Who said public pressure, criticism, and petitions don’t matter?
Just days after PepsiCo pulled an offensive ad for its Mountain Dew brand, which featured upstart rapper Tyler, the Creator and his rap crew Odd Future, the soft drink giant also ended a deal with Lil Wayne.
Although Weezy’s publicist cited “creative differences,” many feel this move was due to the uproar caused when Wayne compared a violent sex act to the gruesome murder of Emmett Till in the song “Karate Chop.”
After the song went viral, many, including Till’s family, quickly condemned Wayne for the offensive lyrics, and apparently PepsiCo was listening.
During the firestorm surrounding the lyrics, Wayne sent a letter to the Till family apologizing for the song if they were offended, but the family rejected his note.
Airickca Gordon-Taylor, a cousin of Till’s, told USA Today, “I was not impressed.”
“I think that he’s kind of been pressured or he’s been admonished to make a statement to the family because of the ongoing negative publicity and attention and the pressure we’ve put onto his endorsement with Mountain Dew. I feel like it was an acknowledgment. He has finally, publicly acknowledged the ongoing outcry. It was not an apology. … However, I think it’s a start. I think the door is now open for us to have a sit-down, to have a dialogue.”
It looks like the family’s efforts paid off. PepsiCo ended its relationship with Lil Wayne, just weeks after Rick Ross lost a lucrative endorsement deal with Reebok over his controversial lyrics which encouraged date rape.
With companies caving to public pressure, will more rappers finally think before they spew violent, misogynistic lyrics? We’ll just have to wait and see.