After the release of their collaborative jam “Jodeci Freestyle,” the song’s creators J. Cole and Drake have come under fire for one of the track’s insensitive lyrics. On the track, J. Cole raps, “I’m artistic, you n*ggas is autistic, retarded,” sparking a sudden controversy about autism awareness led by a petition from the Anti-Bullying Alliance. J. Cole went on to issue an apology for his insensitive use of the word “retarded” yesterday, saying “In a recent verse… I said something highly offensive to people with Autism.” Today, Drake follows Cole’s lead by issuing his own apology for the song, which you can read below. The statement comes alongside news that the duo has decided to omit the line from the song.
Drake’s Statement: “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. 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. J. Cole and I believe that it is the right, responsible, and respectful decision to remove the lyric from the song.”