Back in February, Lil' Wayne drew national ire for his inappropriate mention of Emmett Till on the remix for Future's "Karate Chop" remix. On the track, Weezy alluded to Till's gruesome murder with the line, "I beat the p—y up like Emmett Till". Till's cousin and Talib Kweli then took Wayne to task for his lack of awareness as a public representation of black youth. Instead of immediately apologizing in public and keeping it moving, Wayne let it stew and after nearly three months of rumination, he finally got around to having someone release a statement on his behalf apologizing for his lyrics.
It's a start, but it's too little, too late and too insincere.
"Dear Till Family:
As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists.
It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist’s song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys.
Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record’s decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue.
I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community.