Kanye West and J. Cole's Longtime Beef Explained | WhatsOnRap

Kanye West vs. J. Cole: A Story of Hip-Hop Conflict

In the realm of hip-hop, feuds and conflicts are as common as the beats and rhymes themselves. One such beef that has garnered attention recently is the one between Kanye West and J. Cole

What started as a seemingly harmonious collaboration between the two artists has spiraled into a saga of insults and animosity.

The roots of this discord trace back to a collaboration between Kanye West and J. Cole on the track "Looking For Trouble" back in 2010. At the time, there was no apparent friction between them, and J. Cole's verse on the song was widely acclaimed as he delivered an amazing verse. 
However, the tide began to turn years later when J. Cole released "False Prophets" on December 5, 2016.

In "False Prophets," J. Cole took veiled shots at Kanye West, suggesting that the legendary rapper was "falling apart" and delivering subpar work despite claiming genius status. 
He's falling apart, but we deny it Justifying that half-ass shit he dropped, we always buy it When he tell us he a genius but it's clearer lately.

- J. Cole

Released in 2016, "The Life of Pablo" was marked by Kanye's meticulous attention to detail, including multiple revisions to the tracklist and album title. 

J. Cole's assertion that Kanye's work is met with blind acceptance despite its flaws suggests a sense of disappointment in the direction Kanye's music has taken.

Additionally, J. Cole takes aim at Kanye's self-proclaimed genius status with the line:

When he tell us he a genius but it's clearer lately.

- J. Cole

This critique reflects J. Cole's perception of Kanye's inflated ego, as Kanye has often boasted about his own brilliance throughout his career.

As proof of what J. Cole meant, we have this interview where the interviewer asked Kanye West: "In an interview, you referred to yourself as a genius. When you said that, what did you mean?"  Then Kanye responded:

Exactly that; I'm a creative genius. I have a perspective, and if I apply myself and get the right tools, I will make the best version that you've ever seen of anything.

- Kanye West

Additionally, J. Cole expressed disappointment in Kanye's perceived hypocrisy, rapping:

There was a time when this nigga was my hero, maybe. That's the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take. Cause I believed him when he said his shit was purer and he The type of nigga swear he real but all around him's fake.

- J. Cole

This feeling reflects J. Cole's disillusionment with Kanye, whom he once viewed as an inspiration.

Kanye West's influence on J. Cole's music is undeniable, serving as a profound source of inspiration for the latter's creative endeavors.

Kanye West vs. J. Cole: A Hip-Hop Feud Explained
Cole's admiration for West's work is evident in his meticulous use of 13 tracks as samples in his songs, all of which were originally produced by Kanye himself.

This homage to West's musical genius highlights Cole's appreciation for his artistry and demonstrates the depth of his influence on the hip-hop landscape.

Despite the mutual respect between the two artists, tensions arose when Cole subtly criticized West in his song "False Prophets," released on December 5, 2016. 

In the track, Cole lamented West's perceived decline from grace, expressing disappointment in the authenticity of his recent work. 

This thinly veiled critique struck a chord with West, who felt betrayed by Cole's departure from their previously harmonious relationship.

In an interview with Angie Martinez on May 16, 2018, Cole addressed the rift between him and West, acknowledging the delicate nature of their bond. 

Despite his efforts to avoid exacerbating the situation, Cole's candid commentary inadvertently fueled West's resentment towards him. 

The once-admired mentorship dynamic between the two artists was overshadowed by underlying tensions, leading to a strained relationship that persisted over the years.

Watch: J. Cole Speaks on Kanye West With Angie Martinez

Fast forward, in 2024, Kanye West took advantage of the ongoing tensions between J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar to further his own agenda within the rap community. 

As Cole publicly extended an olive branch to Lamar, conceding that Lamar was the preeminent rapper of their generation, West saw an opportunity to reignite the feud between Cole and himself.
Cole's decision to publicly concede defeat in their longstanding beef was a strategic move aimed at diffusing the animosity between him and Lamar. 

By acknowledging Lamar's unparalleled talent and influence in the hip-hop landscape, Cole sought to shift the focus away from their feud and foster a sense of unity within the rap community.

Watch: J. Cole Issues An Apology to Kendrick Lamar For His “7 Minute Drill” Diss Track

However, West saw this as an opportunity to undermine Cole's credibility and reignite their simmering feud. 

Seizing upon Cole's public apology to Lamar, West mocked Cole on social media and released a diss track titled "Like That," which directly targeted Cole and reignited old grievances between the two rappers.

Listen: "Like That" Remix

In the scathing verse, Kanye dismisses Drake's lyrical prowess and suggests that playing J. Cole's music has a desiccating effect on romantic encounters. 

This biting criticism reflects Kanye's lingering resentment towards J. Cole for his earlier disparagement.
Y’all so outta sight, outta mind I can’t even think of a Drake line play j cole, get the p*ssy dry.

- Ye

Moreover, Kanye's actions extend beyond mere verbal jabs. On April 20, 2024, he posted a mocking image on Twitter, poking fun at J. Cole's perceived lack of appeal to female listeners. 

This public taunt further fueled the flames of the ongoing feud.

Kanye west trolls j cole in story

Following this incident, West's full interview with Justin LaBoy was made public on April 12, 2024. In the interview, West addressed his grievances and further escalated tensions between himself and Cole.

Watch: Ye Speaks on J. Cole Apologizing To Kendrick Lamar

Despite the passage of several years since the initial provocation, Kanye's animosity towards J. Cole remains palpable. 

The rift between the two artists underscores the competitive nature of the hip-hop industry and serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of artistic rivalry.

The feud between Kanye West and J. Cole is a testament to the complexities of creative collaboration and competition in the world of hip-hop. 

While their initial partnership may have been fruitful, it ultimately devolved into a clash of egos and words. Only time will tell if these two titans of rap can reconcile their differences and bury the hatchet once and for all.

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