It may have taken J. Cole a little while, but the self-proclaimed Born Sinner realized he was wrong for making light of those who suffer with autism and issued an apology for his “Jodeci Freestyle.” Now, Cole’s collaborator Drake has also stepped up and claimed responsibility.
“J.Cole wrote a beautiful and moving apology to individuals and families affected by autism who were understandably hurt by a verse in ’Jodeci Freestyle’. I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused,” the Young Money MC wrote on his October’s Very Own blog on Monday night.
Drake released “Jodeci Freestyle” back in June and featured Cole on the track. The song wasn’t an official single, but one particularly lyric caught the attention of Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization. “I’m artistic, you n—as is autistic, retarded,” Cole spit.
On Monday morning, Cole issued an apology after a petition that collected more than 4,500 signatures. “I do not believe that an apology is needed every time someone is offended, especially when that apology is really only for the sake of saving an endorsement or cleaning up bad press,” Cole stated in a letter that he posted on his site. “With that said, this is not the case today. This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary.”
Now Drake vows to remove the controversial line from the song. “Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted,” he said. “This was a learning lesson for both of us, and 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.”