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Hip-Hop wants beef, even if J. Cole isn’t even bringing it on “False Prophets”.

On “False Prophets,” the first single from J. Cole’s upcoming 4 Your Eyez Only album, Cole’s first verse seems to have a target in mind. The raps are befitting of an egomaniac who has lost his way. There are more yes men than actual people willing to step in and say otherwise. Everything is fake. Cole has seen the emperor without his clothes and caught how certain things seemed to be made. The process, the one Cole thought was pure as sugar is artificial as all can be.

The song is a very well dressed subliminal. The same can be said for “Everybody Gotta Die”, another track revealed from the documentary. Yet the rancor and discussions this morning seem to have already fit someone for Cole’s first verse – Kanye West.

Given West’s current instability, you could easily draw conclusions that Cole is disenchanted with the College Dropout rapper. Facts are, Kanye has always been a man of a certain taste and fashion. When West rapped about being for the people, he was more importantly about himself – how he would achieve the unattainable success found in spaces that didn’t allow him in. Only now, given that he’s been erratic, delivered an unfinished (yet still good) album and seemingly cannot be reeled in by anyone do we think Cole’s probably months old barbs are about him.

Even if all of the “Kanye mental depression” takes became serious – a week ago.

“False Prophets” is less a diss and more of a plea to come on home.

Sometime’s the best diss songs aren’t even diss songs at all. “False Prophets” is less a diss and more of a plea to come on home. Kanye’s credited himself as a “genius” numerous times over. He’s an idol of many, even when you’ve been taught time and time again to never trust your idols. Cole himself even said it on 2013’s “Let Nas Down” about keeping them at a distance. Kanye’s been closer to the edge, but the same could be said of anyone who has tasted fame and power and gone astray. Especially in rap.

The first verse from “False Prophets” could fit the head of any number of rappers, the same way “Everybody Gotta Die” could be seen as a critique of the younger rap class. The one where “lyricism”, the ’90s standard bearer of whether or not someone was good is considered very far down a resume. So long as a young rapper can create a vibe, they’re all right. Cole comes from the place of a rap curmudgeon, even if he himself isn’t the most clever of rappers in regards to wordplay. It doesn’t matter. The moment J. Cole fans bought into the idea that he was actually rapping about certain topics as opposed to standard radio fare, he was anointed. Never mind the Madonna/whore complexes or him feeding into the same materialism.

Two years ago on “Fire Squad,” people ate up its third verse because it took a shot at Iggy Azalea. Cole tried to walk it back but the damage was done. Either his subliminal shots have gotten better or hip-hop will enjoy having a “hit dog” mental complex in regards to lines and situations without names attached.