J. Cole’s new song ‘Snow on Tha Bluff’ sparks Noname diss track accusations

Rapper J. Cole is under fire for his new song “Snow on Tha Bluff.”

The surprise single, which dropped Tuesday night, is a direct response to the Black Lives Matter protests over the deaths of George Floyd and several other black Americans. In the song, he struggles to understand how to best use his voice as a celebrity.

However, many have interpreted the song to be a diss track aimed at Chicago-based rapper Noname, 28, who’s been using her social media as an outlet for “black radical unity” and anti-racism activism.

“My IQ is average, there’s a young lady out there, she way smarter than me / I scrolled through her timeline in these wild times, and I started to read / She mad at these crackers, she mad at these capitalists, mad at these murder police,” Cole, 35, raps. “She mad at my n—-s, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve / She mad at the celebrities, lowkey I be thinkin’ she talkin’ ’bout me.”

Last month, Noname posted a now-deleted tweet about her anger at high-profile black rappers who hadn’t yet vocalized their support of Black Lives Matter. “Poor black folks all over the country are putting their bodies on the line in protest for our collective safety and y’all top selling rappers not even willing to put a tweet up,” she wrote, according to screenshots. “N—-s whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found.”

However, Cole has been spotted at protests at his hometown in North Carolina, ABC reports.

In “Snow,” Cole goes after an unnamed woman for her holier-than-thou attitude: “Just ’cause you woke and I’m not, that s–t ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me … I’m on some ‘F–k a retweet,’ most people is sheep / You got all the answers but how you gon’ reach?”

Noname tweeted a response to the song, which she later deleted, according to Vulture. “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!,” she wrote, referencing one of Cole’s digs in the single.

Some social media watchdogs accused Cole of artistically attacking a black woman who had been passionately advocating for the BLM movement.

Cole, “could’ve made a song about celebrating Black women. He could’ve talked about destroying white supremacy. But naaaaah…let’s address a Twitter timeline and tone!,” wrote Charles Preston.

However, several listeners stood by Cole. “J. Cole is basically saying that y’all created a narrative about him that he’s not comfortable with bc he doesn’t feel like he’s as woke as y’all claim,” wrote @nadia_imanii. “And wants people to stop trying to “out woke” each other, but instead, help educate.” 

Wednesday morning, Cole responded to the anger over the track. “I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night,” he wrote on Twitter.

The “Middle Child” rapper also addressed Noname directly. “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,” he said. “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. ”

For some, his statement was not enough.

“J. Cole said it himself that he doesn’t do a lot reading. Oh yeah? Well the woman you centered in your latest song has a whole friggin’ book club. There’s been a whole movement in publishing to get this country to read more Black authors,” wrote Morgan Jerkins, referencing the popular book club Noname runs, which exists to uplift authors of color. “It’s laziness. We don’t have the time.”

“Please stop doing this ‘be gentle with each other mess when what you mean is ‘I don’t want to be held accountable for treating other people poorly,’” wrote Jesse Sparks. “He went out of his way to belittle a Black woman who has beeeeen doing the work??? Where was the need to be gentle then?”

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