Beef or BS: Diggy vs. J. Cole

Diggy and J. Cole
Kevin Winter and Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You know you're in the wrong battle when other rappers laugh off off your so-called beef. "No one cares like it's J.Cole/Diggy," was how Childish Gambino captured rap's latest feud (it feels weird just typing that) on "Eat Your Vegetables," perfectly summing up the sentiment that has greeted the feud brewing between Diggy Simmons and J.Cole. No one cares. Not even J. Cole.

A little back story. Once upon a time, J. Cole casually worked the entire Simmons family (Russell, Diggy, and Vanessa) into some throwaway couplets. This was on the song "Grew Up Fast," which Cole released after reaching 2 million Twitter followers. A little over a month later, Diggy shot back with a diss song of his own, "What You Say to Me." Now, Diggy's father (the esteemed hip-hop veteran Rev Run of Run-DMC) claims that Diggy's response is actually an old song that wasn't supposed to see the light of day. Incidentally, it landed on the web a week after Diggy's debut LP, Unexpected Arrival, landed on the shelves to the tune of 21,000 units.

Diggy chose to defend his family's honor and I salute the young hurricane for that. But you can't ignore the timing of his diss. And get this, "What You Say to Me" is a rebuttal to a much older J. Cole song, "Purple Rain," a non-album cut Cole leaked nearly two years ago. So why respond now? What's this really about? Is this a real feud or BS?

To answer that question, we must first examine the facts.

The Facts

J. Cole throws shots at the Simmons clan. Diggy throws a few Cole's way.

"Grew Up Fast"

J. Cole directly references Young Simmons on "Grew Up Fast," a soul-inspired number which Cole dropped after reaching 2 million Twitter followers.

"Purple Rain"

On this pre-Friday Night Lights cut, Cole weaves a tale about a freaky college girl many believe is Vanessa Simmons1.

From J. Cole's "Grew Up Fast"

"Move along c--ksucker, ain't nothin to see Unless you talkin' blockbusters, you n---as is not Russell You more Diggy - me I'm more Biggie"

And what do you think Cole said next? That Diggy is a little person? That he'll choke the boy out with hanger when he sees him?

Course not. If anything, the next line is an apology: "No diss to the young boy, I'm just rappin, get bored quickly. Just to make up for that line, invite him on tour quickly."

For his response, Diggy chose to address a different J. Cole track, the aforementioned "Purple Rain," in which Cole raps about getting freaky with a preacher's daughter.

From: "What You Say to Me"

"The other day I was listening to 'Purple Rain' Couldn't believe all of the things I heard him say, Who Dat, who dat? You know who it is Heard you lying on my sis, tellin' people that you hit When ya album drops, I'ma hit you with your brick So I'ma bomb first on you since you wanna riff."

From "Purple Rain"

"Good girl huh, father was a preacher Sent her off to college thought I got her on a leash though From the outside though, them girls be the squeakiest You get 'em inside them girls be the freakiest"

Beef or BS

I hope J. Cole sees this for what it is - a newcomer trying to boost his stock. If anyone understands what it feels like to be an underdog, it's J. Cole. I hope he braves Diggy's shots with the same powerful response he gave Charles Hamilton and Canibus - silence.

Verdict: BS

1Turns out Cole and Vanessa (Rev Run's daughter/Diggy's big sister) took classes at St. John's University, at the same time. It's widely assumed that the second verse of "Purple Rain" is based on Vanessa Simmons. It's possible that Cole and Vanessa if they knew each other at St. John'smessed around a bit. It's possible that they didn't. Only those two know for sure. I'm willing to bet my last pint of Ben & Jerry's that Cole is using poetic license to furnish this narrative. If that's the case, I'm glad he did because "Purple Rain" is among his most vivid portraits.