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Black Thought Explains Why J. Cole’s “7 Minute Drill” Apology Made Sense

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Black Thought understood why the Dreamville rapper apologized for the Kendrick Lamar diss track “7 Minute Drill.” The Roots member recalled his past interactions with J. Cole when asked about the apology on the This Week in White Supremacy podcast.

“He’s been on a trajectory of … self-revelation, investing into his self,” Black Thought said. “I feel like his mind, spirit, body, soul, music, everything, is better for it … This is how I sort of understand J. Cole. I don’t know the brother well, but he and I had talked about doing music together at one point. And shortly after the beginning of 2018, he hit me like, ‘Yo, let’s do an album.’ I told him to send me some music.”

He continued, “I told him I was with it. It wasn’t like, ‘Send me some music to see if I want to do it.’ It was like, ‘Send me—let me see what you’re thinking.’ And he sent me a batch of beats and they all just felt so close to something I guess something Roots-centric. At the time, I was trying to sort of step outside of what I’d done with The Roots and I just didn’t feel like we were lining up. So, I think I asked him to do a different batch. I gave him like an explanation. And in my explanation, I think I scared him off. Maybe some of the trigger words that I was using, like, ‘I want something hard. This beat ain’t aggressive enough.’ He wasn’t on that. He was on a peaceful journey.”

J. Cole released “7 Minute Drill” in response to Kendrick’s lyrical jabs on Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That.” J. Cole publicly apologized for the diss, calling it the “lamest” thing he ever did in his life. Black Thought praised the apology.

“He’s not trying to engage with the b#######,” the respected lyricist said of J. Cole. “So, I feel like he acted on emotion probably. He did this record and immediately regretted it but already pulled the trigger and was like, ‘How can I now take the high road?’ And I think he set a beautiful example.”

J. Cole faced fan backlash for apologizing, but his decision seemed smart in retrospect. The mudslinging in Kendrick’s battle with Drake, the other target of “Like That,” made J. Cole look wise for bowing out when he did.

Justin Ivey

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