Lil Wayne acknowledges hurt to Emmett Till family ... but they're not buying
May 2nd, 2013
05:04 PM ET

Lil Wayne acknowledges hurt to Emmett Till family ... but they're not buying

Lil Wayne, in a letter to the family of Emmett Till, has acknowledged the hurt he caused in a song lyric that compared his sexual prowess to the decimated body of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old whose brutal 1955 murder helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement.

The controversy he's responding to stems all the way back to February, when a remix of a song called "Karate Chop" by the rapper Future leaked. In his contribution to "Karate Chop," Wayne said he'd "beat that p***y like Emmett Till."

In 1955, Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he allegedly whistled at a white woman. He was later abducted, tortured and killed.

Till's family has been outspoken with their disapproval, which at the time prompted Epic Records to apologize and pull the lyric from the authorized version of the track.

According to Rolling Stone, the record label said in a statement that it regrets 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 ... we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version."

Wayne remained quiet, even as the Till family said they'd start approaching corporate sponsors - like Mountain Dew, which is presently in hot water over a collaboration with a different rapper - to drop the artist.

On Wednesday, Wayne shared an open letter, posted on MissInfo.tv, saying that he "cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure," and that "Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner."

But the Till family said in a statement on the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation's Facebook page that they don't see what Wayne said as an apology.

“We are aware of Lil Wayne's statement of acknowledgement of our family's pain and our disapproval of referencing Emmett Till in his lyrical content," the statement says. "While it's commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till and his memory to 'not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music,' this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned.”

Wayne's full letter is below:

"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.
Lil Wayne


Filed under: Celebrities • Music

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. SKY

    WE CAN'T GO BACK...LOOK FORWARD....COKE IS KING ANYWAY....CUT YOUR LOSS AND
    MAN, ENJOY YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY.....I TELL ALL WEALTHY PEOPLE, GET RID OF THE LEECHES
    THESE ARE FAKE FRIENDS, RELATIVES, WHO IS ABOUT NOTHING BUT MONEY....

    May 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. we are not black leave me alone...i worked for black guy who live in your town...shut up

    00

    May 6, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. BJean

    Folks of his ilk think they are above things like manners, basic decency and humanity. Stop listening to their hate fill garbage people. When their pocket book is affected their message will change.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. PR MAVEN

    Dear Little Wayne's PR Team:

    Your damage control is SO generic, I can do a much better job! that letter looks like something I drafted in my freshmen year in college. If little waye wrote that instead of a PR professional, SHAME ON YOU!

    Even if he wasn't sincere about his apology or acknowledgement! At least make the tone of the letter seem legit..SMH

    Sincerely,

    An Entry level PR pro! :0)

    May 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. M.A.P.

    That's really really disappointing, Lil Wayne is one of only a few rappers that I think are actually good. Now I jzust think he really is an ignorant moron like so many of his peers. Boo Lil Wayne!

    May 3, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. jimmer

    "beat that p***y like Emmett Till."

    Welcome to black culture.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • mariahlover99

      You will not label the Black community as a whole based on THIS. That is extremely unfair and ridiculous. Grow up.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Everyone knows the black joke dear...

    you are not doing anything all day either.

    May 3, 2013 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. ※Sadie※

    That was a nice non apology, Lil Wayne. Apologies usually have an "I'm sorry" in it.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. Malcom Y

    I find Little Wayne's comment rac!st

    May 3, 2013 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Far from a doctor.

    One more interview monday and then they vote yes or no.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Offer tomorrow.

    what a shame.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dr E

    He is SUCH an idiot! I'm sure HE didn't write that letter, those words are MUCH to big for that fool.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris P

      lol, he was a straight A honor student and graduated college. probably knows bigger and more complicated words then you.

      May 3, 2013 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • jimmer

      You are a complete and total moron.

      Wayne diopped out of school at 14. He never even went to high school let alone college.

      Fvcking idiot.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. daddys flat screen...

    how is that going...

    May 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Going down, mouthful of paste...

    .

    May 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. going down on him

    when your in a relationship your have too take care of him...sheesh

    May 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. SKY

    FACT: HE IS FEELING THE OTHER PERSONS PAIN....SOME PEOPLE NEVER DO.....
    TRUE WISDOM IS DO TO OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO DO TO YOU!
    YOU DID MORE THAN SAY YOU WERE SORRY, YOU HAD ACTIONS YOU REACHED
    OUT TO THE PEOPLE YOU HURT, THIS IS A GOOD DAY.

    May 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  17. 09 link

    all her fault.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Johnudemba

    Some Artist of today do not understand how their actions plays a role in this digital Age. No matter how much word play you actually try to mix, always think about how those words that you are playing with can affect your family, fans and the ears that are listening. No need to mention a Man who died for our civil rights in songs that dont even make sense...KARATE CHOP.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Samaricanin

    Last Saturday I bought a top of the range Mercedes-Benz S-class from having made $7607 this past 5 weeks and also $10,000 last month. This is really the most financially rewarding work I've ever done. I started this 8 months ago and right away was making at least $87 per hour. This is what I do Rich4.Com__

    May 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Twitter Texts Checked Out--YES

    what's my fone passworld reesey?...

    May 2, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Olivia

    Most blacks talk like that in all the songs they have brought up many controversial events in lyrics for years.

    May 2, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  22. stunned

    Evidently this rap artist has no sense of the history of civil rights. A complete and utter shame.

    May 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Knocking me off the system is called hacking...

    thanks

    May 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  24. 09 link

    If the entertainer knew....then prices have too be paid in the entertainment business.....gee i hope not...sheesh

    May 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |

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