Roc Nation’s J. Cole has stepped forward to clear the air on a controversial lyric on his Drake-assisted “Jodeci Freestyle” record in light of a petition against them being launched.
Instead of using a simple Twitter post to claim responsiblity, Cole inked an open message to admit his wrongdoing.
“Recently there’s been a trend that includes rappers saying something offensive, only to be attacked for it in the media and pressured to apologize. I have to be completely honest and say there’s a part of me that resents that. I view rap similar to how I view comedy. It’s going to ruffle feathers at times. It’s going to go “too far”. 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. With that said, this is not the case today. This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary. 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. 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.” (Dream Villain)
Cole continued to place the blame on himself and promised to educate himself on Autism.
“To the entire Autism community who expressed outrage, I’m moved and inspired by your passion, and I’m amazed at how strong you are as a unit. I have now read stories online from parents about their struggles and triumphs with raising an Autistic child and I admire how incredibly strong you have to be to do so. It’s touching. It also makes what I said even more embarrassing for me. I feel real shame. You have every right to be angry. To anyone suffering from Autism, either mildly or severely, I am sorry. I’m bound to make mistakes in my life, but in my heart I just want to spread Love. I want to educate myself more on Autism, and I’ll gladly own my mistake and serve as an example to today’s generation that there’s nothing cool about mean-spirited comments about someone with Autism. People with this disorder and their loved ones have to go through so much already, the last thing they need is to hear something as ignorant as what I said. I understand. 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. I hope you accept my sincere apology. Much Love -Cole” (Dream Villain)
Earlier this month, Cole’s “retarded” lyric sparked a petition which immediately picked up momentum.
Even though it was released last month, Drake and J. Cole’s “Jodeci Freestyle” is now causing a bit of a sh*tstorm. Specifically, over the Born Sinner rapper’s line, “I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded.” Turns out some people aren’t too happy about that. As Fact reports, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and autism activist Anna Kennedy are calling on the rappers to offer an official apology and remove the offending lyric from the release. They started a petition on Change.org and it’s already garnered over 2,500 signatures since it was launched on July 13. “It’s time we recognised people with autism for the exceptional human beings that they are and make a stand,” Kennedy’s statement reads. “Give us a Break!” (SPIN)
The petition almost immediately racked up half the number of signatures it aimed to reach.
The petition only has a goal of 5,000 signatures, which should be reached soon. Then again, Change.org doesn’t exactly have any legal sway over Drake and J., so it’s feasible that nothing will come of this. At the very least, we can all agree that rhyming artistic and autistic is pretty weak. (SPIN)