Tip for up and coming rappers: If you’re gonna try to make a name for yourself by dissing another up and coming rapper, do it at the beginning of your song, where I might hear it before reflexively changing the station.
I didn’t realize J. Cole was dissing Drake in the last verse of the ur-obnoxious “Who Dat” until I read about it the other day, possibly on Noz’s Tumblr, and that song is on Sirius constantly, presumably as a favor to Jay-Z. In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and say it was on Noz’s Tumblr, even though I’m not sure, because I know there had been an issue with Tom Breihan pilfering ideas from Noz’s formspring, and I wouldn’t want to run the risk of Noz going off on me on Twitter. He’s been especially prickly lately. I don’t know what’s gotten into him. You should see some of the shit he said about the guy from the Smoking Section the other day.
“Who Dat” came on, like clockwork, when I was on my way to cop a burrito just now, and I started to change the station, but then it occurred to me: hey, I could finally listen all the way through to the part where he takes shots at Drake. I’d heard the song in its entirety once or twice, back when it first came out, but I had to stop listening to it, when I realized how vulgar it is. Not that I have a problem with vulgarity per se. You guys know me: there probably isn’t anything I say, do, think about or watch during the course of any given afternoon that would be appropriate to discuss with children. It’s just that I have a problem with some of these younger rappers who seem to curse all the god damn time for no apparent reason. I think I even did a post here once about how the chorus to every Drake song consists of him singing curse words. Tha fuck? How would his grandma feel knowing he sings like that, if she had any idea where she is?
The first four bars of “Who Dat,” for your reading pleasure:
Who dat who dat, the nigga you been waitin fo’. I mean the shit was all bad just a week ago. Rappers is bull shittin’. Fuck it, I ain’t hatin’ though. Cuz now a nigga hot enough to fuck with one of Satan’s hoes.
He even finds a way to incorporate Satan.
It isn’t until the very end that he starts talking down on Drake, though I guess the entire song builds up to it. He spends the first couple of verses talking about how he’s from the ghetto, and how awful his life has been (at one point he didn’t even have AC), despite the fact that he went to college on an academic scholarship (just like my dumb ass), which makes me wonder if he’s really from the ghetto. I remember one time Wale did an interview with the aforementioned Smoking Section, talking about how he was from the ghetto, and come to find out he’s from a nice area. I checked his high school’s website, and the banner image looked like some shit they found in the depths of my subconscious: more attractive white women than you could round up in an area where people’s parents don’t work for a living.
Even if J. Cole grew up in an area to rival North St. Louis (which might not exist in North Carolina), I’d say that’s rendered moot by the fact that not only did he go to college, but he graduated. The school I went to was about 3% black, so I know what it’s like. People from underprivileged areas go to college all the time, but they only ever last for as long as you can possibly stay in college without being able to read and write in English, i.e. a semester or two. Unless you go to the school that accepted Mary J. Blige, after she received an honorary high school diploma, there’s no way you can graduate from college without having “white tendencies.” The one exception might be if you had something extremely bad happen to you as a child, and it gave you that extra drive to succeed, like if you were “tampered with,” which would help explain all of that cursing.
Let me guess – J. Cole realized this would be an issue, so he decided to preemptively dis the one rapper even more suspect than himself. No matter how soft J. Cole’s upbringing turns out to be, at least he wasn’t on the Nickelodeon version of The Children of Degrassi Street. At least there’s no video of his grandmother on MTV Cribs spitting a hot 16, and probably shitting her pants in the process – though if J. Cole’s grandma is especially young, like 45, he might want to trot her out, for street cred purposes.