Sorry, Not Sorry: J Cole Diss Track Drama

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Jermaine Lamarr Cole, aka J. Cole. apologized for his “misstep,” after releasing a diss track. He is now asking for forgiveness and wants to get back to his true path…. Well, he did name it “Might Delete Later”, didn’t he? I can’t help but think everything is a ploy to get attention. Maybe it’s the generation I was born in, maybe it’s the fact that all attention whether good or bad gets you more streams. You can’t help but wonder what even made him do the diss track knowing it was not his “true path”.

In a verse Cole dubbed that he,, Drake, and Kenderick Lamar are the big three rappers, the industry’s greatest, but then wanted to be number one. “We the big three like we started a league, but right now, I feel like Muhammed Ali.” I am not saying they can’t take turns being number one out of the top three. What did he expect the other two to do never want to be number one. When I saw the diss track was seven minutes long, I said to myself he must be mad, mad. However, when I listened, I didn’t think what Cole said was too disrespectful. I had to listen to Kendrick’s bars on “Like That” to see what was said that set him off that badly. It was not as harsh as other diss tracks I have heard. When I heard “Hit ’em Up” by Tupac, I was like whoa he needs to apologize immediately! But there is no apologizing in diss tracks, they have been a part of Hip Hop since the beginning of time. If I compare this record to other diss records it was more of a beef, than a diss record. It’s like two friends playing a video game and saying, I am number one and you are number two. It’s just like a rap battle which started as a competition. It wasn’t a hostile thing it was to say who the best DJ was. It’s said the best part of the competition is that through it we discover what we are capable of … I blame social media for making an entertainer feel like he must respond.

I am torn …

The cynic in me says a track can be taken off streaming services but technically can’t be deleted once it’s out there. J. Cole is not new to this he has been in the industry for over 17 years, he knows this. You can still hear it on YouTube. I also wonder if he planned this whole create it and take it down all for publicity for the album. I believe everything is a publicity stunt or PR stunt for numbers for artists these days. It’s all designed to generate media coverage for a product, service, individual, or organization. These stunts create a buzz around a brand. Good or bad these stunts have been the armor of celebs for decades now. Social media and streaming success is more important than putting out good music. It’s all about the numbers, unless you are Beyonce and can drop a song while you are asleep, a stunt is needed for the numbers. Speaking of which according to Variety on April 15 th, Beyonce holds the top spot on
Billoard Albums Chart, as J. Cole’s Might Delete Later, enters at No 2. This helped him stay the course of being the big three. I rest my case and will get off of my cynic soap box.

The mental health advocate in me says J. Cole could possibly feel bad about the whole ordeal. He is human and could have let his emotions get the best of him and that threw him off his path. In this case, I can applaud him for wanting to apologize because that doesn’t happen a lot in the industry. Society doesn’t give artists a lot of room to apologize and not be canceled. Things aren’t always as they seem but sometimes, they are. In this case, J.Cole probably just didn’t want to keep fighting and he knows the
world will keep waiting for a response and he doesn’t want to have to keep the beef up. Cole has truly earned his spot in the top three without having to diss or beef with anyone. I don’t want to stay cynical if he truly needs to apologize for his mental well being.

Mental health in the industry is significant. Artists aren’t given a lot of room to be healthy
mentally. I also applaud him as a Black man for setting the example for other black
males and black male artists in the industry to be able to say. I am sorry… It also gives
other entertainers the room to protect their mental health at all costs publicly—props
and salute to J. Cole.