One of the biggest storylines to emerge with the release of J. Cole’s highly anticipated sixth studio album The Off-Season was the North Carolina rapper’s admission that his last fight was with Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2013.
My last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who would’ve thought it?” raps Cole. “I bought that ni**a album in seventh grade and played it so much / You would’ve thought my favorite rapper was Puff / Back then I ain’t know shit, now I know too much.”
Speaking with the “Say Less” podcast, Cole’s manager Ibrahim “IB” Hamad recalled what happened between the two at Diddy’s MTV Video Music Awards after-party in August 2013.
“The Puff story… I mean remember hearing it and just laughing ’cause I was there,” said Hamad, according to Complex. “I’m not gonna go into detail, but it’s definitely not what people are saying.”
Rumor has it that Cole was dancing too close to Diddy’s ex-girlfriend, Cassie, while others say Cole intervened when Puff tried to throw a drink on Kendrick Lamar after hearing his controversial “King of New York” line on Big Sean’s “Control.” After the scuffle, Cole was allegedly kicked out of the party.
“It was definitely not like he was defending Kendrick or something,” explained Hamad. “It wasn’t like, ‘Don’t talk to Kendrick like that!’ Kendrick was there, Top [Dawg] was there, Jay was there, Beyoncé was there. Me and Cole. You know, grown men… Got a little heated. All I remember is, me and Jay looking at each other like, ‘Oh, these n***as ’bout to fight.’ And then just being like, ‘Oh no, this is ’bout to happen.’ I’ll just leave it at that.”
At the time, Hamad, Cole, and Diddy shot down rumors surrounding the confrontation. “People will believe anything,” Cole tweeted, while Diddy added, “I usually don’t address rumors but I got too much respect for my bro @JColeNC. We are friends The rumors are not true. We had a great party.”
people will believe anything
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) August 27, 2013
I usually don't address rumors but I got too much respect for my bro @JColeNC. We are friends The rumors are not true. We had a great party
— LOVE (@Diddy) August 27, 2013
The Internet is a crazy place you niggaz reporting shit with no facts, Cole ain't get thrown out no party and he damn sure aint get beat up
— Ibrahim H. (@KingOfQueenz) August 26, 2013
“Walking out of there I’m like, ‘Oh, this about to be baaad,’” added Hamad. “But for some reason no one had a camera out, a couple people was talking about it, but you know.”
The next day, Cole and Diddy met up and squashed their beef. “Puff was like, ‘I wanna figure this out.’ The next day, he pulled up, they chopped it up. It was never a real issue,” said Hamad.
Diddy can even be heard on the outro to “Let Go My Hand,” which Hamad says was recorded in “the last week” of sessions for The Off-Season.
If nothing else, it provided good content: J. Cole was able to incorporate the story — sans details, naturally on his album.