Lil Wayne has never claimed to be a beacon of positivity or an agent of social change, but this goes too far even for him. On the remix of a new track “Karate Chop,” with Future, Lil Wayne raps that he’s going to “pop a pill” then “beat that p*ssy like Emmett Till.” Emmett Till is the slain 15-year old who was beaten mercilessly and beyond recognition to his death for allegedly whistling at a white woman in the Jim Crow South in 1955. His courageous mother, Mamie Till Mobley, had him buried in an open casket to show the world what racism and hate did to her son. The tragic ordeal angered many across the world and was one of the horrific injustices that sparked the civil rights movement.
Lil Wayne, however, sees it as fodder for a comparison to mediocre sex in one of his rap songs. Several people have spoken out against the highly-offensive line, including Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and writer dream hampton who tweeted:
The Till family also responded via spokesperson Gordon Taylor, saying: “I just couldn’t understand how he could compare the gateway to life to the brutality and punishment of death.”
Epic Records is now pulling the song. They released the following statement: “We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future’s `Karate Chop,’ which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics. Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version.”
L.A. Reid also reportedly contacted the Till family with a personal apology, according to a post on the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation’s Facebook page that reads:
“Mr. Reid stated the song was leaked out and he had not heard the lyrics. He is a man of integrity that values our family’s legacy and wouldn’t allow such heinous usage of Emmett Till’s name or dishonor his memory. We have yet to hear from Lil Wayne’s camp and he is the one that said it! It was all I could do to hold back my tears while engaged in conversation. Thank you Mr. Reid for now I can exhale.”
Lil Wayne’s lyrics are highly deplorable but hardly surprising. Wayne’s found fame glorifying crime and fast money and disrespecting women and now, African-American history. He couldn’t have had better timing considering February is black history month.