The holidays are a time of giving, receiving and, in some cases, apologizing for wildly offensive lyrics. On Christmas Day, Lil Pump and 21 Savage — in completely separate incidents — both addressed the backlash to their recent songs. Unfortunately, in expressing regret for their racist lyrics, it became clear both rappers would each employ a similar tactic — citing their proximity to each marginalized group — to distance themselves from the ignorant remarks.
In early December, Lil Pump posted a teaser of his new song “Butterfly Doors” on Twitter, in which he makes derogatory comments about the Asian community and former NBA player, Yao Ming: “Smokin’ on dope (damn) / They call me Yao Ming cause my eye real low (ching chong),” mockingly pulling at the sides of his eyes. Nine days later, after facing mounting backlash, Pump issued an apology on Instagram.
“I seen the whole thing going on on the internet and all that,” Pump said. “I came here to tell you from my part that I’m sorry and I apologize for posting that. It was not my intentions to hurt nobody or do none of that, deadass. I got Asian homies, you know. I fuck with everybody and I got nothing against nobody. It’s all love.”
21 Savage apologized in a similar manner for his controversial lyrics on “asmr:” “We been gettin’ that Jewish money, everything is Kosher (On God),” from his latest album, i am > i was. “The Jewish people I know are very wise with there money,” 21 Savage posted to Twitter. “So that’s why I said we been gettin Jewish money I never thought anyone would take offense I’m sorry if I offended everybody never my intention I love all people.”
The lyrics entered the popular consciousness when LeBron James quoted them on Instagram. James later apologized stating, “It definitely was not the intent, obviously, to hurt anybody.”