Amid all the chaos the world is facing right now, the North Carolina rapper drops a powerful thinking piece.
J Cole is a rapper I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with. While he showed a lot of potential on his classic mixtapes, The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights, he disappointed me with his first two albums, 2011’s The Sideline Story and 2013’s Born Sinner. In 2014 everything changed with his Forest Hills Drive project, which received high critical reception. Unfortunately, after creating his magnum opus, he has started sliding downhill again with 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only and 2018’s KOD. With all that being said, I still hold out hope for Cole as I believe he has the talent to create something truly amazing, and his new single Snow On Tha Bluff may lead to that.
The track opens up with an instrumental of a harp being played softly, creating a somber mood going forward. After the beat settles in, Cole opens up with his verse telling listeners a memory of a girl he knows. He says that this girl is furious at an array of groups in the country, including but not limited to; police, white people, and African Americans. Cole listens to her criticisms and starts to form a new train of thought, saying how to spread a movement and cause change properly. Jermaine questions why we have been through centuries of struggle and comes to the conclusion that an individual’s mentality is trapping them more than the physical challenge they are facing. Later in the track, he goes on to say we need to start uniting instead of tearing down, the process may be slow, but it will ultimately cause change. After stating his beliefs, J Cole ponders upon his actions, saying he is letting the ones he grew up with down. After more self-evaluation, Cole concludes that he needs to do more then use the microphone to spark a movement ending the track with the lines “I feel faker than Snow On Tha Bluff, Well Maybe cause deep down I know I ain’t dong enough”. Once Cole is done preaching, there are background vocals from Kevin Wotten which are followed by an instrumental playout which ends the track.
Overall this isn’t just one of J Cole’s most thought-provoking songs; it’s one of the most powerful tracks I have heard in a while. Cole is genuinely trying to connect with his listeners, and he’s willing to blurt and spark anything to do so. This a great step in the right direction for Cole as he is using his abilities to their full potential. If he stays at this magnitude, he may truly be able to create something special.