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Lil Wayne Apologizes for 'Inappropriate' Emmett Till Lyric

Rapper was criticized in February for controversial reference

May 1, 2013 12:15 PM ET
Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Lil Wayne has apologized for the "inappropriate" Emmett Till lyric in his guest verse on Future's "Karate Chop" remix. "As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure," Lil Wayne, born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. wrote in an open letter to the Till family, as reported by MissInfo.tv. The rapper also said he agreed with record label Epic's decision to pull the reference from the song, and promised not to perform the lyrics. "I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy," Lil Wayne wrote.

Lil Wayne Takes It 'Back to His Roots' on 'I Am Not a Human Being II'

The rapper came under fire in February over the lyrics, "Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till," a reference to the 14-year-old Chicago boy who was infamously tortured and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman while visiting Mississippi in 1955. Till's family expressed their unhappiness, and Epic called the song's leak an "unauthorized remix version" and removed the lyrics. Epic chief L.A. Reid also reached out to the Till family and personally apologized.

Lil Wayne's latest album, I Am Not a Human Being II, came out in March, which was a rough month for the MC: he was hospitalized for his reccurring seizures. He has said they're caused by epilepsy. Full text of Lil Wayne's letter follows below.

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.

Best,

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.
Lil Wayne

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