J. Cole Addresses Speculation That His New Song “Snow On Tha Bluff” Is About Noname

Last night, J. Cole released a new single called “Snow On Tha Bluff.” It’s one long and reflective verse about the struggle for Black liberation and his own difficulties in getting fully on board with the current protest movement. Ultimately, “Snow On Tha Bluff” is a self-recriminating song: “Damn, why I feel faker than Snow On Tha Bluff?/ Well, maybe cause deep down I know I ain’t doing enough.” But much of the song is a defensive response to a “young lady” who Cole believes is subtweeting him. Today, Cole all but confirmed that the “young lady” in question was the Chicago rapper Noname.

Last month, as the protests over police brutality were just kicking into gear, Noname tweeted about unnamed rappers who were remaining silent on the issue: “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. n***as whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found.” The tweet, since deleted, did not include the name “J. Cole” — or, for that matter, “Kendrick Lamar” — but Cole evidently felt a certain type of way about it.

In the opening bars of “Snow On Tha Bluff,” Cole describes “a young lady out there, she way smarter than me.” Cole raps about seeing what the young lady is tweeting and feeling indicted by it: “She mad at the celebrities, low key I be thinking she talking about me… Shit, it’s something about the queen tone that’s bothering me… 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 attacking the very same n***as that really do need the shit that you saying?/ Instead of conveying you holier, come help get us up to speed.”

Last night, Noname responded. In a since-deleted tweet, Noname simply posted the phrase “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!” Now Cole has elaborated on the whole thing without quite coming out and saying directly that “Snow On Tha Bluff” is a song about Noname.

In a twitter thread, Cole writes, “I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night.” He adds that we should follow Noname: “I love and honor her as a leader in these times… We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other.” Here’s the full text of Cole’s thread:

Morning. 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. I accept all conversation and criticisms. But

Let me use this moment to say this

Follow @noname. I love and honor her as a leader in these times. She has done and is doing the reading and the listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people. Meanwhile a n***a like me just be rapping.

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.

We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other. ✌🏿

Tags: J. Cole, Noname