J. Cole Apologizes For "Offensive" Line About Autism

J. Cole says his comments about people with autism on Drake's "Jodeci Freestyle" were "wrong" and left him "embarrassed."

J. Cole has apologized for an "offensive" line in his verse for Drake's "Jodeci Freestyle." The line in question makes a negative reference towards people with autism. 

"Fuck your list you, lame niggas and doubters

I'm undoubtedly the hottest and that's just me being modest

Go check the numbers dummy, that's just me gettin' started

I'm artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded"

The above scheme faced backlash soon after the track was released. Among the many who criticized Cole for this rhyme was Flannery. In a letter, Flannery wrote about her son's struggles with autism. "Please help me," Flannery wrote in an open letter to Cole in the Connor Chronicles. "I’m fighting, we’re fighting, for our son’s future; his survival and ability to navigate the world depend so much on what happens in these early years. Please don’t make our uphill climb an exercise in futility. We, and so many others, will never forgive you for that. Do the right thing. Lift our children up, don’t tear them down." 

Late Sunday (July 21), Cole apologized for the line with a letter of his own. The letter was attached to a Twitter post. It can be read below.


Recently there’s been a trend that includes rappers saying something

offensive, only to be attacked for it in the media and pressured to

apologize. I have to be completely honest and say there’s a part of me

that resents that. I view rap similar to how I view comedy. It’s going

to ruffle feathers at times. It’s going to go “too far”. 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.

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.

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.

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. I understand.

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.

Much Love

-Cole

According to Autism Speaks, which Cole referenced in the title of his letter, 1 in 88 American children are now on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD for short, and autism are general terms for different disorders. As Autism Speaks explains, "These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome." 

Others have also reached out to work with autism awareness efforts. 50 Tyson partnered with Autism Society of Minnesota. Murs has worked with children with autism at a camp. Bilal has also spoken about one of his sons, who has autism.

RELATED: Drake "Jodeci" 

79 Comments

  • Iya

    Fuck you Cole you bitch!

  • 8thstreetSHAWTY

    Label Made Em Do it

  • Anonymous

    New beats available @ www.winningteambeats.com

  • J. Cole Ain't Shit

    Fuck this scared nigga. Don't be saying no shit one day and apologizing the next.

  • J

    Great job J-Cole, You are definitely a man for admitting your error. The rest of the artists are boys for not coming for and retracting ignorant verses. You have my respect!

  • Anonymous

    He can do what the fuck he wants to do, stop worrying about another man worry about yourself broke ass muhfuckas, niggaz writing paragraphs about what he should do.If u want rap to go back to the essence of when niggaz said anything then wont u bring it back ya bish!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Artists are scared of saying the wrong things and having those certain lyrics publicized which will ruin lucrative endorsement opportunities. Cole saw Ross's twitter apology didn't do any good, so he wrote that short essay.

  • fan on the fence

    i have loved a lot of j coles music. crunch time is one of the most important hip hop tracks ever to me. i respect him for apologizing. i respect j cole and when he says offensive things such as this in his raps it pains me. cole doesnt have to sink to the level of using offensive language such as this and his homophobic remarks as well as excessive use of words that degrade women. i would love to see him evolve past all this. im not judging too heavily because i have been there but i think he is better then having to do that. i got faith in cole. as u said yourself rise above. i got faith in you... sincerely a true fan

    • Anonymous

      I believe that his fool will only learn from direct experience he will only know how it feels if he is to become a father to a child with autism & gives birth to a girl child who fucks everything in sight,

  • Cudder

    J.Cole is not a bitch for apologizing, even though he could've done without it. It's the bitch who said somethin about it that is the bitch. The reason y'all get on all this talk about not apologizing is cause y'all are not where J.Cole is. there's a reason why y'all typin' and he's ballin. Cole's the one who has to deal with a bunch of fans and the press and that shit, not any of you. y'all ain't got nothin to worry about. so of course y'all won't apologize. but maybe he's thinking ahead. he sure as hell didn't need to but better safe than sorry. it's these motherfuckers that gotta stop tripping on rap lyrics, I could understand the Rick Ross case but this is stupid as fuck. "do the right thing"? shut the fuck up he's a rapper you ho

  • Anthony

    Love Cole but dude straight looks like a bitch right now, When did hip hop become full of sensitive little bitches.

