One of the biggest storylines to emerge with the release of J. Cole’s highly anticipated sixth studio album The Off-Season was the North Carolina rapper’s admission that his last fight was with Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2013. Until he confirmed it on “Let Go My Hand,” the fight was one of rap’s most mysterious rumors, growing out of murky reports of a heated exchange between Cole, Diddy, and Kendrick Lamar during an MTV VMA party in 2013. Cole’s manager and co-founder of Dreamville, Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad, further elaborated on the scuffle during a recent appearance on the Say Less podcast with Hennypalooza founders Kazeem “Kaz” Famuyide and Nile “Lowkey” Ivey.
“I just remember hearing about it and laughing,” Ib says of the speculative reporting surrounding the event that emerged in its aftermath. “‘Cause I was there. I’m not gonna go into detail, but it’s definitely not what people are saying.” While the widely circulated rumor has it that a piqued Puff tried to throw a drink on Kendrick Lamar in the wake of his saber-rattling “Control” verse (in which he declares himself “King of New York” despite originally hailing from California — a lyrical homage to hometown favorite Kurupt) and Cole intervened, Ib insists things happened differently.
“It was definitely not like he was defending Kendrick or something,” he claims. “It wasn’t like, ‘Don’t talk to Kendrick like that!’ Kendrick was there, Top was there, Jay was there, Beyoncé was there. Me and Cole. Grown men got a little heated. All I remember is, me and Jay looking at each other like, ‘Oh, these n****s ‘bout to fight.’ And then just being like, ‘Oh no, this is ‘bout to happen.’ I’ll leave it at that.” He also made sure to clarify that everyone talked it out later and settled matters relatively quickly.
If nothing else, it provided good content: J. Cole was able to incorporate the story — sans details, naturally — on his album. Cole verse on “Let Go My Hand” recalls, “My last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who would’ve thought it? / I bought that n**** album in seventh grade and played it so much / You would’ve thought my favorite rapper was Puff.”
You can check out the story at around 12:00 in the video above.