Shortly after hip hop artists Drake and J. Cole released their song “Jodeci Freestyle” in June, it created an uproar in the autism community. Taking aim at those with autism, the song supported negative stereotypes and misconceptions of this condition.
Playing on multiple radio station across the nation, it contained the following lyrics by J. Cole:
“I’m artistic, you n—-s is autistic, retarded.”
But only a week after The Autism Site petitioned Clear Channel to discontinue playing the song, both artists have taken responsibility for their wrongdoings. Due to the backlash received from his negative lyrics about autism in “Jodeci Freestyle,” J. Cole has issued a public apology via a letter to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.
“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.”
His co-collaborator Drake, has also expressed his apologies and the pair have agreed to remove the offending lyric via a new radio edit.
“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.”
Our petition, “Tell Clear Channel Radio Stations Not To Play Drake Featuring J. Cole’s “Jodeci Freestyle,”” was able to generate 8,000 and some signatures, showing the support our audience has for autism. We are proud of this accomplishment and hope to educate, and raise awareness and sensitivity towards autism.
To show your support please check out a number of other petitions for autism here.Whizzco