On the track, which features on his new album, The Off-Season, Cole says: “I kept a tough demeanour on the surface but was mostly just pretendin’ / Luckily my bluff was workin’ way more often than not.
“But sometimes a n***a pulled my card, tryna expose me for a fraud / And with my reputation at stake / I was scufflin’ just to save face / Couple wins, couple losses, some broken up too quick to call it.”
He then sings that his “last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who would’ve thought it?”, before adding: “I bought that n***a album in seventh grade and played it so much / You would’ve thought my favourite rapper was Puff / Back then I ain’t know s***, now I know too much.”
In 2013, it was rumoured that Cole intervened after an intoxicated Diddy attempted to pour a drink on Kendrick Lamar because he was unhappy with the rapper’s verse on “Control”, in particular the “King of New York” line.
Last year, Cole’s song “The Climb Back” was included on Barack Obama’s top songs of 2020, alongside hits by Bruce Springsteen and Little Simz.