Wale Fires Back At J. Cole And He Names Names (Audio)
In the last 48 hours, J. Cole not only announced an album, he released a documentary leading up to 4 Your Eyez Only. Then, music heard in the doc’ released on its own, in the form of two critical video singles, “False Prophets (Be Like This)” and “Everybody Gotta Die.” Both records called out Rap industry things that bothered the Roc Nation star. However, the former seemed to be about someone, or several people, specifically. Based on the initial lyrics, speculation surfaced that the first verse was about Kanye West, with some shots at Drake. The other verse was more cryptic, but some believed it to be about Wale.
The specific bars were: “I got a homie, he a rapper and he wanna win bad / He want the fame, the acclaim, the respect that’s been had / By all the legends, so every time I see him, he stressin’ / Talkin’ ’bout, niggas don’t fuck with him, the shit is depressin’ / And I know he so bitter he can’t see his own blessings / God damn, nigga, you too blind to see you got fans, nigga / And a platform to make a classic Rap song / To change a nigga’s life, but you too anxious livin’ life / Always worried ’bout the critics who ain’t ever fuckin’ did it / I write what’s in my heart, don’t give a fuck who fuckin’ with it.”
It appears that Wale, who has worked with Cole, also thinks he is who the Dreamville MC/producer is addressing. The two artists famously opened up for Jay Z on the 2009 Blueprint 3 Tour at pre-album points in their careers. Both men have ties to Roc Nation, one as an artist, the other through management. There have been a number of collaborations between the two southern artists, with “The Pessimist” appearing on last year’s The Album About Nothing from Wale. Wale makes it crystal clear who he is talking about in his reply.
“Groundhog Day” is the track, and it is produced by Jake One—who has made several key tracks with Maybach Music Group. No line punches harder than this one: “I remember me and Cole would open for Hov / Everyday ‘A Star Is Born,’ I guess I died in the womb,” referring to J. Cole’s breakout feature. Earlier in the record, the #1 charting MC declares, “The most highly underrated of my generation / Behind them ‘Crooked Smiles,’ niggas neglect to embrace me.” The mention of “Crooked Smiles” seems a direct reference to J. Cole’s 2013 hit, “Crooked Smile.”
Elsewhere in the song, Wale justifies his “reckless and crazy” behavior—and credits himself with taking his craft and art with the utmost sincerity and seriousness.
In recent years, Wale has had several instances where he has called out publications surrounding their reviews of his work, and exclusion from “best of” lists. In 2013, the Atlantic Records star threatened Complex magazine, urging them to notify security that he would be paying them a visit. Since then, the MMG artist was featured on their cover. His last two albums have been #1 on the charts. Wale also has two gold efforts, with 2013’s The Gifted being the most recent.