Update 5/1/13: After the family of Emmett Till threatened to pressure Mountain Dew to end their lucrative sponsorship contract with Lil Wayne, Wayne has released a public apology for rapping Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till on a since-deleted February remix of Future’s “Karate Chop.” Though Future’s label Epic sent out the offending remix in an official press release, in his letter, Lil Wayne calls it an “unauthorized version of the song.” In April, Rick Ross reportedly lost $3.5 to $5 millon when he was dropped as a Reebok sponsor after his own lyrics controversy. Read Wayne’s entire letter, via Miss Info:
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
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.
Update 2/14/13: According to the NY Times’ Arts Beat blog, Future’s label Epic has addressed criticism of Lil Wayne’s Emmett Till lyric, 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., [the label will] go through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version.” It should be noted that FADER received this remix via an email press release from an Epic publicist. The Soundcloud has since been taken down.
2/12/13: Bellowing the very unfortunate line Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till, Lil Wayne replaces Casino’s verse on what feels like the eighth version of Future’s voice-cracking, gymanstics-showcasing single, “Karate Chop,” since the song first surfaced on a free compilation last year. For a rundown of Future’s Freebandz partners and their recent F.B.G.: The Movie tape, which features “Karate Chop,” check out this recent edition of By the Numbers. In related news, here’s the most convincing paparazzi evidence of Future and Ciara’s rumored relationship so far. You buy it?
Stream: Future f. Lil Wayne, “Karate Chop”