Rappers J Cole and Drake, who came under fire recently for using offensive words in their latest track titled “Jodeci Freestyle,” have apologized for hurting the sentiments of people with autism, reports said.
One verse in the song -- "I'm artistic, you n****s is autistic, retarded" -- had upset many people, especially parents with special-needs children.
“In a recent verse on the song ‘Jodeci Freestyle,’ I said something highly offensive to people with Autism. 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 in a blog post.
“I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough [to] say something so hurtful. What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better,” he added.
Cole wrote the backlash prompted him to learn more about autism, and that he was amazed at the strength and motivation of parents raising an autistic child. “You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology.”
Actress and singer Holly Robinson Peete was among the parents with autistic children who were unhappy with the offensive lyrics of “Jodeci Freestyle.” During an interview on Access Hollywood Live, Peete said that the song was brought to her notice by her 15-year-old son, R.J., who is autistic.
She pointed out that her son is a fan of both Drake and Cole, and she was “devastated” to come across such lyrics.
Following the widespread criticism, Drake, too, apologized through a blog post, and said that they have decided to remove the lyric from the song.
"Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted. This was a learning lesson for both of us, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to try to right this wrong," Drake wrote.