October 25, 2016

J. Cole (DJ Zeke cropped out)
By COLE_ZEKE_WIKI.jpg: Candice Rose, LBF! derivative work: C.Fred (talk) Candice Rose

We have been following developments on J.Cole and Drake’s single Jodeci Freestyle for a few weeks now, expecting news of the removal of the lyric which has caused explosions within the Autism Community.

The song, released on Saturday June 22nd cause an uproar within the Autism Community, with numerous complaints online, in print and aired on TV.

An online petition by Anna Kennedy OBE, a mother of two Autistic sons, gathered support from celebrities, and over 4,500 people signed for an apology and a removal of the lyric.

On Saturday July 27, Drake added his voice to the debate. J.cole published his apology on July 21. Canadian-born drake blogged on Saturday:

“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. J. Cole and I believe that it is the right, responsible, and respectful decision to remove the lyric from the song.”

Having penned the lyric a few months earlier, we wonder whether he thought it was acceptable to use it when it was first written or is it a knee-jerk reaction to the outrage it has caused? It all comes a little too late for the multitude of fans who are individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and for the families of the Autism Community.

Holly Robinson Pete, a mother of a 15  year old Autistic fan of Drake’s, commented whilst speaking to Salon journalist Mary Elizabeth Williams:

“It [the lyric] is an issue. I just don’t know that these artists understand the power that they have. Because my son is struggling to fit in. And I mean struggling. So when I see an artist with this kind of following, who is writing not just ‘autistic,’ but trying to make it the new R-word, it’s not going to happen on our watch… I hope he apologizes and I hope he takes it out. Take it out.”

The lyric is set to be dubbed from all versions sold of the song as of July 29.




About the author 

Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.

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