Drake has joined J. Cole in apologizing for a lyric referring to autism that Cole contributed to Drake’s song “Jodeci Freestyle” and promised to remove the lyric from the track.
“I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused,” Drake wrote on his website. “Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted.”
The Toronto rapper followed suit after J. Cole issued his own note over the line “I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded.” Cole said he saw several comments from listeners who were outraged by the line, and as Spin reports, the song prompted a petition from the Anti-Bullying Alliance that registered over 4,500 signatures before closing.
In a post on his website, Cole called the lyric “highly offensive” and added, “I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough say something so hurtful. What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better.”
In his note, Drake concluded, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to try to right this wrong. J. Cole and I believe that it is the right, responsible and respectful decision to remove the lyric from the song.”