J. Cole surprised fans with the release of his new single, “Snow On Tha Bluff.” The track is a direct response to ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice. It also addresses organizing, social media, his celebrity status, and much more.
“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,” he raps in part, presumably alluding to Chicago rapper Noname’s social media presence.
"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/ She mad at my n*ggas, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve/She mad at the celebrities, low key I be thinkin she talking bout me," Cole rapped on the track.
Most of the single is similarly preoccupied with Noname and Cole’s feelings of inadequacy and confusion in the face of her vocal activism: “And the frustration that fills her words seems to come from the fact that most people don’t see/Just ‘cause you woke and I’m not, that shit ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me.” Noname herself responded to the song on Twitter, referencing the lyric “But, shit, it’s something about the queen tone that’s bothering me.” She later deleted the tweet.
Back in late May, Noname called out "y’all favorite top selling rappers" for not addressing the protests against systemic racism and police violence that have occurred across the nation. "Poor black folks all over the country are putting their bodies on the line in protest for our collective safety and y’all favorite top selling rappers not even willing to put a tweet up," Noname wrote at the time. "n*ggas whole discographies be about black plight and they no where to be found." Many thought she was referring to Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Although neither made public comments about the wave of Black Lives Matter demonstrations, both rappers were spotted at protests.