J Cole: Rapper Says Sorry For Autism Lyric
Rapper J Cole has apologised to people with autism and their families for an offensive lyric.
In a blog post on Sunday, he said he was sorry for the lines in a verse he contributed to Drake's Jodeci Freestyle.
He said he did not agree with the recent trend of rappers facing pressure to apologise when they step over a perceived line, but in this case he agreed he went too far.
The lyrics he wrote included: "Go check the numbers dummy, that's just me gettin' started/ I'm artistic, you n***** is autistic, retarded."
Cole said on his blog: "To anyone suffering from autism, either mildly or severely, I am sorry. I'm bound to make mistakes in my life, but in my heart I just want to spread love."
He added: "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.
"You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology."
Rap has a long history of often intentionally offensive lyrics, but special interest groups have successfully used social media to elicit apologies.
Controversial lyrics have also brought lucrative advertising contracts to an end.
Lil Wayne and PepsiCo decided to part ways after the rapper offended the family of Emmett Till, a black teenager who became a civil rights icon after he was murdered in 1955.
Wayne stopped short of an apology to the Till family privately in a letter, but expressed regret for the lyric.
And Rick Ross and Reebok split after the rapper issued a verse about using a drug to clandestinely incapacitate a woman before having sex with her.
Cole has been in the spotlight after his recent album Born Sinner jockeyed with Kanye West's Yeezus when released last month and reached number one on the Billboard 200 the following week.
Cole wrote that when he first heard a backlash from those who deal with the developmental disorder, he immediately realised he went too far.
"I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough say something so hurtful," he wrote.
"What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better."
Cole went on to write that he was 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 said.
"It's touching. It also makes what I said even more embarrassing for me. I feel real shame."