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Opinion: Should The N-Word Be Compared To The Confederate Flag?

A week after the tragic shootings in Charleston, S.C., that took the lives of nine churchgoers at Emanuel AME Church, racism continues to be the center piece of nationwide discussion. The alleged manifesto belonging to Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old shooter, details his "racial awakening" and disturbing views of the black community. Meanwhile, protestors in South Carolina marched to the Statehouse on Saturday (June 20) to demand that the Confederate flag flying above the building be removed.

President Barack Obama also used the N-bomb during a recent podcast interview to make a point that racism is still prevalent in America. “Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say n***er in public,” he said. “That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.” In another bold move from a high-profile figure, CNN's Don Lemon recently held a sign of the N-word on-camera.

With recent acts of police brutality and gun violence still dominating headlines, VIBE's staff contemplates the weight of the N-word in comparison to the Confederate flag. Should both be banned?

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I've only been called a n***er one time in my life. It was this year, actually, just a handful of weeks before my 25th birthday. My friend and I were riding the 6 train home from a Jazmine Sullivan concert, recapping the evening's events. A homeless looking man with stringy white hair hobbled his shriveled body through the crowd and over to us just to say, "Don't you n***ers know to be quiet?"

Stunned and a bit slow on reflexes, I muttered loudly to my friend, "At least I have somewhere to go home to," before getting off at my stop. Admittedly, it was a weak response in comparison to the rage I felt in the moments after. I wanted to say much, much more, but I hadn't had much prep prior to the scenario. I've gotten unfunny Oreo and Kool-Aid jokes in jest, but nothing malicious like that. Hearing the cuss word equivalent come from a white mouth shocked me way more than it hurt, because it's not a term I identify with at all.

In the same token, when I hear black kids and young adults dropping N-bombs loud and proud (but mostly loud) in a crowded subway car of multicultural commuters, the discomfort hits me like a brick crashing through a glass window. I want to look around and read the white faces scanning my own for a reaction or to pass judgement on my people. But instead, embarrassed, I bury my eyes downward and rummage around my purse looking for nothing in particular, desperate to disconnect myself from how freely the word is being used in public. Being used in the presence of both the ones who once spat the title at brown bodies in disgust and those whose ancestors felt the pummel of its blow not too long ago. A shared property.

The ease at which the N-word rolls off the tongue regardless of company simply shouldn't exist in 2015. We, as people of color, shouldn't be using it so comfortably, so inclusively with anyone who historically didn't feel oppressed by it. Even more outrageously, our own getting up on stadium stages and encouraging lily white faces to sing along with us at shows? Who thought that was a good idea? More specifically, who thought that was a progressive idea for us as an American people? An American people who we all KNOW are still struggling to remove resilient strains of hatred from their deeply rooted lineage?

I'm not going to put the blame on the entire black community and say we are responsible for the old school white, southern, Confederate or whatever community's lack of respect towards people of color. That's a slap in the face to us all. But how can we be mad or surprised when they use the phrase freely behind our backs and to our faces unashamed (and unchecked!) when some of our own virtually give them the thumbs up to use it under the guise of a friendship title? Or a song lyric? A stamp of coolness? A fashion line? (Hi, Mr. West.) It just doesn't add up.

I know the discussion at hand is about people being okay with mass usage of "the new N-word" versus proud Southerners flying their Confederate flags freely despite their blatant ties to racism, but I can't even move forward with it because the former is bothersome on its own. Of course, I don't think we should casualize (yes, I made that up) the N-word, a symbol of black hatred in its origin. So of course I don't rhink we should casualize the Confederate flag, a symbol of black hatred in its origin. It's foolish. It's insensitive. But more importantly, it's wrong.
—Stacy-Ann Ellis, Assistant Editor

SEE ALSO: Rappers Weigh In On Whether Or Not The Confederate Flag Should Be Banned

I'd never seen a white person shout "n***a" with my own eyes until I attended the Bonnaroo music festival last week. And that sh-t pissed me off.

When my people were called "n***er" during the time of the word's inception, it was obviously no term of endearment, and the way in which we use it now amongst ourselves is not the same. It's not filled with hate, and it's not a way to create a sense of inferiority. And that was our choice. We flipped the word and created a new way to reference our counterparts. "N***er" belonged to those hateful people. "N***a" belongs to us. And no, our use of it does not give white people the right to say it - because they were never beaten, spit on and killed over it. Coming from their faces, it's still an ugly version of historical déjà vu.

