Rapper Lil Wayne has issued an apology to Emmett Till’s family after he rapped about the murdered African-American teenager in Future’s track Karate Chop. In an unauthorized remix of the song, the hip-hop star makes reference to Till, who was brutally pistol-whipped and murdered in 1955 for flirting with a white girl in America’s Deep South, rapping, “Beat the p**sy up like Emmett Till.” The lyric infuriated Till’s family, who claimed the tune was insensitive and disrespectful to the tragic 14 year old’s memory, prompting activists to petition bosses at Mountain Dew to drop Lil Wayne as a spokesman due to his behaviour.
And now the Lollipop hitmaker, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., has personally offered up an apology to Till’s relatives after the song was pulled from the Internet by bosses at Epic Records. In an open letter addressed to the Till family, he writes, “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.”