Offensive lyrics dropped from Lil Wayne rap that referred to slaying of Emmett Till
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org February 13, 2013 11:26PM
Updated: March 15, 2013 1:37PM
Prolific rapper Lil Wayne carved a place for himself in hip-hop history with his uniquely whiny voice, bumping rhythms and ability to rhyme just about anything.
But this week, he also carved himself an infamous Black History Month notation, sparking outrage by including civil rights icon Emmett Till in lyrics referring to a woman’s anatomy.
“Pop a lot of pain pills/’Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels/Beat that p - - - - up like Emmett Till,” Wayne raps in “Karate Chop,” a song by rapper Future.
Under pressure from the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, on Wednesday Future was forced by Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid to drop the lyrics.
“He apologized to me and our family and stated the song is being pulled!” the foundation’s director, Airickca Gordon-Taylor posted on Facebook on Wednesday evening. She had led an uprising that burgeoned on social media.
Her cousin, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicagoan, was killed in 1955, allegedly for whistling at a white woman. Emmett was kidnapped from his bed in Money, Miss., beaten and shot in the head, and his body was dropped in a river, weighted down with a cotton ginning fan, on Aug. 28, 1955. His mother, Mamie Till Mobley, chose an open-casket funeral, which broadcast around the world the image of hate and helped trigger the civil rights movement.
Gordon-Taylor stumbled upon the “Karate Chop” remix when it unofficially hit the Web this week.
“You have the audacity to compare the atrocity of Emmett Louis Till, who was murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1955, to the anatomy of a woman!” Gordon-Taylor said in a statement demanding a retraction immediately.
“It is disappointing, dishonorable, and outright disrespectful,” she continued. “Your metaphoric indiscretion is not only offensive to our family, but also our ancestors, women, and to yourselves as black men . . . . . .You are diminishing your own existence.”
As the issue spread on the blogosphere and an online petition swelled, Gordon-Taylor reached out to Rainbow/PUSH. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Reid on Wednesday.
“As soon as I found out bout Lil Wayne and his Emmett Till comment I spoke with LA Reid CEO of Epic Records and we had the comment removed,” he then tweeted.
But not before the Rev. T. Lane Grant, Rainbow/PUSH national field director, contacted local black radio station owners Clear Channel and Crawford Broadcasting, demanding the song never hit the air and threatening a boycott.
“We as a community have a standard. We have a decency. We have an insult level. This is not acceptable, and we won’t tolerate it,” Grant said earlier in the day.