Don't white people get away with breaking enough rules? Don't they have enough dominion over the happenings in our society? Do they really need to establish a sense of "freedom" by using our goddamn word? Can anything be sectioned off just for us, and they just respect it? Is that really too much to ask? Telling black people to diminish the word "n***a" from their vocabularies, just so that white people don't use it too, is just another way to communicate that they have ultimate control over the social climate. We certainly had no special treatment then, and we don't get any now. F**k your word, "n***a." You know nothing belongs to you in this country.

The key difference between black people saying "n***a" and a redneck's attitude toward the Confederate flag is that we now want the right to create new symbolism; they just want to reiterate its original message. So when they fly it, wear it, and put it on their license plates, it's a slap in the face to the people who were victimized in the name of their beloved flag. They are not intending to create a new way of looking at things; they are simply keeping an old outlook alive. "N***er" was transformed into something different, the Confederate flag is still the same old Confederate flag. Just holla at Dylann Roof's backward-a** manifesto for proof.

I am not naive, however. I understand that it is virtually impossible for rappers to scream the word "n***a" in the catchiest of songs and expect the average hip-hop consumer - a white kid in middle America - not to follow suit as they sing along. We've made it cool to be a "n***a." But white rap fans are just our "n***as" in jest, not our n***as in real life. They're down to sing our fun songs, but still hit us with the #AllLivesMatter hashtag when black folks are slaughtered like animals. So sing that song in the confines of your mom's basement, bruh, because proponents of the Confederate flag are really down with their racist cause. White people who scream "n***a" with Jay Z aren't about to care about our issues with the same vigor.

As the saying goes, "Everybody wanna be a n***a till it's time to be a n***a."
—Iyana Robertson, News Editor

SEE ALSO: Opinion: VIBE Editors React To #CharlestonShooting

I was born in Washington Heights to Dominican parents, and raised between South Bronx and central Florida. In those adolescent years, I never once had to defend my use of the N-word. After all, it was stitched into my vernacular. While my immigrant parents never used it, all of us first generation kids of Quisqueyano descent dapped each other up and used “my n***a” as a term of endearment. As did our next of kin, our African-American and Caribbean black counterparts. More importantly, for years, we’ve reclaimed that word in our poetry, in our spoken word and in our neighborhood cyphers.

It wasn’t until I was living in Tallahassee, Fl. going to school at a historically black university that I was approached by an Omega and asked why I said it when he heard me in earshot. No one had ever asked me that question before. I was 20 and a hippy sophomore in college. “Latinos were also lynched. They were called n***ers too.” My response, I could tell, was not one a thoroughbred Southerner expected to hear. The truth is, while African-American history is severely distorted, the Latino one is often, in parts, completely left out of textbooks.

Fast forward to 2015 and I’m no longer sure anyone – black or brown – should be using it. For years, I had been detached from the predominantly white world. I went to a historically black performing arts high school, attended a historically black university and, today, I’m a writer in hip-hop and Latino culture. When I returned to academia as a 26-year-old grad student at Pratt Institute, I found myself, for the first time in a long time, to be a brown speck in a pool of white. For the first time in my life, I wanted to watch what I said. I wanted to make sure I never uttered the N-word around my melanin-deficient classmates, because I didn’t want to give anyone the incentive to feel like he or she could use it.

Is it my responsibility as a woman of color to set the precedent in an era where so many are now desensitized to the word and its historical context? Should I also stop using it in my ebonics? In my poetry? In cyphers? Do I completely eradicate it forever?

What about the Confederate flag? The confederate flag is a not just “a symbol of Southern pride.” It’s cemented in racism as an emblem of hate and white supremacy. And it was flown all around the places I lived in Florida; on school grounds, hanging over windows, trailing from the tail end of a car. I hate to compare the two, considering the N-word was reclaimed and remixed by the very people it was used against as a form of dehumanization. But isn’t that what’s at stake here—historical context? No matter how we look at it, the two take root in slavery.

I certainly need Confederate flags and merchandise to stop being sold at Walmarts, and for the government to not allow it to be sold as a license plate in any state. I’d love to see the Confederate flag be completely eradicated forever. I’d also love for Kanye West to stop speaking for black people and giving his European friends the “permission” to use “n***a.” But really, what does that all mean when real internal and external change is ultimately the responsibility of the individual?

