Family Of Emmett Till Angry With Lil Wayne For Comparing Sex Acts With Civil Rights Icon’s Brutal Beating In Song

February 14, 2013  |  

Photo Credit: PNP/

I’ve been saying it for at least a year now. Lil Wayne has run out of clever stuff to say in his rhymes. About 95 percent of the time he’s talking about his love for the “nether regions” of a woman, or skateboarding, or Trukfit. But his latest few lines have everyone up in arms, particularly the family of Emmett Till, who found the rapper’s recent use of their late family member’s name in a remix to the Future song, “Karate Chop” to be extremely disrespectful.

Lil Wayne takes over the song around the third verse, and the line in question goes something like this: “Pop a lot of pain pills/Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels/Beat that p***y up like Emmett Till/Yeah….”

Nooooo Wayne…no. When Airicka Gordon-Taylor, cousin of Till and the director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation heard about his reference, she says that the family was appalled. While speaking with Dr. Boyce Watkins, she had this to say:

“To compare his murder and how beaten and how bullied, and tortured he was to the anatomy of a woman was really very disrespectful. We found it dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture. It was offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors and to women and to themselves as young, black men. I just couldn’t understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I feel as though they have no pride and no dignity as black men.

Our family was very offended, very hurt. Disturbed by it…Our young people they emulate what they see, what they hear, and what they’re immersed in. And then we question them as they grow up and become citizens and they’re supposed to be productive in society and they’re not productive. And society is already criminalizing our young, black men at every opportunity they have. So it just really concerns us that here you are using Emmett Till’s name in such an egregious way and you’re not having any respect for yourselves as well as our family. And that’s the biggest concern. We’re concerned about our young people as well as the image of Emmett Till.”

And a lot of other people were pretty disgusted too, including Jesse Jackson Sr., who, according to Rap Radar, said on his Twitter that the moment he heard about the song, he spoke with L.A. Reid (the CEO of Epic records, which the song was released through) and as of now, the remix has censored that part of the song and the label is allegedly in the process of taking down all signs of the song off the Internet. On top of that, Reid reached out to the family of Emmett Till to apologize, according to E! Online, saying the song was leaked out and that he hadn’t previously heard the lyrics. Epic also went on and issued a statement, which included them saying, “We regret 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 and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr….we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version.”

While their apology is all good and dandy, the person who really needs to get their life together is Lil Wayne. Why he thought this was clever, I’m not sure, but it was definitely a disgusting move, especially since, as Gordon-Taylor says, the rapper wouldn’t have the opportunities he does to say such deplorable things if it weren’t for her late cousin and the brutal beating he took that August night in Mississippi. Poor taste indeed, Weezy.

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  • JoansArc

    This is the same dork who said, “F—- the world – Getta child out her”. This is the mentality that centers around sex and violence against women being intertwined. I know its not the same thing but I can’t say I am terribly surprised. I do believe the family of Emmett Till should pursue legal avenues to litigate against either the artist or the label or both for emotional distress and any other related damages. It would send a message I hope.

  • Chaz Martino

    what ever happened to free speech? censorship isn’t the answer. just don’t listen to him or buy his music if you don’t like it. people are way to sensitive these days


    As if this family’s wounds could never heal from the original story, along came the phone call that Mr Tills casket was found rotting in a shed when a decent employee turned in a greedy cemetary owner and his employees for digging up and disposing of caskets in his cemetary to provide space for more, this cemetary held the bodies of many prominent people, and the children’s cemetary was totally gone, here he comes he can say whatever he wants through freedom of speech, and no we don’t have to listen, (for those who will bring this up as an excuse!) however when one disrespects what our people died, sweat, shed tears and bled to enable us inorder to have those rights rights then thats when everybody needs to step up to the plate and shout out fall back! Anyone laughing or stating well you know comments are just as disrespectful as he and needs to read while feeling the pain our people went through to make it to this point and realise we are still in this fight, and are still not free from being judged, as we as a people are coaxed into judging each other daily just ask our president! Not one more record should be played, this one banned period and a letter of apology closed as well as open if they will at this point accept it to the Till family should come from Little Wayne.

