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.