Even if we “forgave” it, like Emanuel AME Church forgave Dylann Roof for the massacre of nine black bodies, then what? Dylann Roof will likely die the same person he was the night he sprayed a faithful group of disciples in their time of worship. I’m not saying that getting rid of the N-word and the Confederate flag can’t aid in change. I’m saying it has to go beyond that. And until the collective white mass starts to speak out/act out for black problems, nothing will irrevocably shift.
—Marjua Estevez, Viva Editor

In a 1961 interview, author and cultural critic James Baldwin said, "The only thing that really unites all black men everywhere is, as far as I can tell, the fact that white men are on their necks." Fifty-four years later, Baldwin's still correct.

But for some reason, some black people believe they've "loosened" the pressure by taking ownership of the N-Word, flipping it on its ear and redefining a term that has been rooted in centuries of oppression and bloodshed, and for me, that's the truest sign of mental slavery.

Yes, as Columbia Associate Professor John McWhorter pointed out in his TIME opinion piece, referring to the word isn't the same as using the word, and not being able to refer to the word, prohibits honest—maybe even uncomfortable—conversation about race.

But professor, if I may, we're past that point. Eric Garner was placed in an illegal choke hold and killed for selling loose cigarettes. Dylann Storm Roof walked into a historically black church, killing nine people with the intent to start a race war, and upon arrest, police bought him Burger King, proving white privilege is even given to the guilty, so forgive me if I don't want them referring to it, saying it or feeling entitled to it anymore than they already do.

The N-Word merits a real life SMH when I hear black kids and teeny boppers freely use it in public places, but then stings when whites feel comfortable enough to use the phrase colloquially among their friends. I don't care what Jay Z or Kanye West told you, he doesn't speak on behalf of me or all black people. Watch ya mouth, bruh!

If all black people stopped using the N-Word, I can't say that all Confederate flags would be taken down. The N-Word is a direct result of the flag, not the flag itself.

But what I am saying is this: be very careful about what you say around me, N-Word included. It won't be a pretty situation for you.
—Shenequa Golding, Editor

SEE ALSO: Band Of Brothers: Friends Of Charleston Shooting Victim TyWanza Sanders Honor His Life And Legacy

When we first thought of this comparison, I immediately felt that we totally owned the word n***er. As a culture for hip-hop, it has always felt like "our" word. Not to be used by others not down or involved with our culture. It's a versatile word that is a term of endearment, ridicule, violence and humor. But it carries so much hurt from previous years of oppression that, just like the Confederate flag, represents a stance that a certain group of people want to have a connection to. Yet, the debate on the word and the symbol stops for me when government institutions embrace what can be viewed as an icon for hate, flying high and unmovable at the South Carolina Statehouse.

An artist can have the word "n***er/n***a" emblazoned on their album cover, perform a song with that title on late night talk shows and tour the country doing concerts with thousands of people singing the word and it still will not have the same tint when viewed with those making legislative decisions for a state full of families under a racist flag.

One is a mindstate and one is a mandate. Which is more harmful to the people is debatable. What isn't debatable is if your laws and regulations are formed in the shadows of oppressive, historically racist supporters (those in the S.C. Statehouse letting the Confederate flag fly) then all the n***er shouting songs in the world don't compete for social deterioration, as entertainment and laws are not judged the same. Now, the laws and regulations that are upheld and formed in that building are made with a cloak of racist views, based on the Confederate flag they support that waves above their heads everyday. You can ignore entertainment, you can't ignore laws.

I should be able to say any word, however hateful or degrading, that I want. That's free speech. But if the law abiding rules I am to follow as a tax-paying citizen are controlled by people that are showing me they hate me and my black skin in the government (allowing the Confederate flag to fly) are allowed to do so, why are we showing them any respect?

There are no swastikas flying from government institutions anywhere Jewish people are paying taxes. It's not happening. They wouldn't stand for it. So why should the African-American community?

If a law-abiding citizen wants to wear a Confederate flag, that's their right. But to have the flag tied to government for this long with so many regulations to protect and support the hateful views and spirit of slave-owning Southerners is beyond ridiculous.

I'm going to still cringe when the N-word pops up in songs and conversation with white people at work and concerts and such... I won't when I'm around friends and adult family but will when I'm around my kids and songs like "Hot N***a" by Bobby Shmurda comes on. So even in my defense of the word, I have my own issues with it to deal with. Yet, Obama is right that there is a permanent place for the Confederate flag to rest...in a museum and not in the highest place of government praise like capital buildings.
—Datwon Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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Young M.A. onstage during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2018 at Fillmore Miami Beach on October 6, 2018 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for BET)
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Young M.A., Boogie And Summer Walker Make January's #MusicMonday List

Last year was vibrant and diverse with the number of memorable songs and albums that were released, and now, music fans are looking forward to seeing what 2019 has to offer. With this new series, #MusicMonday, the VIBE staff will be sharing our favorite songs released from the previous month. Below, see our standout songs released during January 2019.

