Family of the Emmett Till Upset with Rapper Lil Wayne Lyrical Mention of Him in A Song

| February 14, 2013 | 1 Comment

Emmett Till’s family says that they are very offended and hurt by Lil Wayne’s comparison of Emmett Till’s brutally beaten body to the physique of a woman.

Emmett Till

1955, photo of Emmett Till, 14, before and after his brutal murder.

It was more than likely a regular day in 1955 when Emmett Till visited a store and innocently spoke to a married 21 year old white woman, but it was probably not a day he believed would end his life forever. Several days later, the husband and brother-in-law of the woman arrived at Till’s uncle’s house, took him, drove him to a barn, and beat him badly enough to gouge one of his eyes. In a senseless and despicable act of racism, he was shot  in the head, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi,weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire.

His slain lifeless body was recovered, three days later, weighted down by a 70-pound “cotton gin” fan, attached to barbwire tied around his neck.

Today, Emmett Till’s family has a few important words for Young Money Cash Money rap star Lil Wayne. Future’s recent release, “Karate Chop” features Lil Tunechi. In one particular verse off the record, the rapper insensitively stated the following:

Beat that p*ssy up like Emmett Till” [3:15 mark] was perceived as pure disgust by the Till family. Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Founder-Director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation and Emmett Till’s cousin spoke on behalf of the slain man.

While young hip hop crowds rave and become hype at such style of lyricism, this family feels “very offended and very hurt”, in Taylor’s words:

“Our young people they emulate what they see, what they hear, and what they’re immersed in. And then we question them as they grow up and become citizens and they’re supposed to be productive in society and they’re not productive. And society is already criminalizing our young, black men at every opportunity they have. So it just really concerns us that here you are using Emmett Till’s name in such an egregious way and you’re not having any respect for yourselves as well as our family. And that’s the biggest concern. We’re concerned about our young people as well as the image of Emmett Till.”

Many of our children are dying in different senseless forms today. It’s extremely important that the hip hop culture understands that even those historical incidences of our African American history are still, today, open wounds in the hearts of family members of victims. Creative lyricism doesn’t have to be disrespectful, and those families are owed a level of respect. The Emmett Till story should do nothing but inspire. What do you think? Should Lil Wayne check himself on this song? Listen to this interview with Airickca Gordon-Taylor below:

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  1. Belinda L. Williams says:

    this shows that if we stand up and voice what shouldn't be accepted then it wont be successful. lil weezy and some of these other rappers are being used by the enemy and will go as far as possible to kill the spirit and mind of the youth but all they know is…the beat is hott and my peers like it.

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