said. 

She mentioned that Cole said during the call “he was making music again: he just made this song, he’s really into it. I’m not thinking this n***a just wrote a song about me.” The article’s author, Mankaprr Conteh, writes that Noname “finds the situation particularly petty.”

“Snow on tha Bluff” dropped in June, not long after that, with many believing the track made reference to Noname thoughout, with lines like “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***as, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve.”

He tweeted the morning after, “I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night,” then proceeded to speak about Noname.

Noname tweeted “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!” in response to a line on the song. Two days later, she released the scathing, 70-second “Song 33,” featuring ripped-from-the-headlines bars like “little did I know all my readin’ would be a bother/It’s trans women bein’ murdered and this is all he can offer” and “he really ’bout to write about me when the world is in smokes.” 

Noname has now shared that the two caught up once more last year, after Cole dropped. And as Conteh wrote for RS, “the call ended tensely.”

“He was apologetic and like, ‘The song wasn’t really about you, it was more like, it’s about a type of person on the internet,” Noname recalled Cole telling her. 

Cole did not respond to a request to comment for the Rolling Stone piece. Read the feature, which digs into much, much more—including the quest to “stop wanting to be liked and accepted by folks on the internet,” her conflicted feelings about celebrity and ethics, and Factory Baby, her long-awaited follow-up to 2018’s Room 25—right here.