J Cole apologises for Kendrick Lamar diss track

J Cole says he “felt terrible” after releasing a song aimed at fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar last week, and vowed to pull the track off streaming services.

Titled 7 Minute Drill, Cole’s song was a reply to Lamar’s verse on the hit single Like That, in which the star asserted his dominance of the rap game.

Cole hit back by saying Lamar had “fallen off like the Simpsons” and called his latest album “tragic”.

But speaking on Sunday, Cole apologised for his “lame” and “goofy” response.

“I ain’t gonna lie to y’all the past two days felt terrible,” he told an audience at the Dreamville Festival in North Carolina. “I damn near had a relapse”.

He asked for forgiveness from Lamar, calling the song a “mis-step” and said he hoped to “get back to my true path”.

The war of words started last year on the song First Person Shooter, where Cole suggested that he, Drake and Lamar were the current “big three” names in hip-hop.

Lamar took exception to that description. In a fiery verse on the song Like That, he declared there was no “big three – it’s just big me”.

He went on to call Cole’s best verses insubstantial – “a light pack” – and claimed he was the Prince to Drake’s Michael Jackson.

Speaking on stage on Sunday, Cole said he had felt pressured to write a comeback.

“Y’all heard that bazooka that was dropped on the game, right? Boy, I must have had a thousand missed calls. Texts flooded.”

Friends and colleagues were calling it “war time” and said they wanted to “see blood,” he explained.

“I was conflicted because… I know how I feel about my peers, these two [rappers] that I’ve been blessed to even stand beside… But the world want to see blood.”

Although he tried to keep the tone of his verse friendly, the end result “didn’t sit right with my spirit”.

He went on to praise Lamar’s back catalogue, calling him “one of the greatest”, and hoping that he hadn’t taken offence.

“And if he did, I got my chin out. Take your best shot, I’ll take that on the chin.”

Cole went on to promise that 7 Minute Drill would be removed, or updated, from streaming services.

Appropriately enough, the album it appears on is called Might Delete Later.

It’s unusual, but not unheard of, for rappers to retract diss tracks after their release. In fact, this isn’t even Cole’s first brush with the phenomenon.

In 2011, at the start of Cole’s career, veteran New York MC Canibus released a song called J Clone, accusing the up-and-comer of disrespect.

But 48 hours later, he posted an apology video, saying: “Hip-hop has spoken up loud and clear, it’s a ‘Cole world’ right now, and you’re reigning champ”.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and I apologise for stepping over the line. It comes off as tacky, unsophisticated, and it’s just not G. I love hip-hop too much to further justify my selfish behaviour.”

(BBC News)

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