Lil Wayne Gets Slammed by Emmett Till’s Family over ‘Disrespectful’ Lyrics

Photo Credit: RJ
Photo Credit: RJ

By: Taren Vaughan

Lil’ Wayne is no stranger to controversy as the rapper has been surrounded by plenty of it at various points throughout his career and personal life too. The rapper has had several run-ins with the law, publicly admitting that he regretted one in particular. And he recently got a little testy with a camera man during Super Bowl weekend in his hometown of New Orleans for pushing him. As the controversial moments for Wayne aren’t limited to one specific area of his life, a lot of it that he finds himself knee deep in stems from his choice of song lyrics that sometimes tends to really piss people off. On the remixed version of the song “Karate Chop” that Lil’ Wayne was featured on with Rapper Future, who has more than enough drama going on with him already, Wayne raps the following verse:

“Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels, beat that p*ssy up like Emmett Till.”

Once they heard the lyrics that Wayne spit in reference to their deceased relative who was the victim of a heinous murder back in 1955 where he was beaten and shot to death for whistling at a white female during the days of Jim Crow, members of the Till family were extremely upset and looked to CEO of Epic Records L.A. Reid for an explanation. According Reid, who is the man responsible for the launching the careers of numerous artists, that particular version of the song was not supposed to be released as it was not authorized to be. And to officially extend their apologies for the release of the song, the label released a statement ensuring that they will work diligently to resolve the situation:

“We regret the unauthorised 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., we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorised version.”

It was revealed on the Mamie Till Mobley Foundation fan page on Facebook that Reid spoke with Emmett’s family members about the situation and it was said that Reid was very apologetic and was thanked by the Till family for being “a man of integrity”:

Just ended a conversation with L.A. Reid, CEO of Epic! He apologized to me and our family and stated the song is being pulled!!!! “Future” owns the rights to the song so they have the power to pull it.  Mr. Reid stated the song was leaked out and he had not heard the lyrics.  He is a man of integrity that values our family’s legacy and wouldn’t allow such heinous usage of Emmett Till’s name or dishonor his memory. We have yet to hear from Lil Wayne’s camp and he is the one that said it! It was all I could do to hold back my tears while engaged in conversation.  Thank you Mr. Reid for now I can exhale.
Another post from the fan page spoke on how some family members felt about the commentary from the younger people about the campaign that was launched against both Lil’ Wayne and Future, explaining the reasoning behind why it was done:

While reading different sites online in the hip-hop community, primarily young people are the ones opposed to our families cries for removal of Emmett Till’s name. I cringed at some of the comments. It demonstrates their lack of knowledge and they don’t understand the indignation of the lyrics. Most don’t even know who Emmett Till is. Our children idolize artists in the industry and emulate what they hear in music! There must be an open dialogue about lyrics and the behavior of artists who choose to take liberties and license in the name of free speech. Rather than being constructive they are destructive to both decency and legacy of music.I launched my campaign against Lil Wayne/Future not only for restoration of dignity to Emmett Till’s name and legacy, NOT ONLY for MY family, BUT for WOMEN & ULTIMATELY FOR OUR CHILDREN!!
Airickca Gordon-Taylor, cousin of Emmett Till and founder of the Mamie Till Mobley Foundation named after Emmett’s mother, spoke with Dr. Boyce Watkins about how Wayne’s raps affected her family, saying that his lyrics were “very disrespectful” considering the brutal death of her cousin:

“To compare his murder and how beaten and how bullied, beatened, and 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 to our ancestors and women and to themselves as young Black men. I just couldn’t understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I felt as though they had no pride and no dignity as Black men. Our family was very offended, very hurt.”

Listen to the full clip below and tell us what you think:


  1. Very disrespectful, but this is also coming from the same man that said “I’m a venereal disease like a menstrual bleed”

    Lil Wayne is dumb.

  2. What about when Kanye West said the lyric “…On the plane scared as hell that her guy look like Emmett Till” on through the wire
    I always noticed this lyric but thought no one else did
    Lil Wayne shouldn’t of said that either way

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