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Epic Records was forced to apologize for a Lil Wayne track in which the rapper makes an obscene reference to Emmett Till. The label has pledged to not release the track, which was leaked early, and hopes to pull the track from the Internet.
Till was the 14-year-old boy from Chicago, who was killed in Mississippi in 1955 after he had allegedly whistled at a white woman. The men charged with his murder were acquitted. While Bob Dylan memorialized Till in an early song called “The Death of Emmett Till,” Lil Wayne used Till’s name in an obscene lyric.
According to The New York Times, Lil Wayne’s reference came in a leaked remix of Future’s “Karate Chop.” The rapper says, “‘Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels,” which is followed by the Till reference.
Till’s family was shocked by the reference. In a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, Till’s cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, called the song, “disappointing, dishonorable, and outright disrespectful to our family.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson also objected to the track.
The statement continued, “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.”
The offical version will not include the offending lyrics.
Lil Wayne’s rep has not commented.