Saying controversial things to get a rise out of listeners is nothing new in the world of hip-hop, but in recent years that act has come under more and more scrutiny. Rick Ross faced months of criticism earlier this year when his lyrics were perceived to plainly endorse rape, and now J. Cole is doing his best to get ahead of trouble before it gets out of control.
Back in June, J. Cole partnered with Drake, to release a new freestyle in celebration of his Born Sinner album release. The track was a hit, but one line from Cole began drawing negative criticism. The lyric “I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded” has been angering members of the autistic community, and Cole has now stepped forward with an apology. His letter, which was released through his blog, 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
The only thing better than knowing 2013 will host new albums from J. Cole and Drake is finding out the two just released a freestyle together for the world to enjoy. Fortunately, that’s exactly what brings us together today.
Hitting the net over the weekend, “Jodeci” is a new freestyle from Drake and Cole that was recorded in recent weeks. Both emcees offer verses highlighting their lives, their hustle, and the family that keeps them grounded. It’s a solid track that should go a long way towards keeping fans hungry for the album. You can stream “Jodeci” at the end of this post.
J. Cole’s new album Born Sinner is available now. Drake’s latest, Nothing Was The Same, hits stores September 17. (more…)
Scheduled for release June 18 alongside new albums from Kanye West and Mac Miller, J. Cole’s Born Sinner is the twenty-something MCs second full length label effort. The release leaked in full at the end of last week, and this newly surfaced stream is Cole’s best attempts to keep illegal downloading at bay. Don’t give in to temptation, stream the album here and resist downloading a copy until street date. We believe in you!
Kicking off in Miami on June 11, the ‘Dollar & A Dream’ tour with find J. Cole hitting a series of cities with shows only costing a single dollar for entry. There is a catch, of course, and that is where the fun begins. Though Cole has unveiled every tour date, he has not announced the venues. Those hoping to attend these nearly-free gigs will have to watch the singer’s social media feeds the day of the individual performance and do their best to make it to whatever venue is named. First come, first served. Dates can be found below.
Born Sinner arrives June 18. (more…)
In a recent tweet to fans, J. Cole unveiled that Born Sinner will now arrive in stores June 25. He offered no reasoning for the added delay, but we’ll just chalk it up to needing additional time to perfect.
Hoping to keep angry fans on his bandwagon, Cole did offer fans the visuals for his latest single “Power Trip” a few hours after announcing the Born Sinner delay. You can view the video, which features crooner Miguel, below. The video is directed by Nabil and was shot in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. (more…)
OurStage artist Jitta On The Track has been making big waves since he won the OurStage “Rise” Competition and landed a coveted opening slot on Drake’s Club Paradise Tour. He’s since been signed to DAS Communications, the management company that has handled artists from Ke$ha to The Black Eyed Peas, and has even been featured on MTV News and Vibe. And judging by the official announcement of his upcoming album’s release date, it looks like he’s keeping in close touch with some of the buds he made on tour. In a brief announcement from the set of the “Alphabet Soup” music video, Jitta tells us that the album is going to drop on Thanksgiving Day and teases some of the artists who will have feature spots. He’s censored some of the bigger names to keep them secret, but we think we can make out at least J. Cole and French Montana, both of whom he met on The Club Paradise Tour. Sure helps to have friends in high places, doesn’t it? See if you can guess who the other spots will be!
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Hip-hop artist Jitta On The Track has proven just how powerful an OurStage opportunity can be. Back in May, Jitta was selected as the winner of the “Rise” Competition, and immediately hit the road. Traveling in style on his OurStage.com customized tour bus, he joined Drake, J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, and more of hip-hop’s finest on the Club Paradise Tour. Jitta opened 22 shows of the tour, hung out with his favorite artists and performed to thousands of new fans for an entire month.
This opportunity launched him from Connecticut’s most promising up-and-comer to an artist recognized by the likes of MTV News and AllHipHop.com. In fact, while on the road, Jitta was able to sign a deal with industry heavyweights DAS Communications, the management team responsible for breaking artists like Ke$ha and The Black Eyed Peas. We look forward to seeing this ambitious young artist continue to do big things in the years to come!
Check out this recap of Jitta’s incredible experience on the Club Paradise Tour:
This week’s SoundTrax is hereby dedicated to all the awesome music festivals this summer. Whether you’ve been to every festival this year, or if you’ve missed them all completely, we’re offering a recap of this season’s standouts and giving you a taste of what’s still to come. Enjoy some of your favorite music from Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Firefly, Kahbang, and many more.
Bad Rabbits get things going with their indie pop number, “Neverland,” followed by tracks from Late Cambrian, Passion Pit, and The Dirty Guv’nahs. Later we hear “Be Mine” from The Alabama Shakes, “Lights Please” from J Cole, and “The Zephyr Song” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also in the mix are The Gaslight Anthem, Young The Giant, and many, many more. Enjoy the festivities!
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The Real Hip Hop Network’s “Rise” Competition is officially a wrap. The competition garnered entries from over 1,400 hip hop acts nationwide, with fans completing over 350,000 judging battles to help select a winner. That winner is finally here and his name is Jitta On The Track. Jitta is a Connecticut-based MC primed for success. With heavy rotation both in clubs and on Connecticut radio, and an ever increasing online fan base, Jitta is ready to take his game to the next level. He’ll be joining Drake, J. Cole and Wacka Flocka Flame on the Club Paradise Tour beginning this Thursday, May 17 in Houston, TX. Check out his reaction to the news in the video below and stay tuned for updates on his tour experience.