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J. Cole responds to Kendrick Lamar on surprise album ‘Might Delete Later’

North Carolina rapper, J. Cole takes a moment to address the noise on the surprise EP “Might Delete Later.”
Photo Courtesy of Interscope Records
North Carolina rapper, J. Cole takes a moment to address the noise on the surprise EP “Might Delete Later.”

“Might Delete Later” follows J. Cole’s successful sixth solo album, “The Fall Off,” with Cole surprising fans as he drops not only a respectable mixtape but a diss to Kendrick Lamar. “Might Delete Later” features twelve notable tracks that include highly known artists like Gucci Mane, Ari Lennox, Bas, and Central Cee. Cole uses this album as an outlet to speak about his place in the music industry, glorifying his fame and indicating that he is only now entering his prime despite the amount of time in the industry. 

The album opens with “Pricey,” featuring a variety of other artists. While the pre-chorus by Ari Lennox was melodic and the chorus is relatively catchy, there is not much going on with the opener that makes it stand out on its own. There is not an argument for it to be ‘a piece of the album’ either: “Might Delete Later” functions more like a mixtape of throwaway tracks than a cohesive album.

“Ready ‘24” was a breath of fresh air, with J. Cole continuing his lyrical tradition of stating that his career is not close to over and that he hasn’t even hit his peak yet. The chopped-up soul samples in the beat are reminiscent of his earlier album “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” and one can’t help but notice the influence of “The College Dropout” era Kanye on his delivery and cadence.

Shortly after, “Huntin’ Wabbitz” delivers a haunting and despondent beat as Cole raps about whatever comes into his head, from the lack of loyalty among his ‘friends,’ to the violence he witnessed growing up in his hometown of Fayetteville. The song functions more as a passive listen than something one would actively get absorbed into.

Feelings get hurt when words get spilled, Sticks and stones may break your bones, But sayin’ my name in a verse will kill.

“Stickz and Stonez” returns to the reflective lyricism that defines J. Cole as an artist, this time spoken against a nostalgic and meditative beat. Not for the last time on the record, he teases the release of his highly-anticipated album “The Fall Off.”

Juxtaposed to the hedonistic apathetic ‘player’ attitude Cole fronted on “H.Y.B.,” the song “Fever” takes a look at his complicated relationship with a woman from his hometown. Beginning with a voicemail from her, he goes on about how, despite living life as a player and getting around with plenty of women, his mind has always been occupied by the one person whom he shares a complex emotional and romantic connection with. It’s a far more vulnerable track than anything on the record so far.

Then comes the main event of the album where J. Cole takes complete aim towards Kendrick Lamar: “7 Minute Drill.” Cole and Lamar’s beef has been nonexistent up to this point, even showing mutual respect and admiration towards each other’s work in previous years. In 2010, speculation came about that there was a rumored J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar collaboration album, although as the years went on, fans were left disappointed. Twelve years later, Cole and Lamar now have “beef” due to their argument about their quality of work. 

Cole and Lamar’s beef started from Drake’s album, “For All The Dogs”, which had a song titled “First Person Shooter.” In this song, Cole was featured and made a couple of statements that left fans talking. Awaiting a response, fans instigated the song lyrics all over social media, stating that Cole dissed Lamar and placed him last out of the three, based on his caliber of music and frequency in album releases.

Love when they argue the hardest MC. Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me? We the big three like we started a league, but right now, I feel like Muhammad Ali.

Earlier this year, Lamar was surprisingly featured on Future and Metro Boomin’s album titled “We Don’t Trust You”, which featured the artist on the No. 1 debuting song, “Like That.” Lamar’s verse made his intentions clear, denying the idea of the “big three” between him, Cole, and Drake. 

I’m really like that, And your best work is a light pace, Prince outlived Mike Jack, ‘Fore all your dogs gettin’ buried, That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary.

As fans waited patiently for a response from either Drake or Cole, “7 Minute Drill” was released. “7 Minute Drill” glances at around 3 minutes and 30 seconds, with the song having various hints and disses to Kendrick Lamar. 

Cole starts the song off by mentioning that Lamar’s verse on “Like That” was simply a hustle for attention, with him stating, “I got a phone call, they say that somebody dissing / You want some attention, it comes with extensions.” Immediately after, Cole takes straight shots at Lamar, as he talks about his discography and the inconsistency that Lamar has within the music industry; Cole hints that this relates to his “fall off” in the rap game, as he hasn’t released since 2022 with “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.” 

I came up in the ‘Ville, so I’m good when it’s tension, He still doin’ shows, but fell off like the Simpsons.

At the very end of “7 Minute Drill,” J. Cole labels his song and album as a warning shot to essentially distance himself from the beef, although if another response is needed, Cole won’t hesitate. Fans from both sides are now awaiting Cole’s partner in this situation, Drake, as his activity on social media hints that a response is being created for Kendrick Lamar.

Days after the release of the album, J. Cole apologized publicly at the Dreamville Festival, stating that he felt that his diss track was “out of character” and something that he regretted. “7 Minute Drill” remains the most popular song on the EP, however.

“Might Delete Later” is nonetheless a phenomenal mixtape that highlights J. Cole and his succession within the rap game, as well as his quickness to respond to another person within the industry. Cole is once again seen to be notifying others to be wary of his musical skill, all while disclosing hidden disputes regarding other rappers. Closing out “Might Delete Later,” J. Cole once again teases his upcoming album, “The Fall Off,” leaving fans wanting for more from the Dreamville CEO.

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Jordan Jones
Jordan Jones is a junior at Metea Valley and is equally as importantly one of the six astonishing MCs this school year. Jordan is heavily influenced by the art of music, with it being his main source of inspiration for many writing pieces. Jordan loves smiling and laughing with the people in his community!
Tanay Pant
Tanay is the online Editor-In-Chief, and this is his third year on the News Journalism team. He loves writing, speaking, and creating new things in general. When he’s not telling stories or furiously doing his homework, you’ll find him listening to music way louder than he reasonably should.

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