Hip-hop star Lil Wayne’s endorsement deal with Mountain Dew could be jeopardized since he has yet to apologize to the family of slain civil rights symbol Emmett Till, MTV News reports. The family was offended after the rapper made a lewd reference to Till in a lyric during his cameo on Future’s “Karate Chop” (Remix).
Incensed, Some of Till’s family members enlisted the help of Rev. Jesse Jackson whose help forced Epic Records to remove the offensive lyric. The record company also apologized.
The controversial line goes, “Beat the pu**y up like Emmett Till.” Till was a 14-years-old when he was tortured and killed in a small, Mississippi town for allegedly whistling at a white woman.
Earlier this month, several of Till’s family members and the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation released a YouTube video that criticized the controversial lyric and expressed their opposition to Wayne’s endorsement deal with Mountain Dew.
“We also support blocking and banning the endorsements. I’ve maintained through February, ‘Don’t do the Dew.’ His biggest endorsement is through Pepsi’s Mountain Dew. Stop buying it, stop lining his pockets. People are outraged because they feel that he should apologize to our family,” a Till representative said to the camera.
In response, several radio stations throughout the country have banded together and are no longer playing “Karate Chop.”
This latest rapper vs endorsement deal play comes on the heels of another public outcry dealing with Rick Ross’ “U.O.E.N.O.” and his endorsement deal with sneaker king, Reebok. The performer rapped about slipping a molly in a woman’s drink and taking her home for sex, suggesting rape. Ross later defended his use of the lyric as a misinterpretation, stating the line does not infer rape.
It didn’t work. Reebok dropped the hefty rapper like yesterday’s business!
Though it remains to be clear whether or not Mountain Dew will do the same in regards to Lil Wayne.