J. Cole is the latest rapper to be coerced into a public apology for lyrics deemed offensive. Last week the Anti-Bullying Alliance created an online petition demanding that Cole and the rapper Drake apologize to those with autism for a lyric Cole rapped on his collaboration with Drake, "Jodeci Freestyle."
On the song, Cole says, "I'm artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded." The petition has acquired more than 4,000 signatures, and on Sunday night the rapper, whose album Born Sinner recently went No. 1 on Billboard, took to his Twitter account with a link to an apology he wrote to Autism Speaks.
I do not believe that an apology is needed every time someone is offended, especially when that apology is really only for the sake of saving an endorsement or cleaning up bad press.
With that said, this is not the case today. This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary.
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 realized 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.
"Jodeci Freestyle" was an unofficial release by Drake that came out June 22. Drake has not yet apologized for his involvement in the song, but a recent look at his SoundCloud page, the music-sharing site where he released the song, reveals that it has since been taken down.
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Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.