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  • Seriously? This definitely went too far, and is a disgrace to the memory of poor Emmett Till. Lil Wayne is a prime example of a Black person who has no knowledge of or respect for his history. His ignorance and disrespect (not to mention his mediocrity as a rapper, just sayin’) have been proven time and time again. My question is, what will it take for people to stop supporting him? It seems like no matter what he does, there are still people in his corner who insist that he’s good, that he speaks to them, that it’s not that serious, etc. For example, Cornel West called him a “very intelligent young man” and a “musical genius” (it was on CNN’S “Black in America”). People need to seriously stop investing in him and his music.

  • Novelistic08

    I was already sick of every song talking about beating that p**ss* up. That’s bad enough. But now add this?!? When is enough enough? We do not have to support entertainers that degrade. The little gremlin, and others like him, need to be boycotted.

  • Keisha Samoht

    I dont use this word, but is he retarded? What kind of person, more specifcaly black person would say that? There is no way shape or fashion of an explaination can be given. Oh, did he pop a Molly and it caused him to become extremely sweaty and to also haullcinate offensive comments about a boy who was murdered for whisleing at a white woman??!!! See this gives me more reason that i am not a big fan of his music… Its only February and this incindent will land him on the next edtion of People We Lost Respect for in 2013.

    S/N: i know my spelling is bad but my spelling is not my concern while im giving my 2cents on this.

    • Kahekili

      What kind of Black person would say that? Usually someone who cares little for education (knowledge) and thinks he can say whatever he wants. Lil Wayne may lose the respect of some, but most of those people will be those who have a brain and don’t listen to his music in the first place. He will still have millions of mindless fans to support him.

  • Honestly Lil’Wayne does this to self and he should generally make a public apology because thats ridiculous he can’t keep doing this he act like hes not black.”

    • Kahekili

      An apology won’t mean he is sorry.

  • psylocke_2001

    “Poor taste indeed, Weezy.” When has this ignorant cockroach ever had good taste? Everything that comes out of his mouth is embarrassing. He’s like the humiliatingly (is that a word? Don’t care if Lil Wayne gets to be dumb I will be too) stupid cousin that gets drunk at family gatherings and embarrasses everyone. Remember that dumb ish he said about not dating dark skinned women? He’s a fool.

  • Shaybaby

    This is past disrespectful but should we really be expecting any better from Lil Wayne? Who thought referencing the brutal murder of a child & comparing it to sex with a random chick was okay? As appalling as this is what I don’t understand is folks aren’t just as upset with Rick Ross for referencing Trayvon Martin in Usher’s song- which is about sex. Both are dead wrong.

  • Machone

    I don’t support that thug. His style is lousy.

  • Taj

    As shocking as this is to some, I am not surprised in the least. If Lil Wayne gave half a care about Black History, he wouldn’t have written even half of the lyrics he has wrote previously nor would he continue with the tomfoolery for which he is known for. Therefore, instead of just “boycotting” his music, people need to write both BET, MTV, and their local radio stations to not to play his music due to his disrespectfulness regarding Emmitt Till’s death. This information also needs to be spread to all blogs, social media sites, the grio, the roots, black voices, etc, so Lil Wayne and his handlers can be put on notice that this line of lyric will not be swept under the rug.

  • kylieky

    What also saddens me is the number of black kids who would have heard that line and thought nothing of it because they don’t even know who Emmit Till is or because they are so use to hearing similar references.

    • Keisha Samoht

      If that is so then THAT right there is sad. I thought kids learn about Emmett Till in preschool, if not 1st grade… Has it changed THAT much?

      • Kahekili

        Preschool? First grade? You think teachers are showing pictures of beaten, dead bodies to children that young? Middle school is more like it.

        • Keisha Samoht

          you know what you right i was trying to think how old i was when i first learned about it idk why i said preschool… just meant when kids are really young.

          • Kahekili

            According to my recent browsing, apparently a lot of kids aren’t even learning about who Emmett Till was.

            • Keisha Samoht

              My how times have changed… thats so sad…but after i responded earlier i was 7 when i first saw the horrifying image of him in his casket. At that time i didn’t understand the story but that image is one thing i can never forget. It is such a shame that many children do not know such an important element of history.

