Twitter users have called for J. Cole to be cancelled after the backlash of his new track ‘Snow On Tha Bluff’, but why is there so much criticism against the rapper?
The North Carolina artist’s new song addresses the current protests against racism and police brutality across the world after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
However, the powerful meaning of the track is undermined by the references to an unnamed woman who is spending her time criticising a number of targets for their failure to use their platforms to speak out against these issues during the Black Lives Matter movement.
Fans have speculated that he is in fact addressing fellow rapper Noname, who recently called out big name rappers for their silence following George Floyd’s murder.
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.
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.
Why is there backlash?
The track’s main aim seems to be about dissing Noname for her tweets calling out big name rappers for their lack of support during the ongoing protests.
J. Cole also says that Noname had “parents that know ‘bout the struggle for liberation,” but the rapper and activist needed to read more about activism and capitalism after being dragged by Twitter last year for her tweets on capitalism.
Contradicting himself by then asking her to help educate him rather than bash him, he goes on to rap: “Just ’cause you woke and I’m not, that sh*t ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me/ How you gon’ lead, when you attackin’ the very same n****s that really do need the sh*t that you sayin’?/ Instead of conveying you holier, come help get us up to speed.”
He also criticises her because she “treat people like children” instead of calling them out.
People respond on Twitter
One Twitter user responded to his comments about Noname: “Stop expecting Black women + femmes to spell shit out for y’all bc you don’t wanna google.”
Another criticised him for slamming the woman for speaking out: “Black women are getting harassed, assaulted and murdered. We’ve seen it in this week alone. And he thought it was a good time to criticize a Black woman for her tone? What’s going on?”
Chance The Rapper weighed in on the drama, tweeting “Yet another L for men masking patriarchy and gaslighting as constructive criticism.”
When a J. Cole fan tried to argue, Chance tried to act as the mediator between the two artists. He said: “We can’t personally attack each other if we really want to see a revolution.”
J. Cole addresses the criticism
Cole has responded to criticism by tweeting: “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.”
He finishes by saying he’s not a leader, but appreciates Noname for “challenging” his beliefs. “We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other,” ending with a peace sign.