J Cole Surprises Future & Metro Boomin On New Album, Addresses Rap Beef After Kendrick Lamar Diss

BYGabriel Bras Nevares22.3K Views
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2024 Dreamville Music Festival
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 7: J. Cole performs during 2024 Dreamville Music Festival at Dorothea Dix Park on April 7, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic/Getty Images)
Although it's unclear if Cole recorded this in the past week or beforehand, it still rings as a very relevant statement in today's context.

As if J Cole hadn't shocked the world back-to-back already with a Kendrick Lamar diss and a walk-back of it, he had one more surprise in store. Well, in reality, Future and Metro Boomin had it, as they included a feature from the Dreamville boss on their new album WE STILL DON'T TRUST YOU. On the cut "Red Leather," Cole has a couple of bars that seem to address how he apologized to Kendrick for his diss, saying that it didn't feel right with his spirit last Sunday (April 7). While it's unclear whether he recorded this before or after this whole situation, it still couldn't have come at a more fitting time considering the context.

"My energy was never on some toughest n***a s**t / I was just a conscious rapper that would f**k a n***a b***h," J. Cole raps on "Red Leather." Specifically, he ties a lot of this into his relationship with the streets ("Kept my nose out the streets, but I love to get a whiff") and why he really presented that image in the first place ("The blicks get to blasting, I turn into a track star / Wanted all the h*es, what the f**k you think I rap for?"). Either way, it paints a pretty compelling picture, albeit one that he should've stood by in the first place instead of dropping "7 Minute Drill." But the better late than never reversal indicates that the North Carolina MC truly had a change of heart and perspective.

J Cole Seems To Speak On Kendrick Lamar Apology On New Song With Future & Metro Boomin

Also, this J. Cole feature is interesting for what it means for Future and Metro Boomin, the latter of which had joked about Cole making sleepy music way back in the day. It seems like he "switched sides" on Drake, if he ever really took his side to begin with, and the duo is walking back on their alleged animosity against the "Neighbors" spitter, or at least what subtle shots or observations were relayed through Kendrick Lamar's "Like That" feature. Does this mean they trust him now? There are a lot of confusing and probably not that deep loyalties and relationships to keep track of right now.

Overall, what we can safely say is that, albeit a little dead-pan and unexciting, this was a pretty solid Cole verse, even if the shock of it will overshadow its actual content. Others on WE STILL DON'T TRUST YOU like A$AP Rocky not only provided even better performances, but threw their hat into the Drake diss ring too... at least, allegedly. Maybe J. Cole will be the one to mediate peace between both sides, and "Red Leather" is a bright indication that things will begin to heal after this civil war. To find out whether that's just wishful thinking on our end, or if hip-hop really goes hard in its competitive roots, check back in with HNHH.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.
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