Reactions from hip-hop world to J. Cole's apology for diss track response to Kendrick Lamar

Cole’s explosive “7 Minute Drill” response to Kendrick Lamar: Fans and hip-hop Critics React
J.Cole "What Dreams May Come" Tour - New York, NY
J.Cole "What Dreams May Come" Tour - New York, NY / Taylor Hill/GettyImages

Cole’s surprise-released project, “Might Delete Later,” has sent shockwaves through the hip-hop community. The Dreamville co-founder’s latest work features a track that appears to be a direct response to Kendrick Lamar’sLike That” diss.

Kendrick Lamar didn’t mince words when he rejected any “Big 3” talk that would place him alongside J. Cole and Drake. In Metro Boomin and Future’s track “We Don’t Trust You,” Kendrick made it clear that he stands alone. But J. Cole wasn’t about to let that slide.

The “7 minute drill”

The closing track of “Might Delete Later,” titled “7 Minute Drill,” is where J. Cole unloads. While he doesn’t explicitly name Kendrick, the target is unmistakable.

J. Cole is address Kendrick Lamar, suggesting that Kendrick's recent work hasn't matched his earlier success. Cole asserts his own rise to prominence and warns Kendrick not to provoke him further, highlighting his willingness to engage in conflict if necessary. He expresses mixed feelings about rap feuds but indicates he's prepared to defend his position in the industry with force if needed.

"I came up in the 'Ville, so I'm good when it's tension
He still doin' shows, but fell off like the Simpsons
Your first sh*t was classic, your last s**t was tragic
Your second s**t put ni***as to sleep, but they gassed it
Your third sh*t was massive and that was your prime
I was trailin' right behind and I just now hit mine
Now I'm front of the line with a comfortable lead
How ironic, soon as I got it, now he want somethin' with me
Well, he caught me at the perfect time, jump up and see
Boy, I got here off of bars, not no controversy"

J. Cole

Listen to the fulll song below

Fans reactions

The internet exploded with reactions. Fans wasted no time creating memes and sharing their thoughts. From mocking Kendrick’s last album to imagining the face-off between J. Cole and Kendrick, the Twitter streets were buzzing. 

Cole took the stage at his Dreamville Festival and publicly addressed his feud with Kendrick Lamar. The Dreamville co-founder, known for his introspective lyrics, humbly admitted his missteps and extended an olive branch to Kendrick. Fans were left in awe as J. Cole’s heartfelt apology echoed across the festival grounds.

However, fans have expressed disappointment and disbelief in J. Cole's apology to Kendrick Lamar, especially after years of hearing Cole boast about being willing to take on any rapper. Many feel let down, viewing Cole's apology as a sign of weakness and an abandonment of the aggressive persona he previously projected in his lyrics.

Some argue that apologizing for dissing someone who provoked him goes against the essence of hip-hop, suggesting that it removes Cole from any meaningful hip-hop conversations.

On the other hand, there are supporters who commend J. Cole for his maturity and sincerity in apologizing. They view his actions as reflective of genuine friendship and a prioritization of personal growth and spiritual alignment over worldly validation.

Some applaud Cole for his ability to acknowledge his mistakes and seek reconciliation, seeing it as a testament to his character and integrity.

However, others, like Mick Jenkins, express confusion and skepticism, questioning how Cole can rap about being untouchable yet bow out when challenged by Kendrick Lamar, indicating a dissonance between his actions and his previous lyrical assertions.

DJ Akademiks response

Akademiks suggests that J. Cole is no longer relevant in hip-hop conversations because he apologized for dissing someone who disrespected him, implying that apologizing isn't consistent with hip-hop culture. He also argues that the new "Big 3" in hip-hop consists of Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Future.

"The Big 3 from now on is Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Future. J Cole eliminated from all hip hop conversations.. apologizing for dissing a n**** who violated u... is not hip hop."

According to Akademiks J. Cole's apology for dissing Kendrick Lamar implied a sense of self-righteousness, comparing Cole's attitude to that of Jesus by referencing the phrase "turn the other cheek." He criticized Cole for potentially overestimating his importance and downplaying Kendrick's impact.

Chalamagne Tha God's response

Charlamagne also stressed that J. Cole's apology showcased genuine friendship, cautioning against overlooking potential conflicts behind the scenes in hip-hop. He praised Cole's tendency to prioritize respect and love over confrontation.

Why is hip-hop competitive?

Hip-hop is competitive by nature due to its roots in street culture and its emphasis on lyrical prowess, storytelling, and self-expression. Competition drives artists to continually push boundaries, innovate, and strive for excellence in their craft.

The competitive aspect of hip-hop is also fueled by the desire for recognition, respect, and success within the community. Battles, diss tracks, and lyrical feuds have historically been integral to hip-hop culture, serving as platforms for artists to assert their skills, assert dominance, and defend their reputations.

Additionally, competition often emerges as a response to socioeconomic conditions, where artists use their lyrical prowess to navigate and transcend their circumstances, establishing themselves as forces to be reckoned with in the industry. Overall, competition in hip-hop fosters creativity, authenticity, and growth, contributing to the dynamic and evolving nature of the genre.

While Drake remains cryptic, J. Cole’s bold move has set the stage for an epic showdown. Will Kendrick fire back? Only time will tell. But for now, hip-hop fans are feasting on the drama served up by “7 Minute Drill.”

Remember, hip-hop ain’t dead—it’s just getting started.

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