Fans believed Cole’s controversial 2020 single was about Noname, and she recently spoke about her conversations with the Dreamville mogul.
They engaged in a lyrical exchange last year during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests while the world was locked under quarantine that caused both Noname and J. Cole to become trending topics. The rappers seemed to be at odds after Noname tweeted, “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. N*ggas whole discographies be about Black plight and they no where to be found.”
Just two weeks later, J. Cole surfaced with “Snow on tha Bluff” where he spoke about an unnamed woman who he believed should have taken the time to educate than to criticize. People immediately thought he was referencing Noname, and soon, she returned with a response in the form of “Song 33.” Noname quickly apologized for feeding into the controversy, and in an interview with Rolling Stone, she spoke about her relationship with the Dreamville icon.
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“I knew people were going to take it how they were going to take it. I knew that people were likely to think I was either talking about Kendrick [Lamar] or [J.] Cole,” she said. According to Noname, days after his controversial tweet was sent out and days before Cole released “Snow on tha Bluff,” she spoke with the rapper.
“We’ve had each other’s numbers for a few years and we’d text little sh*t, but my friend came up with this idea to have artists sign this open letter to the industry that [said] we were going to refuse to perform at venues or spaces that hire police,” she said, mentioning that she contacted Cole to see if he was interested in joining the movement. When they spoke, Noname claims he didn’t say anything about her tweet during their conversation.
“He had mentioned the fact that he was making music again: He just made this song, he’s really into it,” Noname added. “I’m not thinking this n*gga just wrote a song about me.” They spoke once more right after “Snow on tha Bluff” was released. “He was apologetic and like, ‘The song wasn’t really about you, it was more like, it’s about a type of person on the internet.'” She didn’t believe him and that call is described as ending “tensely.”
Listen to “Snow on the Bluff” and read through a few reactions to Noname’s Rolling Stone interview below.