            • SheBe

              This is very true. I actually didn’t learn about Emmett Till in school. I learned about him through my own reading and the story told by my grandmother. Oh and Im in my late 20’s.

          • DIVADCR

            Its all wrong, we still have not gotten to that point in this world where the real truth has been brought to light, we need only look to how teachers were banned to speaking of the Trayvon Martin case when students questioned them to realise this, One teacher was fired!

            • Keisha Samoht

              Thats horrible, the most controversial topic i can recall discussing in my afro. history class was during the wake of Katrina…

              • DIVADCR

                Exactly, it is horriblethe minute a teacher wants to place it in their curriculum exactly as it was, a red flag goes up and they are told its inappropriate subject matter, as usual the real history lesson on our ancestors have to come from our relatives, not that thats a bad thing, the bad thing comes in the fact that all of these years and its still taboo in the education system, and trust and beleive i was paying attentionwhen i questioned my history teacher as to why this has to be!

  • AJ389

    I seriously do not know what to say, it does hurt. Its becoming harder & harder to raise our children when we’re up against this kind of foolery. While I’m trying to make it a point to teach my son who he is and facts that a biased school system does not want us to know (Beethoven was BLACK, a lot of first inventions & discoveries, 1st successful open heart surgery was performed by a BLACK individual etc.) Wayne who has many children of his own, butts in with this ignorance. Of course the school system wants us to know about Emmit Till, Medgar Evers, Rodney King, MLK Jr. because they are considered victories against us. But all the great things we’ve made it through and accomplished are taboo, hush, hush so to speak. Yes, I am dissapointed not only at Wayne but he surely isn’t helping the situation. So sad to watch what pride we do have be diminished by our own. I’m sure the other man is just loving it.

  • Nothing this man says or does should surprise anyone.

  • Mia

    This animal has 1426 kids by different women, are we really shocked at THIS vulgarity?

  • bluekissess

    It’s one thing to sit behind a computer and display your disgust but in the same breath listening to the song in the background. I’ve boycotted his music for a while now. I think this should be a good time for women to boycott and protest. I’m tired of hearing him and looking at him.

    • Taj

      Because I am trying to get my PhD while working onsite of a federal laboratory, I have not had the opportunity to listen to many of today’s songs. However, when I do go home or to my hometown, I always listen to the station that plays mostly older music (70s-90s) with only a few of the R&B songs from select artists. In other words, I don’t even bother to listen to the stations that still play Rap Music in addition to Hip Hop and R&B, because I can’t stand to listen to most of the music of many of the new artists. Although there are current artists such as Chrisette Michelle and Musiq, I am not going to simply listen to what I consider a heap of cr*p just to find a few gems. And what’s more ironic? I used to like rap and hip hop back in the 90s. . . but not anymore. A boycott would seem like a start. However, when you see young teenage to college age girls in the audience of 106&park, you can only imagine the sheer number of girls who listen to his cr*p. Therefore, I think the only way to get some accountability is to make this known through facebook, twitter, and all social sites and put other rappers on the spot and ask them where they stand on the issue. Otherwise, any efforts to boycott doesn’t stand a chance against someone like lil wayne who has crossed over to appeal to white people who probably wouldn’t even give a d*mn.

      • chanela

        oh god. here we go with the degree bragging again. *eye roll*

        • Chey

          Oh man. Here comes another troll making another irrelevant comment. Last time I checked, a degree was something to be extremely proud of. Were you not able to make it past the part about her degree to the part where she makes her comment about the topic at hand?

          • Kahekili

            Her comment is irrelevant to the subject of this article, but that does not make her a ‘troll’.

          • chanela

            i never said that it wasn’t something to be proud of. it’s just hilarious when women on black websites feel the need to randomly mention that they have a degree with every comment they make.

            for example:
            *a post about beyonce*
            “i have a masters and a phd and a doctorate and i like beyonce’s hair”

            it’s like huh? good for you but dang!

      • karl59

        Wish you success in getting your Phd.

    • Keisha Samoht

      very true…

  • Lovely_Dee

    Lil Wayne just needs to stop…he’s always talking about the same thing. He needs to take a break and find some better material to rap about or just hang it up. I cringe every time I hear his voice.