  • imnotoffended

    I'm not offended by it, it fits within the rhyme scheme, and I have Aspergers/Autism.

  • Anonymous

    what a fucking PUSSY. j cole is a nerd faggot. rap is a JOKE. apologize for autistic punch lines. but threatening to kill niggas and shitting on the next man working honest jobs is a-ok. j cole deserves a beating by an autistic man with retard strength.

  • COCA

    WHEN DID EVERYONE START GETTING SO SENSITIVE ABOUT RAP LYRICS ALL OF A SUDDEN??? WHY DON'T WE GO BACK TO PREVIOUSLY RELEASED ALBUMS AND START JUDGING EVERYTHING LITERALLY?? WHY DON'T WE JUST TAKE AWAY FREE SPEECH ANYWAY?? I THINK COLE IS AUTHENTIC AND I RESPECT HIM FOR THAT... BUT HIS MUSIC BORES THE FUCK OUT OF ME.

  • JRich

    Don't apologize for shit you say in a song. If u felt like it belonged in the there when you said it, and it took someone else not liking it to apologize, you aint really sorry. Just move on

  • Deshawn

    A lot of y'all are saying that its kinda unnecessary to apologize.. But these are people who are daily struggling to live in a regular society. People who often are castes out into social groups because their lack of being "normal" as ppl say.. I mean , all rappers say bitch shit and other words, which some ppl would take offense to of course, but this is a different case.. He said sum thing about autistic ppl that was uncalled for, and yeah ppl do have a freedom of speech, doesn't mean that makes what he said about autistic ppl right.. If y'all can't understand this grown up shit. Them y'all really need to grow.. Hip hop is music, there's a limit still..

    • Assassin221

      But he still said "retarded" in a derogatory way immediately after that. Shouldn't that be offensive to people with developmental disabilities? Everything you just said applies to them, too. In fact, him apologizing about autism and not even mentioning saying "retarded" is kind of like a big fuck you to that group. So where do you draw the line?

    • Anonymous

      I co-sign with ye man. Although there is freedom of speech Cole said something that he though was offensive so he apologized, it don't matter if people are with it or against it because it was his decision to apologize.

  • tde

    props to J. Cole. Grown man shit. Ya'll hatin are immature and would never understand.

  • Whatthahell

    Hip Hop is getting soft, since when we have to apologize everything we say? The hack is going on, rap ain't the same as it use to be with all these Emo faggots tryna rap (not speaking about J Cole btw). but this is ridiculous. In 2020 you will hear people say sorry because they used ''fuck'' in their lines..

  • Anonymous

    SMFH!. Mother fuckers are just going to have to stop using metaphors right now... SMFH!

  • Chantal F. Griffith

    just as Terry answered I cant believe that people able to get paid ($)9183 in four weeks on the computer. did you look at this website... WWWCAN99.COM

  • J. Cole Ain't Shit

    Whatever, half-nigga, nobody heard that song anyway.

  • jrm6ipcxb@gmail.com

    Since when is it a trend to apologize over a lyric? I would understand if you had some endorsements that got dropped but that's not the case. In rap, we've had worst. I'm not a real Cole fan but I can listen to him but shit like this is what makin' people soft. But good for him for apologizing.

  • Nuff Said...

    I honestly feel like everybody is becoming too sensitive now days. I mean dmn, some things are tacky and uncalled for like lil waynes emmit til line, but this? really?? Pretty soon you aint gon be able to say "bitch" in yo lyrics or next thing you know bitches gon get offended! Or PETA is gonna step forward in deffense of female dogs or some stupid shit... This is gettin ridiculous. smh I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FREEDOME OF SPEECH!?!?!?!?!?

  • Anonymous

    funny shit considering Gay Cole looks like HE'S retarded

  • Someone

    I will preface this by saying that I have a very mild case of Asperger's Syndrome, but while that lyric wasn't exactly PC, it doesn't bother me too much, that said, I applaud him for recognizing that what he said may have come across in a way that he didn't intend, and his apology showed his maturity. Much respect to him as a person and an artist.

