Is 'False Prophets' a Kanye West diss track? The case for it — and against it

Is 'False Prophets' a Kanye West diss track? The case for it — and against it
Source: AP
Source: AP

Could J. Cole's new track, "False Prophets," from his forthcoming album, 4 Your Eyez Only, be dissing Kanye West? The track, which was released Thursday night as part of the 40-minute Eyez documentary, is certainly calling out somebody. 

The track features lyrics like, "He's fallin' apart, but we deny it" and "When he tell us he is a genius but it's clearer lately." If this is indeed about West, J. Cole is calling out an artist who's been in the headlines lately for everything besides his music. The track's release comes only days after the rapper spent time in a hospital after suffering "sleep deprivation."

The verse that has Twitter up in arms goes as follows:

Yeah, life is a balance
You lose our grip, you can slip into an abyss, 
No doubt you see these niggas trippin'
Ego in charge of every move, he's a star
And we can't look away due to the days that he caught our hearts
He's fallin' apart, but we deny it
Justifying that half-ass shit he dropped, we always buy it
When he tell us he a genius but it's clearer lately
It's been hard for him to look into the mirror lately
There was a time when this nigga was my hero, maybe
That's the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take
'Cause I believed him when he said his shit was purer and he
The type of nigga swear he real but all around him's fake
The women, the dickriders, you know, the yes men
Nobody with the balls to say somethin' to contest him
So he grows out of control
Into the person that he truly was all along, it's startin' to show
Damn, wonder what happened
Maybe it's my fault for idolizing niggas based off the words they be rappin' 
But come to find out, these niggas don't even write they shit
Here some new style bubblin' up, then they bite the shit
Damn, that's what I get for lyin' to myself
Well, fuck it, what's more important is he's cryin' out for help
While the world's eggin' him on, I'm beggin' him to stop
And playin' his old shit, knowin' he won't top it; false prophets

If the shoe fits...

Reading through the lyrics, it's clear J. Cole has a rapper in mind, but he stops short of actually naming West, or anyone else. So it is possible that "False Prophets" is more generally about an artist that has moved past his glory days, not an uncommon occurrence in music.

But there are some on Twitter who feel this is a "if the shoe fits" type of deal, and the shoe just may fit West.

Isn't it clear?

Despite failing to explicitly name West, the troubled rapper has been closely associated with "False Prophets" since its release.

We won't know for sure whether J. Cole is actually dissing West unless the artist admits it. Still, it is clear J.Cole feels let down by someone he once admired — and he's letting everybody know. 

Watch the video for "False Prophets" below.


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Jason Berman

Jason is an arts writer for Mic based in Pennsylvania. His writing can also be found at Screen Rant. You can reach Jason at jberman@mic.com.

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