J. Cole found himself mixed up in some controversy recently over a song lyric.
In his June collaboration with Drake, titled Jodeci Freestyle the Born Sinner, the rapper makes a negative reference to autism.
"Go check the numbers dummy, that's just me getting started. I'm artistic, you n----- is autistic, retarded," J. Cole raps.
He received major backlash for his words, including a petition on Change.Org that garnered close to 5,000 supporters. In turn, the 28-year-old issued an apology on his website DreamVillain.net on Sunday. The rapper explained that upon reading comments from those who were "outraged" over the lyric, he knew he was wrong for recording such a line. He said he was "embarrassed" at the fact that he could be "ignorant enough to say something so hurtful."
"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," he wrote. "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."
Although the song wasn't released as single, Drake plans to remove the lyric from the track entirely.
"Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted," the rapper wrote on his own website, October's Very Own, on Monday night. "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."
After J. Cole's and Drake's apology, the petition was closed.