Lil Wayne, Emmett Till Backlash: Rapper Faces Scrutiny Over Rap Lyric
Posted: 02/13/2013 6:00 pm EST | Updated: 02/14/2013 3:43 pm EST on Huffington Post
It appears Lil Wayne is having a rough week.
Following his ejection from Sunday’s Miami Heat game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Grammy Award-winner is making headlines once again for his cameo on Future’s recently leaked track titled, “Karate Chop.”
The song which is set to appear this weekend on DJ Smallz’s upcoming mixtape “This Is That Southern Smoke Vol. 4,” finds the New Orleans native making an explicit reference to “beating” a woman’s genitals in a manner similar to the beating Emmett Till took at the hands of Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam
On August 28, 1955 Till was kidnapped from his great-uncle’s home and taken to a barn. Bryant and Milam beat, tortured and killed Till, throwing his body, attached by barbed wire at the neck to the fan of a cotton gin, into the Tallahatchie River.
Till’s killing, and the subsequent acquittal of Bryant and Milam sparked outrage across the country and is widely viewed as a tipping for the civil rights movement.
Considering this history, the controversial lyric has since received a tremendous amount of backlash from many including Till’s family.
“When we first found out about it, it was a coincidence that I discovered it. And read what it said I was instantly thinking about how Emmett Till was murdered,” Till’s cousin, Airickca Gordon Taylor said during an interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins. “He was murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1955. So to compare his murder, and how brutally 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, but not only to us, but 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 brutality and punishment of death,” she continued. And I feel that they don’t have no pride and no dignity as black men. Our family was very, very offended. Very hurt, disturbed by it.“
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Future’s label, Epic Records, confirmed that the current version of “Karate Chop” circulating online leaked without the company’s authorization and added that the official version “has removed those lyrics from that song.”