'Hurtful' Lil Wayne Lyric Prompts Apology From Epic Records
Epic Records has apologized to the family of Emmett Till after Lil Wayne made a crude reference in a leaked track to the 1955 beating death of the 14-year-old boy, The Associated Press reports.
Wayne contributed to a remix of Future's "Karate Chop" that leaked last weekend and included the lyric, "Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till" – referencing the Chicago teen who was infamously tortured and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman while visiting Mississippi in 1955. After Till's family objected to the line, the Rev. Jesse Jackson contacted Weezy's management company, the Blueprint Group, on their behalf.
Epic issued a statement yesterday night apologizing for the song: "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 . . . we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version." The label eventually plans to release a version of the song that "will not include such references."
However, as even middling rap fans know, beating something up "like Ike beat Tina" is a classic hiphop simile that has never inspired an apology from anyone.
Sure, Emmett Till wasn't married to the angry mob that murdered him, but let's not blame the victim. Let's not blame anyone—I like offensive similes in my hiphop. But Epic Records' apology to the family of Emmett Till smacks of promotion for the record by Lil Wayne, which is gross.