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Originally published February 22, 2013

Family of Emmett Till Speaks Out Against Lil’ Wayne Lyric

by Krishana Davis
AFRO Staff Writers

  •   Click on the photo to view additional Photos.
    This undated file photo shows Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old Chicago boy, who was brutally murdered near Money, Mississippi, Aug. 31, 1955, after whistling at a white woman. Epic Records is going to "great efforts" to take down a new Future remix leaked over the weekend with a vulgar lyric by Lil Wayne that has offended the family of Emmett Till. (AP File Photo)

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New Orleans born rapper Lil’ Wayne has never shied away from controversial lyrics, but a recent line he contributed to rapper Future’s “Karate Chop (Remix)” has brought a new round of criticism.

On the original version, Lil’ Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., compared rough sex to the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till, an African-American boy who was brutally beaten, shot and thrown into Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River with a cotton gin around his neck after allegedly whistling at a White woman.

The Till family released an open letter to the rapper which was published in Vibe magazine.

“When you spit lyrics like ‘beat the p--y up like Emmett Till’, not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till’s memory and name, but the impact of his murder in Black history along with the degradation of women,” wrote Airicka Gordon-Taylor, one of Till’s cousins.

R&B artist Stevie Wonder, a noted fan of Lil’Wayne’, also spoke out on the lyrics.

“You can’t equate that to Emmett Till,” Wonder told the Associated Press. “You just cannot do that.

Rapper Future defended Lil’ Wayne’s lyrics, telling MTV News, “The record it was done from a good place, good art, he ain’t have no bad intentions when he was thinking about it like that.”

The song was released online by Epic Records, which said Feb. 20 that it was working to remove the track from availability, and would remove the offending line when it’s released later this year. Gordon-Taylor told the AP that Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid reached out to her that same day in a conference call which included the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

“Once he [Reid] got the point he realized this was beyond the zone and he immediately pulled it,” Jackson told the AP. “And he talked with both artists, who agreed."

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