It's not hard to understand why a lot of people — predominately Black women — are upset with J. Cole's new track "Snow On Tha Bluff." The North Carolina rapper pretty much dedicated an entire three minutes and fifty-five seconds to chastise a Black "queen" about her "holier than thou" attitude and bothersome tone, because he felt personally attacked by her approach to Black activism.YouTube | J. Cole
When he released the track on Tuesday, Twitter users immediately pinned Chicago rapper Noname as the "high IQ sistah" addressed in the song. J. Cole neither confirmed nor denied the popular assumption, but Noname's outspoken views on Black radical unity and capitalism makes the speculation quite believable. Regardless of who J. Cole aimed his lyrics at, one thing is certain, he could not have picked a worse time to defend his ego — brother, we are currently in the middle of multiple crises.
Black people are dying from COVID-19 at a disproportionate rate. We are dropping like flies, at the hands of police officers; and it seems as though a new traumatic Black murder gets recorded and goes viral every other day. In addition to these devastating plights, Breonna Taylor has not even begun to receive an ounce of justice, after being murdered by Louisville officers; 19-year-old Black activist Toyin Salau's sexual assault and murder is collectively weighing heavy on our hearts; and not enough people are talking about Priscilla Slater, a Black woman recently found dead in her holding cell.
At the moment, many Black women are feeling vulnerable and disregarded. This might not be the best time to release a patronizing, but "honest" opinion about how a Black woman should communicate. In fact, there's never a good time for that. We are dealing with a sensitivity issue that can be compared to when 9/11 took place and all radio stations refrained from playing the Outkast hit "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)" — timing is everything.
Twitter users and fellow artists responded with polarized views. Some found the track as a respectful suggestion on how to unify the Black community without coming across as an elitist. Others saw the song for what it was, an ill-timed condescending display of J. Cole's insecurities.