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The bestselling American rapper J Cole says he plans to educate himself about people with autism after apologizing for an offensive lyric in his song 'Jodeci Freestyle.' The rapper, who became the first artist to sign to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, has now removed the lyric which referred to his rivals as "autistic" and "retarded".
"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," J Cole wrote on his blog, DreamVillain.
J Cole had performed the song with the hugely popular Canadian rapper Drake, who followed suit and apologized on his website on Monday.
"I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused. 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,"
The lyrics had drew criticism from people with autism spectrum disorder - typically characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties and cognitive delay - and their families.
The blogger Lou Melgarejo, whose daughter has autism, asked the two artists to consider the impact of their lyrics. "Ultimately, you are free to say/rap/sing whatever you want," he wrote in a post for Autism Speaks. "I am just asking that you please stop insulting those who often cannot defend themselves."