BLACK VOICES
07/24/2013 09:05 am ET Updated Jul 24, 2013

Drake Apologizes For Autism Lyric On 'Jodeci Freestyle' Following J. Cole's Mea Culpa

Just a few days after J. Cole apologized for a lyric about autism that many labeled offensive, Drake has stepped up to do the same. The two collaborated on the latter's "Jodeci Freestyle," with J. Cole rapping the verse in question.

Drake took to his site to issue the mea culpa:

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.

J. Cole's divisive lyric -- "I'm artistic, you n----s is autistic, retarded" -- prompted a petition from the Anti-Bullying Alliance prior to the rapper's apology. He is part of a slew of hip-hop stars who have recently backtracked on offensive lyrics, including Lil Wayne and Rick Ross. J. Cole said in his blog-post atonement that he doesn't agree with the trend but felt he overstepped decorum with this particular lyric.

"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," the rapper wrote. "You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology."

Drake announced he will remove the lyric from the song, which was released in June.

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