Tuesday night, J. Cole dropped a song titled “Snow On Tha Bluff.” On the track, Cole walks the listener through his headspace, comparing and contrasting his insecurities with the current protests against racism and injustice. Despite his attempt at being upfront about his self-doubts, he refers to a nameless woman throughout the song, criticizing her. He raps, “Just ’cause you woke and I’m not, that shit ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me/ How you gon’ lead, when you attackin’ the very same niggas that really do need the shit that you sayin’?/ Instead of conveying you holier, come help get us up to speed.” Many people took to social media, referencing Noname as the woman who J. Cole was referencing.
The song feels counterproductive — Cole and Noname, are fighting for the same cause and yet Cole feels the need to scapegoat her for her outspoken nature. He specifically addresses her tone, “It’s something about the queen tone that’s botherin’ me.” While Noname’s beliefs might feel radical, they are crucial to the fight for change that is required to make a concrete difference in the way that society functions. To belittle Noname for standing up for what she believes in is unnecessary, and counters the point of both of their arguments.
Morning. I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night.— J. Cole (@JColeNC) June 17, 2020
Despite the overwhelming backlash, Cole has remained strong in his beliefs. On a recent Twitter post, he stated, “I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night. 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.” He wraps up his thoughts by encouraging everyone to follow people like Noname, acknowledging that they have done more than enough reading, and research, to speak up about their beliefs.
Noname’s fans stepped up to defend her by tweeting links to her book club and dissing the rapper for not being able to read the room. Less than 48 hours before the song dropped many were mourning the loss of 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin Salau who was found dead in Florida. What do you think, did J. Cole diss Noname?