*Rapper J. Cole is apologizing to those with autism and their families for an offensive lyric.
In a blog post Sunday, Cole said that he doesn’t agree with the recent trend of pressure rappers have faced to apologize when they step over a perceived line, but in this case he feels he went too far in a verse he contributed to Drake’s “Jodeci Freestyle.”
In the song, Cole raps that he’s “artistic” while his rivals are “autistic, retarded.”
Cole wrote that when he first heard a backlash from those who deal with the developmental disorder he immediately realized he went too far.
“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,” Cole wrote. “You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology.”
Cole believes in artistic freedom and says he views envelope pushing in music the same way he does in comedy: “It’s going to ruffle some feathers at times.”
“I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough say something so hurtful,” Cole wrote. “What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better.”
Cole goes on to write that he’s inspired by those who reached out to him: “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,” he wrote. “It’s touching. It also makes what I said even more embarrassing for me. I feel real shame.”
for me. I feel real shame.”