  • D-Banger

    As a dude with an autistic brother, it's all good with Cole now that he apologized. Salute to him on that. But, at the end of the day, people who cut ass on autistic young'ns are the real retards here. Real Talk.

  • Anonymous

    good looks cole

  • Come On

    I'm not the biggest J.cole Fan out there as I think he is slightly overrated.....but the Guys owned up to his mistake and apologized about it give him a break, it's not like all of you down here cutting him up a commenting about this negitivaly hasn't made mistakes either or have said ignorant shit in your freestyles.. so quit trying to act like you guys are all perfect be real we all fuck up sometimes.

  • Anonymous

    Cynical, lying buffoon. Rappers will say anything nowadays to fill a gap and appreciate the attention. If you paid more attention to your craft instead of your PR, you'd be a passable rapper.

    • ETK

      if you paid more attention on your life than hatin on a rapper for bullshit reasons, you'd be further from where you are he just dropped an album, bout to go gold and sucka niggas tellin him to focus on his craft... fuck outta here

  • Anonymous

    I have aspergers and my brother has Autism and hearing what he said doesn't really make me angry or anything i just think it was stupid.

  • Anonymous

    Dis nigga should also be apologizing for how ugly he is and how much of an average rapper he is.

  • Bobyahed2dis

    What a bitchmade nigga for this. Who is a rapper and apologizes for what he said. Real niggas like Chief Keef say something and mean it! Yolo!

  • Anonymous

    Autistic people aren't "retarded" they are two completely different mental conditions. Autistic does not equal stupid. They are alot of mathematical geniuses that have autism. there are also people who with mild autism who function like pretty much normal people in society thats why Cole wanted to apologize. the line didnt really offend me i just thought it was kinda ignorant/low class. big ups to Cole for recognizing it

  • Assassin221

    I deal with autism on my job and it's no joke BUT in the realm of offensive rap lyrics, this doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Why doesn't he apologize to the mentally retarded community while he's at it? One reason I love hip-hop is because people can bullshit and talk straight without being all sensitive and PC all the time. Not really feeling this trend of apologies going around for every little thing.

  • Kramer

    Stop apologizing for all the pussies in the world. Say what you want

  • Anonymous

    RESPECT!! Cole world!

  • Burmy

    I'm still waiting for Tyga to apologize for "Like conscious rappers, mad 'cause we winnin'" from "Lapdance".

  • Anonymous

    props for a genuine apology that appears to be written by him and not some publicist like in officer ricky and waynes cases

  • Anonymous

    He shouldn't apologize, just because some people got angry. Sensitive bitches everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    i heard chief keef was pretty pissed cole was making fun of his condition

  • Anonymous

    Oh my god it's a rap, why is everyone so sensitive? why do people take lines like that so far and get so offended. It's just a line in a rap. If you don't like it, ignore it, quit making a damn problem out of something you could just leave alone. I swear people just watch and wait for successful rappers to make a line that they can get smoke up their ass about. You offended autistic people, that makes me sad, give me lots of money so you don't look like an insensitive jackass. It's a damn scheme, I don't care if a rapper says something offensive, it aint a problem till some bitch gets offended. While she's out trying to crucify Cole for his money and making a big deal out of a poxy line in a rap song that her kid probably doesn't listen to, she could be at home ignoring it and happily getting on with looking after her retarded child that she's supposedly defending. She wants his money and she's trying to use her son to get it, if anything that's sicker than the lyric she's got sand in her vagina about. Cole can say what he wants, free speech.

    • Kramer

      Yeah, really. People need to stop being so sensitive. And rappers need to stop apologizing for a lyrics

    • jake

      Cole apologized cause he knew he created a stupid line for pure shock value. The reason he needed to apologize is so dumb ass kids such as yourself wouldnt start going around calling a persons autistic child her "retarded child". Shows your ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    i salute this nigga

  • Anonymous

    Lil wayne and Rick Ross could learn a thing or two from this dude......applaud J-cole for this

  • Geko

    We rap we don't think/Playboy

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