J. Cole released a surprise single in the midst of the uprising that’s occurring globally following the untimely death of George Floyd. Cole’s song, “Snow on Tha Bluff” became a trending topic during the early morning hours of June 17 due to its lyrical content.
The song came two weeks after Chicago-based rapper, Noname, posted a tweet that called out rappers who were not speaking out during the uprising against racial inequities.
“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—- whole discographies be about Black plight and they’re nowhere to be found.”
In “Snow on Tha Bluff,” which lifts its title from the Atlanta-based independent movie Snow on Tha Bluff, Cole seeks to find understanding from an unidentified woman who fights for equal rights.
“She mad at the celebrities/low key I be thinking she talking 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 s—, its something about the queen tone that’s bothering me/She strike me as somebody blessed enough to grow up in conscious environment/With parents that know bout the struggle for liberation and in turn they provided with/A perspective and awareness of the system and unfairness that afflicts em/And the clearest understanding of what we gotta do to get free/And the frustration that fills her words seems to come from the fact that most people don’t see/Just cuz you woke and I’m not, that shit ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me,” Cole raps.
Some on social media took issue with Cole because they viewed the song as a “mansplaining” moment where the rapper displayed a sense of neediness.
However, others viewed the backlash as a case study of why some Black men tend to hide vulnerability.
Cole responded to the backlash by saying that he stands by every word in the song.
Right or wrong I can’t say, but I can say it was honest.
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) June 17, 2020
Listen to “Snow in Tha Bluff” after the jump: