Rapper J. Cole (pictured) has apologized to the autism community after comparing the condition to retardation on a recent song, reports Contact Music.
In a verse he contributed to Drake‘s “Jodeci Freestyle,” the hip-hop star raps that he’s “artistic” while his rivals are “autistic, retarded.” As soon as the song hit the airwaves, backlash ensued.
Leading the protest against the offensive lyrics was autism crusader actress Holly Robinson Peete, who demanded that Cole issue an apology for his callousness with regards to autism.
Peete, whose eldest son, Rodney Jr. (pictured below), has autism, was reportedly enraged when she heard Cole’s reference to the condition and took aim at the 28-year-old rapper, along with others in the autism community
“This was first brought to my attention by my son, who is 15, with autism, loves J.Cole, loves Drake,” she told Access Hollywood. ” He brought it (up) to me, because he looks at all the lyrics. He said, ‘Mom what does this mean?’ And I was so devastated when I read it, I had to read it like five times and try to find some other context where this could make sense, ’cause everything I know about J. Cole is that he’s a very intelligent man, he went to college, he graduated top of his class. He’s a very smart rapper and I understand the artistic expression and everything, but this right here is so irresponsible. It hurt my feelings so much.”
Meanwhile, Cole, wrote a heartfelt apology to those he offended in the autism community on his website:
“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 realised 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.
“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.”
In an admirable move, Cole also states, that he is eager to learn more about autism so that he can be better informed:
“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.”
Let’s hope more MCs watch their tongues before spitting their lyrics.