We learned this year that not all rappers are able to offer up adequate apologies when their lyrics come under serious fire. And while some argue that they shouldn’t be apologizing in the first place, Drake disagrees, telling MTV News that “sometimes it doesn’t pay to be that rebellious.”
Last month, J. Cole was criticized for his unkind reference to autism on Drake’s “Jodeci Freestyle,” prompting both rappers to apologize for the lyrics. In this situation, the YMCMB rapper says that they both felt the need to take responsibility.
“I think we’re just both genuinely good guys. I don’t want anybody to be offended, and Cole is the nicest guy in the world, so I’m sure it was the worst day ever for him, as far as being attacked by people,” Drake told MTV News.
“It’s a shame that he got attacked like that because he’s such a great guy and that’s why I chose to step in and say sorry as well because I felt like — I’m not gonna let him sink by himself, like, ‘Oh that wasn’t me,’ ” he added. “It was my song and at the end of the day, I think everybody knows me and Cole are both young guys that stand for something positive.”
“It was just important to reinforce that. A lot of people see it as a cop-out — ‘oh, you’re apologizing’ — but sometimes it doesn’t pay to be that rebellious. If an apology is what it takes, then [fine].”
At the same time, Drake understands the concerns of those who feel that rappers depreciate the value of their work by backtracking on their lyrics.
“At the end of the day, we rap, we say things, and sometimes you can’t factor in everybody that’s going to be personally offended by the bars that you write,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just for the effect of finishing a punch line, so there is something to be said for being careless with your lyrics, but writing is a [also] free-mind thing. That’s what rap is — it’s just wherever your mind goes.”