J. Cole is back with a new single called “Snow on Tha Bluff.” It marks his first new song of 2020 as lead artist. Listen to it below.
In the song, Cole talks about scrolling through someone’s timeline. “She mad at the celebrities, low key I be thinkin’ she talking bout me,” he raps. He later adds, “But shit, it’s something about the queen tone that’s bothering me.” Fans have speculated he’s referencing Noname, who called out big name rappers for their silence following the murder of George Floyd. After the song was released, Noname wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “QUEEN TONE!!!!!!”
In a follow-up thread, which you can see below, Cole acknowledged speculation that the song addressed Noname. “I love and honor her as a leader in these times,” he wrote. “She has done and is doing the reading and the listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people.” He concluded the thread, “We may not agree with each other but we gotta be gentle with each other.”
In the time since Cole released KOD in 2018, he’s been teasing a new album called The Fall Off. That album currently has no release date. He’s otherwise been busy working with artists on his Dreamville label on the Grammy-nominated 2019 compilation Revenge of the Dreamers III. He was set to throw his Dreamville Festival this year, but like many other events, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2019, he appeared on Gang Starr’s first new song in 16 years.
This article was originally published on June 16 at 10:14 p.m. Eastern. It was last updated on June 17 at 12:13 a.m. Eastern.