Yesterday saw the arrival of Drake‘s new Care Package compilation, which curates a bunch of old fan favorites from the 6 rapper, including his 2013 collab with J. Cole, “Jodeci Freestyle.” However, you may or may not have realized, the song has undergone a very slight rework, with a notoriously controversial lyric from Cole’s verse being removed. Though Cole’s part from the track is arguably considered to be some of his best feature work, its appraisal was badly affected by a line Cole rapped that, if you recall, upset more than a few people when it came out at the time.
“Go check the numbers dummy, that’s just me gettin’ started/I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded,” the North Carolina rapper spits during his lengthy verse. The latest version featured on Care Package omits the last part of the line, and leaves instead, a blank after the word “you” and picks up at the next bar. At the time the song came out, after receiving backlash for it, Cole made the decision to apologize to the public, saying in a statement: “In a recent verse on the song ‘Jodeci Freestyle,’ I said something highly offensive to people with Autism,” Cole said in a released statement. “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.” But the Anti-Bullying Alliance was hot on his trail, and a petition against the track was even started, and gained 4,500 signatures. Drake also took to releasing an apologetic statement, saying “I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused,” he wrote on his OVO blog. “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.” And now it seems he has indeed righted his wrong. Check out the old version up top and the new one below.