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Young M.A., “Bake Freestyle”

Outside of R&B singers like Jacquees, it’s no longer the trend for artists to take on a well-known beat and make it their own anymore. But Brooklyn’s Young M.A. bodied the instrumental for Jay-Z’s “Dynasty (Intro)” in 2017, and she’s outdone herself with “Bake Freestyle,” her shot at The Neptunes’ iconic beat for the Clipse hit “Grindin’.”

Young M.A. weaves in, out and around of the table-pounding percussion with an acrobatic flow that differs from others who have tackled the beat in years past. Young M.A. is flexing talk of money, baddies, and guns as always, but the quotables are at one of the highest clips we’ve ever heard from her. “White car brown seats, look like a Henny Colada / Made the Audi matte black, license plate say Wakanda / My b*tch said she mad at me, I just bought her designer / And some 30-inch Brazilian, now she thinks she's Chewbacca.” The video is even better, showing a cocky, smirking Young M.A. walking around a fly crib with text and small animations acting as adlibs. “Was looking for a reason to even keep rapping, and finally I found one,” she says near the beginning of the song before pushing her foot on the pedal. That’s good news for rap fans. — William E. Ketchum III

Summer Walker, "Riot"

What initially started out as an Instagram post of Summer Walker crooning over an electric guitar has turned into the addictive lead track from her latest EP, CLEAR. While the song's name is the definition of anarchy, Walker's careful delivery of each word places her delicate yet piercing approach to singing on full display. The criminally short song not only leaves the listener yearning for more, but also the Atlanta native's need to satisfy her passion. "You said you want love, babe/ You said you can give it to me just how I, I yearn it/ And you think of roses and daisies/ And I think of passion and fire like Hades." It's the 2019 version of Melanie Fiona's fevered "Give It To Me Right" with lyrics that demand a love that's delivered on an orgasmic platter every single time the two bodies meet. — Camille Augustin

Boogie, “Skydive II”

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“Skydive II,” arguably one of the album’s most entrancing songs, is as much of a poster child for this musical marriage as any. For one, he taps 6lack to be a Frank Ocean plug-in of sorts (in the best way possible). The Atlanta singer’s trippy rap-sung intonations, akin to Mr. Breaux’s on Blonde’s “Nikes,” complement Boogie’s rugged tones. Alongside his decent crooning over airy background vocals, Boogie’s gentle pacing and bittersweet poetry about the fallout of a relationship puts him at eye-level with his listeners. “Mother of my skies, why you always gotta intervene?/Father of my Time, don’t you got some more to give to me? Anything?” Ever the thoughtful emcee, he’s unafraid to let the proverbial tears fall where they may. — Stacy-Ann Ellis

Lil Duval and Ty Dolla $ign, "Pull Up"

While his first hit single “Smile (Living My Best Life)” went further than expected by hitting the Billboard Hot 100, Lil Duval’s music career doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing down. While I’m not a fan of his by any means, I do have to say, his feel-good track is guaranteed to put me in a great mood. The infectious beat and the incredibly well-placed vocals of featured artist Ty Dolla $ign makes the intoxication of the nearly-four-minute song undeniable. It’s too early and (too brick outside) for a summer anthem, but had this dropped months from now, this could have been a front-runner. — J'Na Jefferson

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A Timeline Of J. Cole And Kanye West's Challenging Relationship

It's hard to label J. Cole and Kanye West's situation a beef. Traditionally, feuds in rap have always played towards one subject coming after the other, lyrically and later, physically. But Cole's observations of Kanye are kin to someone realizing their favorite auntie is lame and misguided. As a youth, you may have been inspired by her carefree disposition, only to realize her trips out of town were just to Virginia Beach and her fondest concert memories only include Summer Jam sets from 2004.

Kanye isn't that lame, but several of his anti-groupthink moves have only pushed him further into a shadow of the man we thought we knew. It's a challenging thought to someone like Cole, who like many, has been widely inspired by the super producer. It's a thought not lost on Cole with the release of "Middle Child." Cleverly released in the middle of the week, the Dreamville titan is confident in lyrical nature while sharing his perspective on an artist he once admired.

