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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Drake sorry after criticizing Rolling Stone for dropping his cover for Hoffman

TORONTO - Toronto rapper Drake has issued a lengthy apology a day after taking issue with Rolling Stone's decision to replace him on the cover with actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose earlier this month.

The 27-year-old posted the statement to his blog, noting that he wanted to clear the air about an "extremely emotional day."

He had previously complained via Twitter that Rolling Stone swapped his cover for one featuring Hoffman without warning, and swore off doing magazine interviews in the future.

On Friday, however, he said that he completely supports and agrees with the decision to feature Hoffman, calling him "one of the most incredible actors of our time and a man that deserves to be immortalized by this publication."

He continued that he was frustrated with the way the switch was executed and with the fact that he was "not able to salvage (his) story or (his) photos and that was devastating."

He added that he felt "violated" that the magazine ran the issue without giving him a choice whether or not to be featured, and if he had been given that opportunity, he would have waited his turn for a cover.

The Grammy winner was nevertheless contrite.

"I apologize to anybody who took my initial comments out of context because in no way would I ever want to offend the Hoffman family or see myself as bigger than that moment," he said. "I am still the same person. Today I was forced out of character and felt the need to react swiftly. These days are the worst ones. Waking up after a great night in the studio and it's your day to be picked apart.

"After dwelling on it for a few hours or days you will come to the conclusion that you brought it on yourself almost every time," he added. "So here I am having that moment. I once again apologize to everybody who took my cover comments the wrong way. I respect Rolling Stone for being willing to give a kid from Toronto a shot at the cover. I guess this is a day to learn and grow."

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