Lil Wayne dropped from Mountain Dew in wake of Emmett Till lyrics
The lyrics in question have Wayne rapping that he'll "beat the p**** up like Emmett Till," which is a reference to the 1955 Mississippi beating and murder of black teenager Emmett Till, who was attacked after allegedly flirting with a white woman.
His body was dumped in a river and found days later. The two men who attacked Till were eventually acquitted of the crime, but Till became an icon in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
The remix version of "Karate Chop" was an unauthorized release that leaked in February. At the time, Epic Records said in a statement, "We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future's `Karate Chop,' which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics. 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."
Lil Wayne eventually addressed the issue himself, saying in a statement to the Till family:
"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."
The Till family was not mollified, however, saying in a statement, " While it's commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till and his memory to 'not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music,' this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned."
And now the PepsiCo endorsement deal has been canceled.
A spokesperson for the company says, "We do not plan any additional work with Lil Wayne moving forward. His offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand."
In response to the endorsement cancellation, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, executive director of Mamie Till Mobley Foundation, says in a statement, "We commend Mountain Dew for taking action towards better social responsibility, and now I finally feel that we can exhale and focus on our beloved Mamie Till Mobley's charge ... Let's get on with the business of positive thinking and living."