Lil Wayne has finally apologized to the family of Emmett Till for his vile use of the tragic teen’s name in a song called “Karate Chop.” In the song, Wayne crudely raps, “Beat the pu–y up like Emmett Till”, making reference to the brutal assault that resulted in Till’s death in 1955 in Mississippi at the hands of white supremacists.
Not surprisingly, the highly offensive line outraged Till’s family. Although it was ultimately removed from the song, Till’s family pushed to have Wayne apologize and vowed to put pressure on Mountain Dew to drop the 30-year-old hip-hop star as a spokesperson.
Wayne hasn’t said much about the controversy since the song’s release in February, but on Wednesday, the “No Worries” rapper released an appropriately contrite letter to the Till family that expressed his regret and revealed his decision to not perform the offending lyrics.
“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.
Reporting by Mara The Hip Hop Socialite