Lil Wayne stirred up a lot of controversy with the line, “Beat the pu**y up like Emmett Till” from the “Karate Chop” remix with Future. The lyric references the case of a 14-year-old black boy who was brutally beaten and killed in 1955 for flirting with a white woman. The Till family was so outraged that they pushed for Wayne to lose his endorsement deal with Mountain Dew, and now Wayne has responded with this letter to the family:
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.
Best, Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. Lil Wayne