J Cole surprises fans with new song ‘Snow on Tha Bluff’ tackling police brutality and racism

J Cole: Getty
J Cole: Getty

J Cole surprised fans on Tuesday night (16 June) by dropping a new song titled “Snow on Tha Bluff”.

His first single of 2020 tackles police brutality, racism and activism and has been praised on Twitter as “powerful” and “emotional”.

In the track, he raps: “It’s a reason it took like two hundred years for our ancestors just to get freed / These shackles be lockin’ the mental way more than the physical / I look at freedom like trees, can’t grow a forest like overnight / Hit the ghetto and slowly start plantin’ your seeds.”

Appearing to rap about Noname, a female artist from Chicago who often tweets about socio-political issues, he continues: “My IQ is average, there's 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 these crackers, she mad at these capitalists, mad at these murder police / She mad at my n****s, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve / She mad at the celebrities, lowkey I be thinkin' she talkin' 'bout me.”

He then seems to imply that Noname undermines her activism goals by putting other people down. “How you gon’ lead, when you attackin’ the very same n****s that really do need the s*** that you sayin’?” he asks.

J Cole also casts doubt on the efficiency of online activism. “F*** is the point of you preaching your message to those that already believe what you believe?” he raps.

The song arrives in the wake of global protests over the death of George Floyd. In May, Cole joined Black Lives Matter demonstrators in his native city of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“Snow on Tha Bluff” shares its name with the 2011 sports documentary by Damon Russell, which tells the story of an Atlanta crack dealer, Curtis Snow, who stole a camera from students in a drug deal and made a film about his life.

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