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But "Middle Child" isn't without a few rewind moments, including the potential digs at West.

"If I smoke a rapper, it’s gon' be legit/It won’t be for clout, it won’t be for fame/It won’t be ‘cause my sh*t ain’t sellin’ the same/It won’t be to sell you my latest lil' sneakers/It won’t be ‘cause some ni**a slid in my lane."

While it may seem like Cole has inserted himself into Drake's battle with West, Cole's observations of the super producer go back to the days when Twitter had a favorite button.

The stars would rightfully align with him signing with 'Ye's "big brother," Jay-Z under the Roc Nation umbrella. From there, Cole and Kanye's paths would cross musically but that didn't stop Cole from being a voice of the people several times about West's involuted career.

Enjoy a somewhat brief history of Cole and West's challenging relationship.

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Cole's Debut Mixtape The Come Up Features Freestyles Over Kanye-Produced Beats

In May 2007, Cole's introduction to the game came with help from his favorite producers. More than half of the mixtape was produced by the then 22-year-old with the others being his favorites from future collaborators like Salaam Remi and West. Four tracks (“School Daze,” “College Boy,” “The Come Up,” and “Homecoming") are beats produced by West.

Cole Features More Kanye-Produced Beats On The Warm Up

In June 2009, Cole's breakout tape The Warm Up birthed classic tracks like "Grown Simba" and "Lights Please" but it also continued his admiration for West with three interpolations: "Last Call" gives an ode to the Late Registration track of the same name, "Dollar And A Dream II" borrows a bar from "Can't Tell Me Nothing" while "Get By" and "Knock Knock" are West's productions for Talib Kweli and Monica, respectively.

Cole Signs To Jay-Z's Roc Nation

In addition to signing with Jay in the spring of 2009, Cole is featured on The Blueprint 3's prophecy track, "A Star is Born" produced by Kanye West. As the story goes, Cole attempted to hand Jay his CD by waiting outside of his studio. It took two years and a listen of "Lights Please" to convince Jay to sign Cole. With the help of  Mark Pitts, now President of Urban Music at RCA Records, Cole's life changed for the better.

"I get a get a call from Mark Pitts and he’s like, 'Yo ni**a, Jay just hit me. He said he got something big for you.' I was like, 'Oh sh*t, what you mean?' He said, 'He got this Kanye track… something about a star is born…some sh*t about a star.' I thought, from his explanation, because you can tell he wasn’t too clear on it, I thought Jay just had a joint for me," he recalled to Complex in 2009. "I thought it would be mine, and I was on some sh*t like, 'Ahhh, I don’t like being told ‘get on this’ or whatever. But I’m like, 'Damn!'"

Cole Has The Breakout Verse On G.O.O.D Friday's Cut, "Looking For Trouble"

The concept of G.O.O.D. Fridays in Nov. 2010 is something I can't wait to share with my future spawn. The brilliant tactic to release master collaborations every Friday to coincide with the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy included many heavyweights like Yasiin Bey, Lupe Fiasco and Cam'ron, but it was rookies like Big Sean, Teyana Taylor, CyHi The Prynce and Cole that would shine the brightest.

Cole, in particular, would own his verse on "Looking For Trouble," a posse cut with Pusha T, CyHi The Prynce, and Big Sean. The song was such a fave Cole included it as a bonus track on Friday Night Lights, his follow up to The Warm Up.

J. Cole Reacts To Kanye West Comparisons

While promoting his debut studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, from 2010 to 2011, Cole would go on to big up Kanye. Speaking with Karmaloop in 2010, the rapper reacted to the comparisons.

“If it feels like that, then that’s great. I would love to be as successful as he has been, putting out hits and making hits consistently that still represent him. All his hits, you would never look at him like, ‘Aw, why you make that?’ It all felt like Kanye West, which is dope.”

He also expressed how he wanted to work on a joint project with West.

“I’m such a Kanye West fan,” Cole told Vulture. “I would love to work with him on a major scale. Not just a song here or a song there I would love to do something extraordinary with him, but I feel like I gotta step my game up and kind of earn my spot before I can worry about that.”

A year before, Cole would continue to pay homage with his verse on Young Chris' "Still The Hottest."

