Earl Sweatshirt weighs in on J Cole-Noname controversy, says a 'lid has been lifted' on black women's pain

J Cole's new 'Snow On The Bluff' has attracted a lot of praise and criticism ever since its release with the rapper stressing that how you say something is just as important as the message

                            Earl Sweatshirt weighs in on J Cole-Noname controversy, says a 'lid has been lifted' on black women's pain
Earl Sweatshirt (Getty Images)

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future fame is now one of the latest stars to contribute his two cents to the hotly-contested discussion over J Cole's new song and its aftermath. Ever since the popular rapper J Cole released his now-viral track 'Snow On Tha Bluff', people have been both applauding him and criticizing him for his timely and honest assertations. Fans were praising the rapper for his candid and self-deprecating appraisal of the current debate surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests, where Cole made it clear that "woke" people need to think about the manner and tone with which they spread their message, even though what they're saying might be perfectly on point.

However, J Cole was also getting a lot of heat for his opinions, with some people attempting to turn it into a badly timed "misogynistic" diss of the singer Noname, something the rapper himself denied. Plenty of other rappers have now been weighing in with their views, including people like Chika, Chance The Rapper and Earl Sweatshirt.


Lyrics from 'Snow On Tha Bluff' include critiques like "Just cuz you woke and I’m not, that shit ain’t no reason to talk like you better than me / How you gonna lead, when you attacking the very same [n-word] that really do need the shit that you saying? / Instead of conveying you holier, come help get us up to speed." These lyrics were viewed by many people as constructive criticism for the singer Noname, who had previously vented her frustrated feelings on social media in numerous tweets that included "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-word] whole discographies be about black plight and they nowhere to be found.” 

J Cole seemingly referenced this when he talked about "A young lady out there, she way smarter than me / I scrolled through her timeline in these wild times and I started to read / She mad at the celebrities, low key I be thinkin she talking bout me / But s***, its something about the queen tone that's bothering me." Many people, including Chika, started interpreting J Cole's stance as "tone deaf" and plenty of fans started getting enraged over what they viewed as misogyny and patriarchy. Chance The Rapper also voiced his disappointment over the clash of viewpoints between his two friends.

Earl Sweatshirt performs onstage during Orion's Rise: A Special Performance with Solange and The Sun Ra Arkestra at Radio City Music Hall on October 3, 2017, in New York City (Getty Images)

Even Earl Sweatshirt felt the need to respond to the polarizing discussion. He started off with, “Multiple truths baby, lets go this aint even complicated,” before tweeting, "Lol before I get grouped into anything let me state that first truth of many is that the shit was just corny… It would be like on one of the nights following big Floyd's death if a white rapper (one that ppl like) made an 'I'm uneducated on ur plight' track it just taste bad lol."

Earl also pointed out that J Cole was being transparent in his views, and perhaps people were holding him up to too high a standard. "What if y'all are mad at yourselves that you look to Cole for more than he has to give?" he stated. "Bro just laid his cards down on the table 'I went to college, I don't know stuff' and he's a lot of [n-word] elected representative."

J. Cole headlines the main stage on Day 1 of Wireless Festival 2018 at Finsbury Park on July 6, 2018, in London, England (Getty Images)

When a Twitter user asked Earl why he was telling Cole to "read the room," Earl replied, "Bro the room isn't just him responding to Noname's tweet. The room is Oluwatoyin's world where the lid has just been lifted [on] a lot of black women's searing pain." He added, "It's about awareness of who she is and what she represents and awareness who he is and what he represents and the lack of it."

The debate rages on about the song and its interpretations and perceived critiques, but at least there's some open-minded discussion going on because of it, as people awaken to issues they weren't really aware of before. As one Twitter user put it, "J Cole is basically saying that y’all created a narrative about him that he’s not comfortable with because he doesn’t feel like he’s as woke as y’all claim. And wants people to stop trying to 'out woke' each other, but instead, help educate." That's fair enough, we reckon. In the words of Killer Mike from Run The Jewels, now's the time to "plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize."

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