J. Cole has apologized for a lyric referring to autism in a collaboration with Drake. In a blog post over the weekend, Cole called the lyric on Drake’s “Jodeci Freestyle” “highly offensive to people with autism.” The rapper boasted in the song, “I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded,” a line that Cole said prompted complaints.
“Last week, when I first saw a comment from someone outraged about the lyric, I realized right away that what I said was wrong,” Cole wrote. “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.”
While rappers apologize too often for causing offense, Cole wrote, “this apology IS necessary.”
“To the parents who are fighting through the frustrations that must come with raising a child with severe autism, finding strength and patience that they never knew they had; to the college student with Asperger’s syndrome; to all those overcoming autism, you deserve medals, not disrespect,” he wrote. “I hope you accept my sincere apology.”
Cole isn’t the only rapper to to court controversy with his lyrics recently. Lil Wayne lost an endorsement deal with Pepsi in May because of a lyric making a crude reference about Civil Rights figure Emmett Till. Additionally, Reebok cut ties with Rick Ross following a lyric in which the rapper appeared to condone date rape.