J. Cole Apologizes For Dissing Kendrick Lamar: “That Was The Lamest, Goofiest Shit”

J. Cole Apologizes For Dissing Kendrick Lamar: “That Was The Lamest, Goofiest Shit”

On Friday, J. Cole released the surprise mixtape Might Delete Later, and he ended the release by dissing his longtime peer Kendrick Lamar. Two weeks earlier, Kendrick took shots at both Cole and his “First Person Shooter” collaborator Drake on Future and Metro Boomin’s song “Like That,” igniting a long-simmering rap cold war and erupting into the cultural conversation. Right now, “Like That” is the #1 song in America. “7 Minute Drill,” Cole’s response song, was tepid and oddly reverent to Kendrick, and it drew mixed reactions, but it’s still a big song and a bigger story. (On the Apple Music streaming chart today, “7 Minute Drill” sits at #2, behind only “Like That.”) Now, Cole says that he’s embarrassed for releasing the song.

Last night should’ve been a triumphant one for J. Cole. He headlined his own massive Dreamville Festival in Raleigh, and his set included surprise appearances from artists like Lil Durk, Central Cee, Lil Yachty, Benny The Butcher, 6LACK, and Jeremih. But Cole didn’t perform “7 Minute Drill.” Intead, near the end of his set, Cole apologized for making the song in the first place. Here’s what he told the crowd:

I’m so proud of that project except for one part. It’s one part of that shit that make me feel like, man, that’s the lamest shit I ever did in my fucking life, right? And I know that this is not what a lot of people want to hear. I could hear my n***as up there now, like, “Nah, don’t do that.” But I gotta keep it 100 with y’all, right?

I damn near had a relapse, right? Because y’all heard some shit that happened two, three weeks ago, however long it was, y’all heard that bazooka that was dropped on the motherfuckin’ game, right? So all of this time, with me moving on my own accord, for the first time, I was tested. Why am I tested? ‘Cause I got the world and I got my n***as like, “What you gon’ do, Cole?” Boy, I must’ve had a thousand missed calls, oh my fucking God. Texts flooded. I couldn’t even answer my shit. “N***a, it’s war time, boom boom boom,” right?

N***as wanna see blood, and I was conflicted because one, I know my heart. I know how I feel about my peers, these two n***as that I just been blessed to stand beside in this game, let alone chase they greatness, right? So I felt conflicted because I’m like, “Bruh, I don’t really feel no way.” But the world wanna see blood. I don’t know if y’all could feel that, but the world wanna see blood. So I say all of that to say, in my spirit of trying to get this music out, I ain’t gonna like to y’all, I moved in a way that spiritually feel bad on me. Like, I tried to jab my n***a back, and I tried to keep it friendly. But at the end of the day, when I listened to it and it comes out and I see the talk, that shit don’t sit right with my spirit. That shit disrupts my fucking peace.

So what I wanna say right here tonight is in the midst of me doing that and in that shit, trying to find a little angle and downplay this n***a’s fucking catalog and his greatness, I want to say right now, how many people think Kendrick Lamar’s one of the greatest motherfuckers to ever touch a fucking microphone? Dreamville, y’all love Kendrick Lamar, correct? As do I. So I just wanna publicly come up here and be like, bruh, that was the lamest, goofiest shit.

I say all that to say it made me feel like 10 years ago when I was moving incorrectly, and I pray that God align me back up on my purpose and on my path. I pray that my n***a really didn’t feel no way, and if he did, n***a, I got my chin out. Take it your best shot. I’ma take it on my chin, boy. Do what you do. All good. It’s love. And I pray that y’all will forgive a n***a for the misstep and I could get back to my true path. Because I ain’t going to lie to y’all, the past two days felt terrible. It let me know how good I been sleeping for the past 10 years. So all of that to say, I want to now perform the song that’s a reminder to me of getting back on the right path and getting in tune with God.

He then performed the song “Love Yourz” and said that he’s taking “that song” — “7 Minute Drill,” presumably — off of streaming services. Here’s the video of the whole speech:

It’s hard to imagine a weekend-long story that encapsulates the entire J. Cole experience any better than that.

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