Stevie Wonder criticizes Lil Wayne’s controversial Emmett Till reference

By Daniel Levine,

Lil Wayne’s record company has already apologized for the rapper’s obscene reference to Emmett Till, the black boy who was murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Still, music icon Stevie Wonder decided to weigh in, noting that he was shocked that people ever got to even hear the verse.

“You can't equate that to Emmett Till,” Wonder told The Associated Press on Friday. “You just cannot do that. ... I think you got to have someone around you that - even if they are the same age or older - is wiser to say, `Yo, that's not happening. Don't do that.'”

Epic Records issued an apology on Thursday following the leak of Future’s new remix of his track “Karate Chop.” In the new mix, Lil Wayne drops in for two lines. The first is “‘Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels” and the second features the Till reference.

Till’s family was shocked and complained, receiving support from the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Epic agreed that it was vulgar and vowed to pull all copies of the song from the web. When the track is officially released, Lil Wayne’s line will be edited out, the label said.

Wonder told the AP that Lil Wayne learns from the mistake and understands the opinion of Till’s family.

“Sometimes people have to put themselves in the place of people who they are talking about,” Wonder explained. “Imagine if that happened to your mother, brother, daughter or your son. How would you feel? Have some discernment before we say certain things. That goes for me or any other (song)writer.”

Lil Wayne has yet to comment.

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