    • bluekissess

      He just needs to disappear

  • JustSayin

    I am not surprised. Referencing Emmett Till’s murder doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the rude and cruel things rappers say. And unfortunately; this complaint is just one of many that will go in the “suggestion” box.

  • lil wayne, trying so hard with every inch of his 2 foot body to remain relevant… what an idiot. you’re not eminem who provoked people just enough to make them mad not full out desecrate a man we should all be honoring, your offensive lyrics and deadtooth mouth interspersed with random flakes of metal arent going to turn around and boost your career.

    • Kahekili

      I disagree that he is trying to remain ‘relevant’. Lil Wayne is practically worshipped by young Black youth and men who don’t know any better. These kind of lyrics are typical of him and don’t shock most people who blindly listen to his music.

  • autumn

    I don’t expect anything more of this creature some dare to call a man. To take such a sensitive piece of history and degrade it with crude remarks is sickening. All for what he and his buddies consider to be a “dope punch line”. During no time of the year should this happen but especially not during black history month. Does he not understand why this man was beaten to the point of death? So that his black *** may do as he pleases, and this is the respect you show…

  • LC

    Why are we surprised? It’s Lil Wayne o_O I hope we’re not expecting him to say something intelligent or enlightening for a change. Like, really….

  • Kenedy

    Didn’t he do the same thing in his mrs. Officer song when he said “beat it like a cop, rodney king baby i’ll beat it like a cop”. Smh @ this guy

    • Keisha Samoht

      I wonder why THAT didn’t get him in hot water? Either way he stepped in some spit that he cant get out of…

  • Meyaka

    Are you guys surprised? Because I’m not ,Popular rappers and a lot of those A.A entertainers don’t know and/or don’t respect their history. Of course lil Wayne recorded that and guess what? No one will care about it as soon as “pop that” comes on

  • realadulttalk

    Now, I do think the lyric is a bit disturbing…BUT how many people heard that lyric and let it slide and NOW are gonna point the finger at Wayne b/c someone else is upset? He doesn’t make music and just release it on his own…so uh, there are other people who should also be held accountable.

  • Losh

    I sat here with my mouth open in shock for about two minutes. NOBODY in that studio said ANYTHING!?!?! Nobody stopped the track and was like “This isn’t going to work”? Who are these people? He should have know better, and if he didn’t (which wouldn’t surprise me) somebody should have intervened. Those lyrics should never have seen the light of day. This man’s ignorance is a virus, and so is he. Yup, I’m mad.

    • bluekissess

      I think those people are called YES MEN

      • Kahekili

        And women.

    • Kahekili

      After reading what people think about this on a Hip Hop site and seeing the type of people Lil Wayne associates with, I doubt they knew any better.

    • karl59

      And I am mad with you!!!!!

    • R S

      Losh – Lil Wayne and everyone who records with him and usually high as kites, I dont think they either noticed or cared.

      • I’m sure all of that’s true. And how sad is that?

  • Sagittarius81

    I don’t blame Emmett Till’s family for being p!ssed, his murder 1955 is nothing to play with. Even my grandmother who had just moved to Chicago took my mother, aunts and uncle (when they were kids) to his funeral and view his body in his casket just to show them how evil humans can be because of racism.

  • MLS2698

    I officially don’t like that ninja, now! And his rap style is nil………which is a word that rhymes with pill.

  • Queen Supreme

    I’ve said it for years; lil wayne needs to go away and never return. From the tats, the waiting until he’s in his 20’s to be a Blood, the disrespect of dark fleshed women (even though his mama, daughter, and the only woman he married is dark fleshed), the hiding in the closet, the drugs, the overall coonery, and his face… I could go on and on. The only positive (if there is one) to come out of this is teenagers who have never heard of Emmett Till were researching him and learning about this child. Even his biggest fans were condemning him. Lil Wayne is not going to apologize because he has sold his soul a long time ago, and making and doing detrimental things to help further distroy the black race is required. I feel sorry for anyone who looks to this subhuman piece of excrement for entertainment or a role model.

  • Lu

    I can’t stand that ignorant POS that is the saddest story I’ve ever heard and for him to play