(Updated: July 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM CT)
After making critical mentions about autism in a recently-released song, a hip-hop recording artist is apologizing.
J. Cole took heat in recent weeks from many autism advocates over a verse he contributed to Drake’s “Jodeci Freestyle.” In the song, Cole says that he’s “artistic” while his rivals are “autistic, retarded.”
Now the rapper is expressing regret.
“When I first saw a comment from someone outraged about the lyric, I realized right away that what I said was wrong,” Cole wrote in a blog post. “I should have known better.”
Cole said the criticism directed his way prompted him to read stories online about parents’ experiences raising children with autism and he is now looking to education himself more about the developmental disorder.
“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,” Cole wrote.
Drake subsequently took to his blog to apologize as well and indicated that the lyric will be removed from the song.