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Drake Follows J. Cole's Lead, Apologizes for Controversial Autism Lyrics

Drake, Grammys Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Drake's making "headlines" for the all the wrong reasons.

The Canadian rapper is joining fellow artist J. Cole in apologizing for an offensive lyric about autism the latter contributed to Drake's song "Jodeci Freestyle" after taking heat from special interest groups representing those affected by the developmental disorder.

"I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused," wrote the hitmaker on his website. "Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted. 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."

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Cole sparked a protest from the Anti-Bullying Alliance for the controversial rhyme: "I'm artistic, you n-----rs is autistic, retarded."

The organization subsequently launched a petition on behalf of autistic individuals and their families which, according to Spin, collected over 4,500 signatures demanding the line be scrubbed from the tune.

Heeding the backlash, Cole noted that rap music often stirs controversy over lyrical content, but said he realized he had crossed a line and issued what Drake called a "beautiful and moving apology" on his blog.

"I realized right away that what I said was wrong," wrote the hip-hopster. "I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough to say something so hurtful. What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better."

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He added: "To the entire Autism community who expressed outrage…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."

Cole concluded by vowing to educate himself on the subject of autism.

Perhaps now Jon Stewart will invite both he and Drake to make further amends by performing on his annual A Night of Too Many Stars Comedy Central benefit in New York, raising money for autism education and family service programs around the country.

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