Inside Diddy and J. Cole’s Physical Fight

Diddy has been a longtime figure in the world of hip-hop. Throughout his three decades in the industry, he’s seen the rise of several young rappers, including Grammy Award winners Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. At one point, Diddy found himself at odds with both Lamar and Cole.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs | Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Diddy once shared a meme dissing Kendrick Lamar 

In 2013, Kendrick Lamar teamed up with Big Sean on the song “Control.” In the song, the Compton, California native rapped about him carrying on the torch of Tupac Shakur, often referred to as “Makaveli.” In the same line, Lamar declared himself not just the king of West Coast rap, but East Coast rap as well. “I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the King of New York / King of the Coast; one hand, I juggle ’em both,” he said.

Diddy, who was born and raised in Harlem, took issue with Lamar, a California native, deeming himself the King of New York. He even shared a meme on social media of him and fellow New Yorker Jay-Z laughing about Lamar’s new “title.”

J. Cole watches the NBA All-Star game
J. Cole | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Diddy and J. Cole’s fight after the 2013 VMAs

After the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, rumors began to swirl that Diddy got in a physical altercation with Lamar and Cole. The incident took place at a VMAs afterparty where Diddy (who was allegedly drunk) crossed paths with Lamar and confronted him about his claim.

Diddy was rumored to have tried pouring a drink on Lamar, at which point Cole stepped in and intervened. Their two crews — and Diddy and Cole themselves — were caught in the ensuing scuffle.

RELATED: How Many Times Has Diddy Changed His Name?

J. Cole mentioned the incident in a 2021 song

After eight years of silence, Cole addressed the matter on his 2021 album The Off-Season. The track “Let Go My Hand” mentioned his relationship with Diddy, that fateful night in 2013, and both rappers’ silence about the event afterward.

“I kept a tough demeanor on the surface but was mostly just pretendin’ / And luckily my bluff was workin’ way more often than not,” Cole rapped on the song. “But sometimes a n—- pulled my card, tryna expose me for a fraud / And with my reputation at stake, I was scufflin’ just to save face.”

“My last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who would’ve thought it?” he continued. “I bought that n—- album in seventh grade and played it so much / You would’ve thought my favorite rapper was Puff / Back then I ain’t know s—, now I know too much.”

Diddy and J. Cole re-enacted their fight

Even though Cole confirmed the rumors of their scuffle nearly a decade later, the two rappers were able to bury the hatchet almost immediately after the incident.

In a video from Revolt filmed less than two months after the VMAs, Cole spoke to the camera backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Diddy came up behind him and put his arm around him, then started faking as if he was punching him in the stomach.

Cole smiled and put his hands up and hinted at the fight rumors that arose after the VMAs: “This is the repeat; y’all see it!”