The state of Black America is under grand examination in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others at the hands of police. Some have questioned the actions of active rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, with the latter releasing a new song, “Snow On Tha Bluff,” that seemingly addresses his assumed inactions but many on Twitter took the track to be a dig at fellow rapper and budding activist, Noname.
For context, Noname shared in a now-deleted tweet that called out her rapper peers for not using their massive platforms to spread information that could potentially aid the people.
“[P]oor 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]*ggas whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found,” Noname wrote.
Most assumed that the Chicago artist was speaking about the aforementioned Lamar and Cole, both of whom have supported marches and activists in their respective cities.
With “Snow On Tha Bluff,” Cole immediately launches into a verse that hasn’t been confirmed to be about Noname but the connection could be easily made considering the timing.
From “Snow On Tha Bluff”:
N*ggas be thinkin’ I’m deep, intelligent, fooled by my college degree/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*ggas, 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/
With the reaction to the song exploding on social media at the moment, Cole made one of his rare Twitter appearances Wednesday morning (June 17) and clarified some of what was addressed in the verse.
“Morning. I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night,” began Cole’s Twitter thread.
He continued with, “Right or wrong I can’t say, but I can say it was honest. 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 conversation and criticisms.”
Cole then said, “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*gga like me just be rapping. I haven’t done a lot of reading and I don’t feel well equipped as a leader in these times. But I do a lot of thinking. And I appreciate her and others like her because they challenge my beliefs and I feel that in these times that’s important.”
Cole’s tweets have seemingly added to a still-growing debate that Black men trying to police the tone of a Black woman is part of the very structure that Noname and others of her ilk are trying to dismantle.
Frankly, the song’s “honesty” claim might be true but perhaps a conversation on the back end with Noname and, a novel thought here, perhaps a collaboration of sorts would probably have served as a better bridge for unity. Instead, the timeline is once again torn apart with little in the way of recourse on the horizon.
We’ve scanned Twitter for some of the reactions to J. Cole’s new song “Snow On Tha Bluff” and Noname being centered on the track. Those reactions can be seen below.