Forest Hills Drive rapper J Cole is a revered lyricist who recently performed alongside Drake in Montreal. The North Carolina artist, akin to Kendrick Lamar, has consistently released quality music over the years during what many have perceived to be a lull in hip-hop culture. However, despite his unparalleled lyricism and storytelling, one of J Cole’s lyrics received vast amounts of backlash.
2021 saw Cole drop his sixth studio album, The Off-Season, and in the lead-up to the project’s release, the Fayetteville emcee visited Power 106’s LA Leakers radio show to speak about the body of work as well as perform two fiery freestyles. The classic instrumentals given to Cole were Souls of Mischief’s ’93 Til Infinity’ and Mike Jones’ ‘Still Tippin.’
However, while he effortlessly rapped his verses, flowing flawlessly and showcasing his skills, a distasteful reference to Bill Cosby was made in an attempt to land a punchline about him infamously drugging women. Rapping over the ’93 Til Infinity’ beat, Cole stated, “Or who they debatin’ is better / Let’s face it, he one of the greatest t / No Bill Cosby shit, but if n*ggas is sleepin’, then fuck ’em.”
He continued, “Most n*ggas don’t understand me / I don’t do the GRAMMYs, I be in my jammies on sofa / Most n*ggas don’t understand me.” The line touched on what remains a very contentious topic, with the disgraced 83-year-old actor now held in the lowest regard. Over 60 women came forward with accusations they had been drugged, sexually assaulted and coerced by Cosby and Cole was seen as making light of this.
Fans instantly took to social media, with one fan tweeting, “I thought J. Cole’s freestyle on the LA Leakers was pretty solid, outside of that one Cosby line that shouldn’t have made it past the first draft process.”
You can hear Cole’s freestyle in the video below.