Last night, J. Cole dropped a surprise track called "Snow On Tha Bluff." The "surprise" is that the track is about Noname calling out "y'all favorite rappers" for not using their platforms to speak out about the Uprising. Many people assumed she was calling out J Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
"I scroll through her timeline in these wild times, and I started to read
She's mad at these crackers, she's mad at these capitalists, mad at these murder police
She mad at my niggas, she mad at our ignorance, she wears her heart on her sleeve
She mad at the celebrities, lowkey I think she talking bout me"
While J. Cole hasn't quite reached Drake's status of being above critique, ever since he tried bridging the gap between "old heads" and "young heads" by sitting with Lil Pump, he doesn't really get much negative feedback. However, as J. Cole noted, these are "wild times." Black women are not here for J. Cole using an entire song to address a month old tweet. "Snow On Tha Bluff" comes off as tone-deaf and performative at best.
I am a person who believes that if a rapper comes for you, then you have every right to respond. J. Cole is an M.C., and Noname is an M.C. So, in general, I have no issue with J. Cole addressing her tweet. However,
people have got to learn to "read the room." Is this the best time to release a song that says, "But sh*t, it's something about the queen tone that bothers me." I'm not even going to hold you, J. Cole. The answer is, "No."
Hours before Cole dropped his song, I posted about a Black girl being put into a dumpster and another being sucker-punched with a skateboard. This all on the heels of Black women still mourning the death of murdered activist Toyin Salau.
So, while J. Cole was getting in his feelings scrolling through Noname's timeline, he probably should have scrolled some other timelines to see that Black women are hurting, and conflicted. We are protesting for Black Lives Matter while Black men are disrespecting and killing us. If he took the time to "read the room," he would have known that this was not the time to release a song because you don't like the tone of a Black woman's tweet. He couldn't be anymore tone-deaf.
LAW 46 - NEVER APPEAR TOO PERFECT
Besides being tone-deaf, while reading the lyrics to "Snow On Tha Bluff," I felt the sentiments behind the song were performative. He was rapping about how his IQ is average, and "this young lady" is way smarter than him. How just because he is not "woke," and she is that there is no reason for her to talk like she is better than him. J Cole is fully aware that Hip Hop fans love when artists are being self-deprecating.
"She strikes me as somebody blessed enough to grow up in a conscious environment
with parents who know about the struggle for liberation and in return they provide her with a perspective, awareness of the system and unfairness"
He was very sly in the way he was building Noname up while tearing himself down. J. Cole painted this picture of Noname, a Black woman, who has been "blessed" with all these opportunities/lessons that he did not have, but instead of trying to help him, she was shaming him.
It creates this Black man vs. Black woman dynamics that brothas seem to love. But, it's not what we need now or ever.
I do see this as an opportunity for Noname. She complained about not wanting to perform for white fans.
Well, if she responded to J. Cole, she will have that Black audience she wants. I am not telling her to go Nicki Minaj on J Cole, but since he wants things explained to him like a child, why not get some streams too. We need a rap called "Queen Tone" by next week.
Even though I did not agree with Noname's tweet, I do think J Cole is milking it. It reminds me that he is a Roc Nation artist.
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