Uhh, what if somebody from the ville that was ill Got a deal on the hottest rap label around But he wasn’t talkin bout coke and birds It was more like spoken word Can’t you see I’m putting it down

Cole's Debut Single "Work Out" Includes A Sample Of 'Ye's "The New Workout Plan" J. Cole - Work Out from the ghettonerd co. on Vimeo.

Keeping it in the family, the Roc lineage continued on Cole World with Cole sampling West's "The New Workout Plan" for "Work Out," his official debut single in June 2011. The track hit platinum status and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard charts in 2012.

Cole Switches Release Date For Born Sinner To Compete With Yeezus 

Speaking on MTV's now-defunct RapFix Live, Cole explained his decision to move his release date for Born Sinner to directly compete with Yeezus in May 2013.

"This is art, and I can't compete against the Kanye West celebrity and the status that he's earned just from being a genius," Cole said. "But I can put my name in the hat and tell you that I think my album is great and you be the judge and you decide."

In addition to outselling West, "Forbidden Fruit" also included the first of many digs to the producer.

When I say that I’m the greatest I ain’t talking about later I'mma drop the album same day as Kanye Just to show the Boyz the man now like Wanyá And I don’t mean no disrespect, I praise legends But this what’s next

Kanye And Cole Work On Unreleased Music Together 

From 2015 to 2016, Genius points out the two finally began working side by side on music...for other artists. The two shared co-producer credits on Pusha T’s King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude track “M.P.A.” Pigeons And Planes reported the two also worked on Yasiin Bey's final album in 2016 including a track titled "Assalamualaikum." Sadly, we haven't heard much about the album or track since.

Cole Releases "False Prophets" With Thoughts On Kanye And Wale

Before the release of 4 Your Eyez Only in 2016, Cole released the mini-documentary Eyez with two tracks, "False Prophets (Be Like This)" and "Everybody Dies" in Dec. 2016. The former would go on to highlight two important people in his life — Wale and Kanye West.

While Wale and Cole have remained friends (Wale released a response titled "Groundhound Day"), West remained quiet.

Kanye Tells Charlamagne Cole Is Always Dissing Him

Charlamagne made the claim during an April 2018 episode of  "The Breakfast Club" citing "False Prophets" as a reference to possible jabs. "He said he feels like J. Cole is always dissing him in records," Charlamagne said. He also pointed to specific lyrics on Cole's 2014 song "No Role Modelz," in which he rapped: "Now all I’m left with is ho*s from reality shows / Hand her a script, the b***h probably couldn’t read along." Charlamagne said Yeezy thinks it was a reference to his wife Kim Kardashian.

"Who else out here is in love with people from reality shows like me," Kanye allegedly questioned, according to the show host. As previously reported, despite feeling subliminally attacked by J. Cole, Charlamagne asserts that Kanye isn't taking it too hard.

"[Kanye] didn’t say it in a malice way at all, he was laughing about it."

Kanye Screenshots And Tweets Personal Conversation With Cole

Days before Kanye boasted that "slavery was a choice" in May of 2018, he released a stream of consciousness on Twitter that also included a phone conversation with J. Cole. “I’m posting this but not as a diss to J. Cole. I love J. Cole,” Kanye tweeted.

Cole Felt Used By Kanye West After His Phone Call Was Leaked On Twitter

After finding out their conversation didn't stay private, as Kanye screenshot the call and uploaded it on Twitter, Cole expressed to Angie Martinez his disappointment in Kanye. "He called me, but I would've never posted that or tell him to post that," he said.

"That made me feel a certain type of way. I told him that. He apologized, for the record. I told him that it felt like you just used my name in that very quick conversation for social media and to keep your thing going or whatever you were doing. It felt like it wasn't sincere because of that."

Cole's Video For "Work Out" Is Wiped From YouTube

Weirdly, the popular video for "Work Out" is removed from J. Cole's VEVO page over a copyright issue, possibly in November of last year. A raw unedited version of an alternate video is now the only visual on the platform. The alternate video features Cole in a club setting and was uploaded in 2011.

Cole Releases "Middle Child," Comments On Kanye's Feud With Drake

Reuniting with Elite nine years after creating "Who Dat," Cole revises his spirited lyrical banter while addressing his views on Kanye's feud with friend and collaborator Drake.

But I'd never beef with a ni**a for nothin' If I smoke a rapper, it's gon' be legit It won't be for clout, it won't be for fame It won't be 'cause my sh*t ain't sellin' the same It won't be to sell you my latest lil' sneakers It won't be 'cause some n***a slid in my lane

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