Lil Wayne didn’t desire to see his Mountain Dew money go down the drain and has given the formal apology Emmett Till’s family requested. After months of avoiding the issue, Wayne’s mea culpa comes after the family recently announced their intentions to pressure the Pepsi-backed soft drink company, one of the rapper’s largest corporate endorsers.
The controversy began after Wayne appeared on the remix to Future’s “Karate Chop” in February. While Epic Records, Future’s label, quickly apologized and removed the lyric, Weezy had not and the family increased their call for him to speak up as well as their intentions towards “blocking and banning the endorsements” for the artist.
Finally ready to make amends, Wayne released a statement acknowledging the family’s hurt “as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys.” He also promised to never perform the lyric live in the future and never to speak Emmett Till’s name again in a negative manner.
“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.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.
Lil Wayne’s apology comes only weeks after Reebok severed ties with Rick Ross in April after his lyrics came under fire. And while we can argue the sincerity of his Wayne’s words, here’s the thing: the family asked for a formal apology; he gave them a formal apology.
Of course, the statement clearly reads as if it was written by a publicist but that speaks to the importance of having a team insulating an artist. They should be trained professionals capable of doing damage control, so let them do their job. Handling the situation this way is a million times better than Tunechi trying to address it himself. You see how that strategy worked for Ross, right?