J. Cole’s new album The Off-Season arrived last night to plenty of fanfare as listeners expressed their awe at his refocused rapping and generated enough streams to drive the new project to the top of Apple’s charts. However, not all of the reactions have been positive, as one song seems to be reminding fans of last year’s altercation with Chicago rapper Noname.
To recap: J. Cole and Noname became the center of a wide-ranging debate on social media when J. Cole released “Snow On Tha Bluff,” a reflective track in which Cole attempts to unpack his complicated emotions about social justice work and language. Many fans interpreted some of the song’s lyrics as references to Noname, who’d previously tweeted about celebrities keeping silent during the 2020 uprisings over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others. She responded with “Song 33,” calling out his poor timing, and fans on both sides debated the merits of both points of view.
Today, it appears many are either reevaluating or reaffirming their positions, thanks in part to a line from “Applying Pressure,” the fourth song on the concise The Off-Season. “If you broke and clownin’ a millionaire, the joke is on you,” Cole asserts. However, it looks like plenty of listeners disagree, turning “Noname” into a trending topic as they revisit the debate, which Noname herself commented on just a few days ago.
and… that’s why noname said what she said https://t.co/jVJWy75gxe
— uh oh gback again 🧸 (@gbenlola) May 14, 2021
Noname really put a dent in everything when she had her interaction with Cole last year. Nothing feels the same with him since that moment. I’m gonna sit with this album some more though.
— Nicolas-Tyrell Scott (@iamntyrell) May 14, 2021
Remember when J Cole dissed noname and said “I don’t read” I remember https://t.co/h3fNCsYPHV
— A$AP MIGHT GÜY ☭ (@communikatzz) May 14, 2021
See, this is what I mean when the dude is fake woke and corny lmao. And his fans in the thread defending this and mentioning Noname 🤣 https://t.co/DSWIzl3dPv
— 𝖑𝖆𝖑𝖎𝖙𝖔 · 🟠 (@vox00_) May 14, 2021
Noname: Fights for black liberation.
Y’all niggas we gotta leave behind: https://t.co/wTdpTZySv4
— Yung Feeny (@YungFeeny) May 14, 2021
Can y’all just apologize to Noname already https://t.co/XTOnsBvPzD
— Jordson Idris (@DamnDidHeReally) May 14, 2021
J. Cole saying “If you broke & clownin on millionaires the joke is on you” is so funny because he’s STILL proving what NoName & other leftists have said to be true. That he doesn’t read & has zero class analysis. J. Cole has zero critical thinking skills. Now that’s funny af.
— Bella Goth (@HoodCommieGirl) May 14, 2021
Love J Cole & everything but ummmm … once again try to read the room. U came at noname (right or wrong) during the midst of protect black women hashtag & now you’re tryna clown poor ppl when we’re talking about wealth disparity & eat the rich lol https://t.co/mwZuXqP6cz
— Kakashi Cowboy (@jamesjabarr) May 14, 2021
lol @ J. Cole putting out an album and his stans making it an excuse to (attempt to) dunk on Noname to the point of her trending.
…meanwhile, her TL is currently focused on solidarity with Palestine and generally about niggas getting free.
— DP'd by Moderna (@angryblkhoemo) May 14, 2021
While “Applying Pressure” is seeing its share of attention, fans also expressed fascination at “Let Go My Hand,” on which Cole confirms the rumored scuffle between himself and Diddy in 2013… right before inviting the man himself to close out the track with one of his trademark prayers.
The Off-Season is out now via Dreamville Records and Roc Nation. Get it here.