J. Cole released his first new song of 2020 with ‘Snow On Tha Bluff’ earlier this week, but who is the unnamed woman he is slamming on the track?

Fans have been speculating that the track takes a swipe at Chicago rapper Noname, who recently called out big name rappers for their silence following the murder of George Floyd. 

Photo by Josh Brasted/FilmMagic

She tweeted: “Poor black folks all over the country are putting their bodies on the line in protest for our collective safety and y’all favourite top selling rappers not even willing to put a tweet up,” she said.

“N****s whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found.”

But what exactly is his beef with Noname?

Who is J. Cole?

Real name Jermaine Lamarr Cole, the 35-year-old is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and producer.

Cole initially gained recognition following the release of his debut mixtape ‘The Come Up’ in 2007. Shortly after, J. Cole signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation.

Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images

Since then, he has released five studio albums and won an array of awards, such as eight BET Hip Hop Awards, a Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Album and a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song earlier this year.

J. Cole has produced tracks for artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Janet Jackson, as well as handling most of his own projects.

What is the meaning behind ‘Snow on tha Bluff’?

In the song, which is titled after a January 2011 film about a robbery in Atlanta, Cole speaks about various issues facing the United States in current times such as police brutality, wealth inequality and racism.

J. Cole also alludes to his own feelings of inadequacy surrounding activism.

He asks for his fans not to idolise him, wanting to instead be perceived as a regular person.

Not the easiest thing to ask people when you’re a multi-awarding winning rapper. But hey ho.

References to Noname

The female rapper, activist and book club organiser is suggested to be mentioned at various points throughout the song.

For most of the song, J. Cole raps about an unnamed woman who is spending her time criticising a number of targets for their failure to use their platforms to speak out against racism and police brutality after the murder of George Floyd.

Photo by: Avalon/PYMCA/Gonzales Photo/Terje Dokken/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Cole raps: “She mad at the celebrities/ Low key I be thinkin’ she talking bout me.”

Adding fuel to the fire, he calls out the woman for criticising him and other rappers when he later adds “just ‘cause you woke and I’m not, that sh*t ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me.”

J. Cole and Noname respond to the drama

After the song was released, Noname reacted in a since-deleted tweet: “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!” in response to J. Cole’s lyric “but sh*t, it’s something about the queen tone that’s bothering me.”

On twitter, Cole acknowledged the speculation and seemed to suggest it is in fact Noname who he is slamming on the track. 

“I love and honor her as a leader in these times,” he wrote. “She has done and is doing the reading and listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people.”

He concluded the thread with: “We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other.”

Click the link to see the full twitter thread.