As crazy as this sounds I am a major Lil Wayne fan and feel real bad about the seizures he has been having lately. He did explain he is epileptic and we all know that has no cure but I think he is riding out the whole thing very well, who woulda guessed?
Now that said, Lil Wayne has found himself in the same pot of soup as Rick Ross with really offensive lyrics. With Rick Ross, it was all that crap about lacing a girl’s drink with a date rape drug n having himself a good time. With Lil Wayne, it’s him comparing a sex act to the killing of Emmett Till. I have not heard the song and all the news articles I have read refuse to keep repeating the offending lyrics (great) because the Till family is still so hurt. No reference to Emmett Till, that is derogatory, should come from an African American.
But that is not the news. The news is that two months after the Till family expressed their displeasure at the rapper’s insensitivity, Lil Wayne is yet to make an unreserved apology and take back his words. He did write em a letter ‘acknowledging’ their pain and all that, but nowhere in that whole letter does he own that he has offended them and apologized for doing that. No where is the word ‘sorry’ used. Find the letter reproduced below.
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.
Who is this Emmett Till anyway and why all the fuss? Well Emmett Till was a young black boy, lynched as a teenager by two white males for allegedly flirting with a white lady. He DID NOT TOUCH HER, assault her, insult her, or anything else. He whistled at her in boyish admiration and paid for it with his life. In America. In 1955. He was JUST 14.
They kidnapped him, tortured him for a long time, shot him in the head and were acquitted by an all male, all white jury when the matter went to court. But the story does not end there.
Shortly after the accused pair were acquitted, they gave a full confession to LOOK magazine (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/sfeature/sf_look_confession.html) indicating that they actually DID kill Emmett and gave all the gory details to whoever would listen.
Nothing could be done to them at that point because of the double jeopardy system which insists that nobody should be tried for the same offence twice (please don’t be shocked, it applies in Nigeria too).
Emmett was 14. Yep. Just 14 years old.
How do I know so much? I watched the documentary seven years ago and the story stuck in my mind and would not go away.
I saw pictures of Emmett while he was alive and pictures of him after he had been tortured and killed. His mother insisted on an open casket so the world could see what had been done to her son. I saw the pictures, courtesy of that awe inspiring invention called television, many decades after the boy had been laid to rest.
Emmett did not have a face left. He looked like something straight out of a horror movie, and his mother stood there, stoic in her grim determination not to be seen weeping but in the end she did weep in a rather muted fashion determined not to give in to the darkness that must have been beckoning to her. Indeed she looked rather beautiful that day, full make up and all.
Me? I woulda been weeping and wailing and rolling about in the dust and pulling my hair out in clumps. I am just not that strong and sometimes you have to break before you can mend.
By their own confession, these two grown men (one of them a soldier) took turns hitting Emmett about the head and face with the butt of a gun and would not stop because, according to them, he kept telling them he was not afraid! They kept this up for a while, determined to break his spirit and put some fear in him. When it did not work, they drove him to a river, shot him in the ear, and threw his weighted body in. Please be warned the following picture is not for the faint of heart.
It has been said that Rosa Parks remained sitting on that bus because of the memory of Emmett Till. Muhammad Ali went berserk the first time he heard the story and saw the pictures. The killing of Emmett Till woke the black man up in America. Emmett’s death opened up the road for the Martin Luther King Jnrs of this world. The Malcolm Xs. It brought African Americans togther to claim their humanity and stand up to the master in what has since come to be known as the Civil Rights movement, a movement without which there would be no rapper called Lil Wayne for us to enjoy today.
The same Lil Wayne who has chosen to soil the memory of a young boy regarded as a martyr, with careless lyrics.
The apathy of the words leave me wondering. What sex act could possibly be compared to the brutal murder of a child, any child, of any color, anywhere in the world?
Shame on you Lil Wayne, because I understand why the family have rejected your ‘acknowledgment’ of their pain at your lyrics. Shame on you.