After an impressive 2019 highlighted by his Revenge Of The Dreamers III compilation, J. Cole is back with his first new song of 2020. “Snow On Tha Bluff” is a pensive, extremely minimal track directly addressing the issues driving the recent wave of Black Live Matter protests.
In a rapid-fire cadence, Cole questions his own place in the movement while also interrogating the harsh tone of so much of the social media dialogue surrounding the issue. Reflecting on one thought-provoking thread he saw on Twitter, he raps, “She mad at these crackers, she mad at these capitalists, mad at these murder police/ She mad at my niggas, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve/ She mad at the celebrities, low key I be thinkin she talking bout me.” In the end, adulation he receives from a fan on the street leaves him feeling “faker than snow on the bluff” because “deep down I know I ain’t doing enough.” Speculation abounds that the song’s lyrics represent Cole addressing underground rapper and progressive activist Noname.
UPDATE: Noname responds.
It remains to be seen whether “Snow On Tha Bluff” will be on The Fall Off, an album Cole’s been teasing since “1985 (Intro To The Fall Off),” the final track on his 2018 album KOD (the one where he took Lil Pump to task). Who knows if The Fall Off will even come out this year. But “Snow On Tha Bluff” is here, and you can listen below.
For what it’s worth, Cole was on the ground at a protest in his native North Carolina recently.