Lil Wayne has been surrounded by controversy recently not only for his alleged behavior at the Miami Heat's basketball game but also for controversial lyrics included in his rap song "Karate Chop (Remix)." The rap song mentions Emmett Till's name in reference to a derogatory statement. The verse upset the Emmett Till family and according to Vibe on Wednesday, Feb. 20 they sent Lil Wayne an open letter expressing their discontent.
Unfortunately, Lil Wayne has created a lot of bad publicity concerning words he has expressed about people either in a rap song or on stage. However, the most disconcerting lyric was Lil Wayne's decision to use Emmett Till's name in what has been considered a very raunchy rap verse.
Within the open letter Emmett Till's family shares with Lil Wayne how they feel about him destroying Till's legacy and the memory of his good name along with degrading women.
"The words we speak are powerful enough for preservation of life but also have the capacity to destroy it. When you spit lyrics like "Beat that p---y up like Emmett Till", not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till's memory and name, but the impact of his murder in black history along with degradation of women."
Although, Epic apologized for the verse and subsequently removed it from the rap song, Lil Wayne has yet to respond.
"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 unauthorized version." According to Epic an official version of the song will be re-released that "will not include such references."
Emmett Till's family felt the need to remind Lil Wayne about the power of words and how they can inflict pain. For them his lyrics essentially reopened Emmett Till's casket and reminded the world of the impact of hatred.
"The impact of your words left us in awe with our hearts in our mouths wide open. Your lyrics reopened Emmett Till's casket and reminded the world but most importantly my family including survivors of the tragedy, of the gruesomeness of hatred and served as a reminder of the loss we suffered. Although its been over 57 years it feels like yesterday."
Stevie Wonder also chimed in on Lil Wayne's use of Emmett Till's name in his rap.
"Sometimes people have to put themselves in the place of people who they are talking about, imagine if that happened to your mother, brother, daughter or your son. How would you feel?"
Both the Emmett Till family and Stevie Wonder asked an important question. How would Lil Wayne feel if this happened to one of his family members? Would he consider it acceptable for someone else to use their name this way?
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