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Lil Wayne causes outrage with rap mocking civil rights hero Emmett Till

Lil Wayne causes outrage with rap mocking civil rights hero Emmett Till

Epic Records apologises for rapper's reference to Emmett Till, a black teenager murdered in 1955, after his family complain

Sean Michaels; guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 February 2013 07.10 EST

Lil Wayne's record label has sought to expunge all traces of a Lil Wayne rap from the internet, after the family of a murdered civil rights icon complained about its derogatory reference to him.

The track in question is Future's Karate Chop (remix), on which Wayne appears as a guest. "Pop a lot of pain pills," Lil Wayne raps. "Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels/ Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till." Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Till's cousin, said the lines were "offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors and to women and to [the artists] themselves as young, black men".

Till was only 14 years old when he was tortured and killed for reportedly flirting with a white woman in Mississippi. His death, in 1955, was a galvanising moment for the US civil rights movement, and thousands of people attended his funeral. His killers were acquitted, but – protected by "double jeopardy" – were later able to admit to the murder without suffering any legal consequences.

"Our family was very offended, very hurt ... [and] disturbed by it," Gordon-Taylor said of the rap. "We found it dishonorable to [Emmett's] name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture … I just couldn't understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I feel as though they have no pride and no dignity as black men."

"We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future's Karate Chop, which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics," Epic Records said in a statement.

The Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, founded by Till's mother, is now calling on radio stations to boycott Karate Chop (remix), and asking DJ Smallz to pull the song from its release on an upcoming mixtape. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, their campaign may have been successful: yesterday afternoon, Epic CEO LA Reid said that the Emmett Till line has been cut from the "official version" of Wayne's track. "We understand the sensitivity of this," Reid said. He also contacted the Till family to apologise. The rapper has yet to comment.

by Anonymousreply 1602/18/2013

Disgusting.

by Anonymousreply 102/16/2013

I don't know which is worse, Lil Wayne writing and singing those lyrics or Epic Records and L.A. Reid allowing them to be recorded and released.

by Anonymousreply 202/16/2013

The only positive thing about this is that it has been a top story on black blogs this week, introducing the historical significance of Emmett Till's life to many young people right in the middle of black history month.

by Anonymousreply 302/16/2013

Jesus christ, does Lil Wayne know what the perpetrators DID to Emmett Till? I was watching a documentary and there was a graphic description, and then there were photos ... I was goddamn scarred and changed the channel. No one sane could joke about that.

by Anonymousreply 402/17/2013

It's no worse than what Eminem rapped about Versace, and practically the entire music world defended him. Believe me I think this is despicable, but I also hate the double standard that it was ok for Eminem, as long as he directed it at gays.

by Anonymousreply 502/17/2013

It's worse, R5. Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 602/17/2013

LA Reid can say "sowwwwwy" all he wants, but this is a disgusting shit sandwich.

There's the fact that Lil Wayne is vile enough to say it.

And then there's the fact that money speaks, and that the ugliness in much of rap is the bottom line, and as long as the money is coming in fuck common sense, basic decency, etc.

by Anonymousreply 702/17/2013

Did LA Reid just issue some press release or did he address this in person? Has Lil Wayne been heard from?

by Anonymousreply 802/17/2013

I didn't know people still listened to this guy.

by Anonymousreply 902/17/2013

What pisses me off as well is that this piece of shit has a huge fan base and his illiterate ass is filthy rich.

by Anonymousreply 1002/17/2013

Lil Wayne has been making lots of racially offensive things for awhile. Awhile ago he was making derogatory comments about dark skinned black women.

The real problem is why people are supporting disgusting "artist." I realize the record companies want money, but no white person would get away with saying these things. Hopefully people will boycott all arenas, radio stations, and stadiums that Lil Wayne attempts to play at.

by Anonymousreply 1102/17/2013

What a dumb fool. Hip Hop used to be witty, fun, poetic, politically aware,satirical ... and now we have this thing. How did we go from Slick Rick, Biz Markie, Dougie Fresh, Biggie, Tupac, Outkast, The Roots, Public Enemy, Arrested Developed, De La soul, A Tribe Called Quest...to this disgusting, no talent, mumbling ,incoherent creature? I can't believe it has fans. But Chris B. has fans so I shouldn't be so surprised. These record companies today are ridiculous, pathetic, and psychotic.

by Anonymousreply 1202/17/2013

OMG. I can't believe he could be so dumb.

by Anonymousreply 1302/17/2013

Oh and to hell with L.A. Reid too! Asshole!

by Anonymousreply 1402/17/2013

LA Reid @LA_Reid

Epic Records @Epic_Records

Lil Wayne WEEZY F @LilTunechi

EmmettTillLegacyFdn @EmmettTill

by Anonymousreply 1502/17/2013

r12, don't act like there wasn't nasty shit back in the day.

Geto Boys, 2LiveCrew, etc. Em was violent as hell, too, especially towards women.

I'm not saying this is the same thing, but it wasn't all bougie sunshine.

As someone who supports free expression, this is the shit I hate defending.

I don't agree with boycotts, either, because they tend to be ill-informed, petty political score settling.

The best thing to do would be to ignore it. I think he did it because his career is waning and he knew it would put his name on people's lips.

by Anonymousreply 1602/18/2013
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