On Tuesday night, J. Cole released a new track called “Snow On Tha Bluff,” marking his first new release of 2020.
The track quickly garnered controversy as people noted that its lyrics seemed to call out Chicago rapper Noname, who has been vocal both on and outside of social media during the protests that have followed George Floyd’s death, including saying in a since-deleted tweet, “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.”
In “Snow On Tha Bluff,” Cole addresses an unnamed woman who he claims is smarter than him and angry at capitalists, police and possibly him, among other things. He follows this by saying, “Now I ain’t no dummy to think I’m above criticism / So when I see something that’s valid, I listen / But shit, it’s something about the queen tone that’s botherin’ me.”
What follows is a list of reasons why 35-year-old J. Cole hasn’t had the opportunities to become as socially-conscious as the unnamed woman, followed by lines such as, “If I could make one more suggestion respectfully / I would say it’s more effective to treat people like children.”
Following the song’s release, Noname shared a since-deleted tweet: “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!” Cole, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter to address the controversy following the track and its apparent connection to the Chicago MC, which you can read below.
He started by tweeting, “Morning. I stand by every word of the song I dropped last night.” Further on, he professed his respect for Noname, saying, “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.”
Listen to the full track below, and click here to check out Noname’s book club.