First things first, we are stopping short of calling the Noname and J. Cole situation a beef, although it can certainly be categorized as such. With the North Carolina rapper firing the first salvo with “Snow On Tha Bluff,” the Chicago rapper and activist returned fire with “Song 33” and addressed Cole with surgical precision while still centering Black liberation.
In the wake of long-deleted tweets, Noname called out rappers for not using their massive followings and platforms to call for reform and change. Most readily assumed the tweets were aimed at Cole and Kendrick Lamar and that theory may have been what sparked Cole to record his recent drop. While Cole never mentions Noname in the track, his clarification statement on Twitter cleared up any confusion and, in some circles, didn’t do him any favors.
For the past day or so, fans on Twitter have been both slamming Cole for, to paraphrase, police Noname’s tone as she continues to rally the troops while some said it could be the start of a conversation. If a response is what Cole wanted, then he got one that gave him a bit of the smoke but not an all-out spanking as some might portray, with Noname sounding right at home over the Madlib production.
From “Song 33”:
But n*ggas in the back quiet as a church mouse/Basement studio when duty calls to get the verse out/I guess the ego hurt now/It’s time to go to work, wow, look at him go/He really ’bout to write about me when the world is in smokes?/When it’s people in trees?/When George was beggin’ for his mother saying he couldn’t breathe/You thought to write about me?
The brief affair is over before it gets started, but not without Noname making certain to make mention of the tragic death of 19-year-old Oluwatoyin Salau, and the disturbing number of transwomen who have been violently killed as well.
On Twitter, Noname is currently trending with many declaring this a closed case. In a perfect world, this will be a spark for change in J. Cole to do the reading he admitted not to doing in his clarification statement and perhaps collaborating with Noname for something that truly benefits the whole.
Check out “Song 33” below.