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Lil Wayne Issues Apology to Emmett Till’s Family

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

No doubt feeling shook after watching Rick Ross lose out on all of that Reebok money due to controversial lyrics, Lil Wayne has issued an apology to the family of slain Chicago teenager Emmett Till over what many interpreted as his insensitive lyric on Future’s  “Karate Chop (Remix)”.

Read the full statement after the jump.

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.
Lil Wayne

While I agree that the Emmett Till simile was crass and maybe even disrespectful, I don’t believe any artist should be forced to change any lyric, ever. I think that when the general public gets to dictate the acceptable parameters of art then we’re starting down a slippery path to outright censorship. That being said, and no matter what finally motivated Wayne to issue this statement, I think acknowledging the family’s feelings on the matter was the right thing to do.

Spotted: Miss Info

UPDATE: The Till family responds:

“While it’s commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till and his memory to ‘not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music,’ this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned.”

Previously: Future ft. Lil Wayne – Karate Chop Remix (Emmett Till Free Version)