J. Cole says his Kendrick Lamar diss didn’t ‘sit right with my spirit’ in public apology

J. Cole in a dark shirt holding his left hand out while speaking into a microphone on a dark stage
J. Cole said “the past two days felt terrible” as he apologized to Kendrick Lamar for his diss track during his Dreamville Festival on Sunday.
(Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press)

J. Cole’s latest drop “7 Minute Drill” unleashed bars of scathing digs at alleged rap rival Kendrick Lamar. Days after dropping the diss track, Cole said the song is some of his “lamest, goofiest” work.

The two-time Grammy winner — real name Jermaine Lamarr Cole —apologized to Lamar on Sunday evening, during a headlining set at Dreamville Festival in North Carolina. Speaking to his audience, Cole said dropping “7 Minute Drill,” the final track on his latest album “Might Delete Later,” was a move that he felt was “spiritually bad on me.”

“I tried to jab [Lamar] back, and I try to keep it friendly, but at the end of the day when I listen to it, and when it comes out and I see the talk, that ... don’t sit right with my spirit,” he continued. “That .. disrupts my ... peace.”


During his aside, which went viral on social media, the 39-year-old “No Role Modelz” rapper said he regrets challenging Lamar’s “catalogue” and his “greatness” and declared the “To Pimp a Butterfly” artist as “one of the greatest [rappers] to touch a...microphone.”

J. Cole just dropped his surprise album ‘Might Delete Later.’ The 12-track release ends with a scathing response to Kendrick Lamar’s prior diss track.

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“Dreamville, y’all love Kendrick Lamar, correct?” Cole asks his cheering crowd, before admitting, “as do I.”

Cole released his 3½-minute diss track Thursday evening in response to Lamar’s feature on Future and Metro Boomin’s album, “We Don’t Trust You,” which dropped in March. In “Like That,” the 17-time Grammy winner Lamar joins the duo to diss Cole for a line in Drake’s “First Person Shooter.” Lamar seemingly took issue with a lyric placing Cole, Drake and Lamar on the same level.

“Yeah get up with me, .. sneak dissing ‘First Person Shooter,’ I hope they came with three switches,” Lamar, 36, raps before adding “ ... the big three... it’s just big me.”

In “7 Minute Drill,” Cole takes shots at Lamar’s career — including his release timing (“Four albums in 12 years”); his height (“Your arms might be too short to box with the god”); and his relevancy.

“If he wasn’t dissin’, then we wouldn’t be discussin’ him,” Cole says in his song.

Drake announced he is taking at least a year-long break from making music to focus on his health. Remaining shows in his It’s All a Blur tour are postponed.

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On Sunday, Cole explained that the diss came out of pressure from his inner circle and the rap community to respond to Lamar’s shots and that he was conflicted on whether to release the song in the first place. He told his Sunday crowd, bashing Lamar reminded him of “10 years ago when I was moving incorrectly.”


In his apology, Cole also said he hopes that God will “align me back on my purpose and on my path.”

“[The] past two days felt terrible. It let me know how good I’ve been sleeping for the past 10 years,” he added, before segueing into a performance of his song “Love Yourz.”