J. Cole Responds to Criticism Over Half-Dissing Noname on 'Snow On Tha Bluff'

Mahlik Campbell

music /
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 17: J. Cole watches the action during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

After the surprise release of "Snow On Tha Bluff" on Tuesday night, J. Cole is responding to online critics who dragged him for seemingly half-dissing Chicago artist and activist Noname. 👀

Though the 35-year-old rapper "can't say" whether his approach was the right one, he expressed his belief in the "honest" track in a string of tweets, starting off with a straightforward statement: "Morning. I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night."

He then addressed rumors that the song references Noname, admitting that it's not his place to instruct listeners on how to react and that he'll "accept all conversation and criticisms."

Yet, Cole appeared to confirm that much of the song was inspired by her outspokenness about concepts like "Black Radical Unity" and anti-capitalism on social media, as he tagged her and told fans to follow her, referring to the 28-year-old as "a leader in these times."

He also commended her hard work in educating herself on "the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people," which is above what he thinks he's done through just making music.

In another tweet, Cole admitted "I haven't done a lot of reading and I don't feel well equipped as a leader," but he's been "thinking" a lot, and he appreciates the way that Noname has challenged his beliefs, which is necessary "in these times."

He finished things off with a supportive piece of advice: "We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other."

In a tweet that's since been deleted, Noname criticized "top-selling rappers" who were staying silent while their “whole discographies be about black plight,” a shot many felt was directed at Cole and Kendrick Lamar.

Among those unhappy with the way Cole called out Noname's "queen tone" were Chance The Rapper and Earl Sweatshirt, with the former claiming "it’s not constructive and undermines all the work Noname has done."

Earl Sweatshirt wrote that "the shit was just corny" and likened it to a notable white rapper making a song about being "uneducated on [Black people's] plight" after George Floyd was killed.

Meanwhile, Dreamville's own Ari Lennox also took a subtle jab at her boss, sharing a photo of Noname on Instagram and writing at the end of the caption, "thank you for enlightening us queen. I pray more folks will appreciate and understand!!!"

While plenty of listeners tried to "cancel" Cole for his controversial thoughts, others defended the North Carolina rapper, who was spotted at a Black Lives Matter protest in his hometown of Fayetteville a couple of weeks ago.