A friend of mine once said, “Correctly applied heavy effort is greater than hard work.” The family of Emmett Till must have heard that saying before because just days after they said they would pressure Mountain Dew to drop Lil Wayne as a celebrity spokesperson for his insensitive rap lyric referencing Emmett Till, Weezy penned an emotional letter sympathizing for his actions.
On the remix of Future’s “Karate Chop,” Lil Wayne rapped the line, “Beat the p***y like Emmett Till,” which caused public outrage. The Tills asked for an apology and for the reference to be removed from the song back in February when the track first leaked. However, Lil Wayne kept his mouth shut about the whole thing. Future’s record company, Epic Records, took action by removing the disrespectful reference and issuing an apology to the Till family. Still, Lil Wayne was silent which made people believe he didn’t care one way or another.
Dear Till Family:
As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists.
It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist’s song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys.
Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record’s decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue.
I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.