Who Is J. Cole’s Song, “Snow On Tha Bluff” About?
- Cole surprise-released a new song, Tuesday, titled “Snow On Tha Bluff”. The song title alludes to a 2012 film by the same name. The song has J. Cole taking a reserved approach to leadership in the wake of the George Floyd protests. The lyrics express Cole’s humility and hesitation at taking a leadership role because he does not have all the answers. He instead is happy to follow those that have the relevant knowledge. The song depicts Cole as an eager listener and a reluctant leader.
The verse begins by detailing something that occurred to him over Twitter.
Although never outright explained, the verse references criticism he received through tweets. Noname took to the social media platform to critique rappers whose entire discography details the African American experience a few weeks back. She pointed out that unnamed rappers were conspicuously silent on the matter. Twitter followers interpreted her tweets as critiques of J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
- Cole goes to great lengths in his song to detail the intelligence of the woman who critiqued him. He states that the unknown woman is against a host of issues, like capitalism and celebrity. These are topics Noname has used her platform to condemn.
While he never confirmed that the song is in reference to Noname, Cole recently tweeted to his fans that they are free to speculate on the woman’s identity as he will not confirm. He also promoted Noname’s Twitter handle and encouraged fans to follow her to learn further on issues like racial and economic injustice.
The movie referenced in the title is a drama that is filmed as if it were reality, much like the infamous movie, The Blair Witch Project. The film is shot through the use of a handheld camera and is made as if the recordings reflect reality. The movie depicts the protagonist, Curtis Snow, as a drug dealer and crime hardened individual as he engages in activities in an area of Atlanta, known as the Bluff. College kids begin the film recording themselves venturing into The Bluff in hopes of purchasing drugs. Curtis Snow enters the car as a potential connect but the tone is set quickly as he pulls a gun on the college students and the clip cuts out. The remainder of the film is then shot from Snow’s perspective as if he had taken the camera by force. Despite its frighteningly real depiction, the film was a drama, not a documentary.
- Cole’s song incorporates the title of the film. The passage reveals the honest thoughts that Cole has had in response to his presence at the George Floyd protests. The song’s only verse ends with the following passage.
I promise I’m not who you think
Ran into this n—- outside of the store yesterday
He said something that had me like, “Wait”
He was like “Cole, ‘preciate what you been doin’, my n—-, that’s real”
But damn, why I feel faker than Snow on Tha Bluff?
Well, maybe ’cause deep down I know I ain’t doing enough