J. Cole burst on to the scene at a time when hip-hop was evolving. Some would say the last class to see CD sales and the end of the bling bling era. J. Cole came in at a time when Kanye single had made it cool to talk about more than being the hardest rapper in the room. This was the time when we started to see rappers able to express themselves on a more emotional and intellectual level. And if you know anything about J. Cole's music than you know he's one of the best at rapping about growth, family, social injustices, and most importantly uplifting women. But it was a surprise was when J. Cole got a lot of backlash from the recent release of this song "Snow on the Bluff".
The controversy spread like wildfire on Twitter with many users wanting to "cancel" J. Cole with many critical of his lyrics mainly for the fact that he was in a way talking down on a woman. This comes at a very important time when voices are needed to be heard and some took this song as J. Cole wanting to silence those voices, mainly women. Anyone that has heard this song and knows J. Cole's music knows that the accusations and criticality of the lyrics are unwarranted. Songs like J, Cole's "Change Clothes" is the epitome of J. Cole immortalizing women by turning what is thought of as a woman's task into something that he wants to do to show that he cares and lifts up his woman. But one song can turn the world against you.
This song is a response to female rapper Noname, an who has been known to use her platform to fight out against injustices against not only her race but more importantly against black women. Her recent tweets seem to take aim at her peers for not speaking out and using their platforms to bring awareness to the injustices going on against black men and black women. Since having been deleted is the May 29th tweet from Noname.
But getting into the song "Snow on tha Bluff" I see a healthy criticism. J. Cole comes from a humbling position asking for knowledge from someone who is more knowledgeable about organizing and leading the people. Even going as far as to ask for patience for his ignorance and suggesting a different tone and approach than what Noname had used.
"If I could make one more suggestion respectfully
I think what J. Cole is getting to is that sometimes the people with the knowledge don't want to give up the knowledge. They would rather sit on top of the hill and look down on the people who don't know it and are ignorant to the facts, while also not looking back to pull the very people they are talking about helping out of it. I do agree though that most conscious rappers had gone silent during these current times. It was like they had taken a vow of silence. But Lil Baby was an artist who surprised everyone with the release of his socially conscious single "The Bigger Picture". But for the J. Cole's and Kendrick's of the world. The one's who were expected to rise up and have a lot to say. It was disappointing that there was radio silence. Noname put it into a little more harsher words than I. On May 29th she tweeted:
"Poor black folks all over the country are putting their bodies on the line in protest for our collective safety, and ya'll favorite top-selling rappers not even willing to put a tweet up.
J. Cole ultimately defends this by saying that he doesn't have the same tools that she has. He thinks that his college degree gets him unrealistically put on a platform as a smart leader. And that it's Noname who is the true leader (which she talks about herself in her song). But I can't give him this out. He has spoken about this topic in depth with songs like "Neighbors" and "Brackets". This is his topic. This is his lane. He should've spoken out like the numerous times on his other tracks. Though many point to times that he has taken action such as marching in Charlotte, NC to protest against George Floyd's death. They say actions speak louder than words. But I think for a person who has millions of followers on social media. Words speak just as loud as Actions. And they should be used together. But it doesn't end there.
Noname dropped her own song called "Song 33" which was a response to J. Cole's song. On this track Noname points out the hypocrisy of J. Cole coming for her when their are more important things that they should be using their platform to speak out against, not a diss track or a fake rap beef. She shits on J. Cole's excuse of not leading because of ignorance and that she's more equipped to lead in these matters, that's where she takes a quick jab by saying, "Yo, but little did I know all my readin' would be a bother," As she has been seen reading revolutionary books like "Blood in my Eye", by political prisoner George Jackson. She proved that she wouldn't back down. She stood tall and went toe-to-toe with him. She went the hardest on J. Cole on her 2nd verse where she flat out asks why write about her with way more important things going on. But she also went off on this track.
But niggas in the back quiet as a church mouse
She even continues to give despite the beef.
So who's right? Is it J. Cole for calling out Noname in response to her tweets about conscious rappers not taking a stand? OR is it Noname who's right for standing by her tweets and further stating how J. Cole should be talking about things more inline with the movement. Or does it even matter who's right and who's wrong? The most important thing that can't get drowned out is the message that black lives are being taken at the hands of the people who they are sworn to protect. But maybe we're tired of hearing that song.
Checkout both songs below and let us know which song you like the best: