J Cole responds to Kendrick Lamar’s diss verse on surprise new album

J Cole has offered up his response to Kendrick Lamar’s diss verse calling out him and Drake.

In March, Lamar featured on Future and Metro Boomin’s collaborative project, We Don’t Trust You.

During a surprise verse on the song “Like This”, the Compton-born rapper dismissed the idea that J Cole and Drake are his equal peers in the industry. Despite many often describing Lamar, Cole and Drake as the “Big Three”, the “Humble” artist declared: “It’s just big me.”

On Friday (5 April), Cole released an unexpected new album, Might Delete Later, complete with a reply to Lamar on its final track, “7 Minute Drill”.

“I got a phone call, they say that somebody dissing / You want some attention, it come with extensions,” Cole begins his address. He then turns his attention to some of Lamar’s projects: good kid, mAAd city (2012), Mr Morale & the Big Steppers (2022), To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) and 2017’s DAMN, respectively.

“I came up in the Ville, so I’m good when it’s tension / He still doing shows but fell off like The Simpsons / Your first s*** was classic, your last s*** was tragic / Your second s*** put n****s to sleep but they gassed it / Your third s*** was massive and that was your prime / I was trailing right behind and I just now hit mine.”

Later on in the track, Cole turns his attention to Lamar’s five-part “The Heart” series, which he has released in segments over the last decade.

J Cole and Kendrick Lamar (Getty)
J Cole and Kendrick Lamar (Getty)

“He averaging one ‘Heart’ verse like every 30 months or something / If he wasn’t dissing, then we wouldn’t be discussing nothin’,” Cole raps.

He then refers to having a usually cordial relationship with Lamar, which makes him hesitant to go too hard with his bars against him. “Blood don’t make me have to smoke this n**** ‘cause I f*** with him / But push come to shove on this mic I will humble him,” Cole says.

In Lamar’s original verse, he brought up the popular debate among hip-hop fans as to whether he, Drake or Cole is the “hardest MC”.

“We the big three, like we started a league,” he raps, before changing tack and hitting out at Cole and Drake’s collaorative track from last year, “First Person Shooter”.

“Yeah get up with me, f*** sneak dissing / ‘First Person Shooter,’ I hope they came with three switches,” Lamar taunted. “Motherf*** the big three, n****, it’s just big me.”

Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J Cole (Getty)
Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J Cole (Getty)

As of yet, Drake has only seemingly responded to Lamar’s verse while talking to fans on stage during his current tour.

According to footage captured at his Sunrise, Florida show on 25 March, Drake said: “A lot of people asking me how I’m feeling… listen, the way I’m feeling is the same way I want you to walk out of here feeling tonight about your f***ing self.

“Because you know how I’m feeling? I got my head up high, my back straight, I’m 10 f***ing toes down… and feeling like anywhere else I go… and I know no matter what, there’s not a n**** on this Earth that can ever f*** with me in my life,” he shouted. “And that’s how I want y’all to walk out of here tonight.”

You can find a breakdown of Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s simmering feud here.