The rumor that J. Cole and Diddy threw hands has been floating around for nearly a decade now, and it was interesting to see an older, wiser Cole finally acknowledge the rumble on wax. “Let.Go.My.Hand,” Cole’s introspective cut from The Off-Season, finds the 36-year-old rapper reflecting on fatherhood, fame and his notorious scrap with a Bad Boy.
Word of the industry brawl first appeared around August 2013, the chatter being that Cole and Puff fought at an MTV Music Awards after-party. The story goes that Puff argued with Kendrick Lamar over his “King of New York” claim on 2013’s “Control,” and tried to pour a drink on him. J. Cole, a friend of Kendrick, stepped in, and a fight broke out between Cole and Puff’s crew.
In 2020, Cole’s manager laughed off the story via social media.
By 2021, fight had become more of urban legend than rap history at this point, so fans were surprised when the usually reserved Cole spoke on the matter, rapping:
“I was scufflin’ just to save face
Couple wins, couple losses, some broken up too quick to call it
My last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who would’ve thought it?
I bought that nigga album in seventh grade and played it so much
You would’ve thought my favorite rapper was Puff.”
Puff’s No Way Out album dropped in 1997, which would have put Cole, born in 1985, right at the age of a seventh grader around the time the project was released.
The song closes out with a short prayer by Puff. If the mogul’s appearance on the cut is any indication, it seems the two men are in a much better place. Cole’s willingness to speak about the event, and his decision to place Diddy’s vocals at the end, is the type of maturity and growth we love to see in Hip-Hop.
J. Cole Is Back: 15 Hottest Bars From 'The Off-Season'
1. “I be stayin’ out the way, but if the beef do come around/ Could put a M right on your head, you Luigi brother now.”1 of 15
2. “Envy keep yo pockets empty, so just focus on you/ If you broke and clownin a millionaire, the joke is on you.”2 of 15
3. “Some [fights] broken up too quick to call it/ My last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who woulda thought it.”3 of 15
4. “All we believe in is homicide/ I got a good heart, so I send teddybears every time we make they mamas cry.”4 of 15
5. “Check out my projects, like them workers that Section 8 appoints/ And you’ll see how ‘i’ flip like exclamation points.”5 of 15
6. “I punch a timesheet? Not no mo’/Cause my assigned seat is a throne.”6 of 15
7. “A problem with me is like the BET Hip Hop Awards/ I’m startin to see you n----s don’t want it.”7 of 15
8. “These n----s say that they killas, they lyin/ Only thing I see yall killin is time.”8 of 15
9. “When I’m in love, I love heavenly/ If you betray me, you dead to me/ I disrespect you, respectfully.”9 of 15
10. “I’m bleedin from fightin my demons head up/ When I get defeated, believe I get up.”10 of 15
11. “I can’t reach up too high, evidently/ Never see ‘em when drivin’ a Bentley/ I can’t be out here moppin’ up Wendy’s.”11 of 15
12. “Make a few thousand dollars stack with every hour pass/ I catch you playin’ inside my lane, and I’mma foul yo ass.”12 of 15
13. “I stopped creepin six years ago/ Fun f-----n them hoe’s until you realize, you IS the hoe.”13 of 15
14. “If I said I was the toughest growin’ up, I would be lyin/ I had a fear of gettin punched while everybody eyein/ Add to that, a constant fear of dyin.”14 of 15
15. “I dibble-dabble in a few religions/ My homie constantly tellin’ me bout Quran.. puttin’ me on.”15 of 15
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J. Cole Talks About His Fistfight With Diddy On New Album was originally published on zhiphopcleveland.com