J. Cole delivered a surprise new single titled "Snow On Tha Bluff" on Tuesday night. 🤯
Following the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and, more recently, Rayshard Brooks, Cole is making a fresh statement with an intimate, reflective single focused on community leadership and his role in the fight against racial injustice.
Co-produced by Cole and Kevin Woolten aka Wu10, the song pulls its title from the 2011 documentary of the same name, which tells the story of an Atlanta hustler, Curtis Snow, who steals a camera from some college students during a drug deal and proceeds to film his life.
The movie was so raw that some viewers thought it was based on real-life footage, and Atlanta police even tried to draw connections to a series of home invasion cases.
At the end of the standalone verse, Cole says that he feels as fake as the movie since he's not "doing enough" to support oppressed people in America: "But damn, why I feel faker than 'Snow on Tha Bluff'? / Well maybe 'cause deep down I know I ain’t doing enough."
Back to the beginning, Cole opens the track with a confession that his "IQ is average," though people are often misled by the fact that he has a communications degree from St. John's University.
He goes on to rap about reading through a young woman's social media feed who's "way smarter" than him and is frustrated with the "ignorance" of her fellow Black citizens and celebrities.
Some insightful listeners speculated that Cole is talking about the artist and poet Noname from Chicago, an outspoken supporter of the liberation of the Black population who, in late May, criticized rappers who were staying silent while their "whole discographies be about black plight," likely referring to J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
However, Cole seems to take issue with her "queen tone" as he believes that she had a uniquely "blessed" upbringing, likely gaining perspective from her parents and others not only about the twisted system that has led to this point but about potential solutions as well.
In turn, he finds the tone of her tweets combative and demeaning. Just take a look at these bars:
"Just 'cause you woke and I'm not, that shit ain't no reason to talk like you better than me / How you gon' lead, when you attacking the very same n***as that really do need the shit that you saying? / Instead of conveying you holier, come help get us up to speed / Shit, it's a reason it took like two hundred years for our ancestors just to get freed."
Noname responded to his half-diss with a tweet. "QUEEN TONE!!!!!!" she wrote.
Never thought I'd say this, but will Noname drop...a diss track in return?