Lupe Fiasco takes inspiration from J. Cole, but is he also firing shots his way?
On Monday (Dec. 12), Carrera Lu’ unleashed his “N.E.R.D.” freestyle over Cole’s “Everybody Dies” instrumental.
“Too many best rappers, not enough best rhymes though,” raps Fiasco, before adding: “Maybe I’m just jaded, out of touch and unrelated / Unable to connect greatness based on the person who makes this / Or maybe I just hate it.”
Prior to dropping the track, Lupe shared several Kermit the Frog memes about his current “mood.” The post has hooded Kermit saying things like “Just take all his album instrumentals & renegade him” and “Renegade that ni**a album.”
Those memes were likely references to when Nas claimed Eminem “murdered” Jay Z on “Renegade” back when Esco and Hov were beefing. Thus, the use of Cole’s production could be a sign of future jabs at Jermaine.
If this is a shot at Cole, it could also be due to his thinly-veiled and direct disses on “Everybody Dies” and “False Prophets,” some of which were believed to be targeting Kanye West. On “N.E.R.D.,” Lupe raps: “Being ambiguous with assertions isn’t making you safer.”
Lupe is a longtime Kanye friend and collaborator. The two famously worked together on “Touch the Sky” and formed the group Child Rebel Soldier along with N.E.R.D. frontman Pharrell Williams. Last month, Fiasco sent prayers out to his “big bro” Kanye at a concert, as Yeezus recovered from hospitalization due to reported mental health concerns.
While it’s unclear what Fiasco’s motivation was for the track or for the memes that dropped before it, the freestyle is out now for fans to dissect and debate.