Someone needs to school Lil Wayne.
You don’t make rap songs using the late Emmett Till’s name in a sexual reference. Emmett was just a 14-year-old black boy when he was fatally brutalized after whistling at a white woman while visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955. Outrage over his killing and how his murderers were allowed to go free helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement.
I guess Lil Wayne thought he was being clever when he worked Emmett’s name into his new song “Karate Chop.” But the way he did it was so vile that I'm not going to print it. I know he's an entertainer and performers like to push the boundaries. But what happened to Emmett came to symbolize what was wrong with the Jim Crow south. To trivialize that in such a crude way is offensive. I'm glad the Rev. Jesse Jackson has stepped in as if to say hold up young son. The Associated Press is reporting that Emmett’s remaining family objected and that Jackson reached out to Wayne’s management, The Blueprint Group. Epic Records has apologized.
“We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future's 'Karate Chop,' which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics," it said in a statement. "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."
Epic will release an official version of the song that "will not include such references."
I reached out to Simeon Wright, Emmett’s cousin, who was with him when he whistled at the woman, but the call wasn’t picked up.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.