Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Now we all know Jermaine Cole for his heavy-hitting wordplay and storytelling, one of the many few hot conscious rappers out to date. But many suspicions arose with his newest single “Snow On Tha Bluff” dropped at the most random time! The title is alluding to the movie with the same name, about an Atlanta robber and drug dealer named Curtis Snow who stole a camera from college kids during a drug deal, as he ended up making an autobiographical documentary. Atlanta PD tried to connect the footage to a series of home invasions because the film was so convincing, but ultimately they couldn’t link it to the other events since it wasn’t real.
The masses swarmed to social media to comprehend what Cole was hinting towards, to find the person he was calling out. Some people brought up these few lyrics to suggest he was calling out another conscious rapper, Noname, to enlighten him by “treat[ing] people like children”:
“She mad at my niggas, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve She mad at the celebrities, lowkey I be thinkin' she talkin' 'bout me Now I ain't no dummy to think I'm above criticism So when I see something that's valid, I listen But shit, it's something about the queen tone that's botherin' me”
J. Cole allegedly felt that with all the information Noname is putting out on social media as well as calling out the many celebrities for not truly using their platform to properly advocate for the black community, for all black people, for black women. He goes on to say that the way she approaches calling said people out and giving information is “attackin' the very same niggas that really do need the shit that [she] sayin”. He blames the year's slavery and oppression inflicted on Black people for being mentally shackled and he then compares freedom to “trees, can’t grow a forest overnight”.
Jermaine rather this rapper plants seed in the community and tender, nurture, and care for them (men I presume) so that they can learn to grow. At first glance, Cole seems to make valid points whereas speaking to people a certain way because many can get lost in the language and phrasing. Not everyone is on the same level of “wokeness”, as J. Cole explains it:
“Just 'cause you woke and I'm not, that shit ain't no reason to talk like you better than me”
He points out towards the beginning of the song that Noname probably had a better upbringing, having parents who know about the struggle and had the awareness and perspective to uproot the system. Also mentioning how her IQ may be higher than his due to the knowledge she shows.
Die-hard Jermaine fans flocked to his side, agreeing that knowledgeable people should be the ones to educate the less-knowledgeable. Other people, possibly Noname’s fan base, called out Cole for his blatant fingering pointing at a Black Woman for not educating others in a certain manner, in a “Queen’s Tone”.
J. Cole commented the next morning saying “I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night”. He goes on to say we should be more gentle with each other and help educate each other, as well as to follow Noname as she is one of the leaders doing the research and is on the path she believes is the correct one for the Black community. Noname’s only response was a deleted twitter post 3 hours after the single dropped. Who knows if J. Cole is truly calling out Noname or if he’s speaking to another person altogether. Will Noname truly address Cole’s lyrics? Do you think J.Cole is backpedaling with his response or is he just clarifying his true meaning behind the song? One thing’s for sure, this “Queen’s tone” just isn’t sitting right with him.