Lil Wayne dropped by Mountain Dew

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(CNN) — PepsiCo is ending its relationship with rapper Lil Wayne over what the company calls an “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon” — 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was killed nearly 60 years ago.

The rap superstar, featured in the song “Karate Chop” by Future, says: “Beat that p—- up like Emmett Till.”

Till, a 14-year-old black youth, was killed in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. He was beaten to the extent that his face was unrecognizable when his body was discovered. He was identified by a monogrammed ring belonging to his father.

Mountain Dew, a brand of PepsiCo, said Friday its relationship with the rapper would end.

A Mountain Dew spokesman told CNN, “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.”

The spokesman declined to comment on the company’s previous relationship with the artist.

Sarah Cunningham, publicist for Lil Wayne’s record label, Young Money, issued the following statement to CNN: “I can confirm that due to creative differences, we mutually decided to part ways. It was amicable.”

Till, a Chicago teenager who was visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955, was arrested at gunpoint and severely beaten. One of his eyes was gouged before he was killed by a single gunshot to the head. The teen’s body was tied to a large fan before being dumped into a river.

Members of the Till family could not be reached for comment Friday by CNN, but the Rev. Al Sharpton said he has set up a meeting next week between PepsiCo officials and members of the family.

In a statement to CNN, Sharpton said that the situation was a “teaching moment for Lil Wayne, corporate America and the family of Emmett Till … more than a condemnation of any one artist, it is an affirmation of Emmett Till and a call for more sensitivity about what we say and do in our culture.”

 

18 comments

  • topsy turvy

    Really Rev. Al Sharpton???? Pepsi sure didn't sing the lyrics and dropped him as soon as they heard the lyrics. Most importantly…if you are playing the racial card…ummmm do you even know who Lil Wayne is? Shame on him for what he done…it is sad and he alone is who to blame. Let him make it right with the family of Emmett Till…Pepsi done their job by breaking ties with him.

  • jer

    dumb gang bangin home slice g money. world would be better off if he joined jimmy hoffa. useless puke.

  • Roo908

    Is this the same Pepsi Cola that just rescinded the Mountain Dew video with black men in a line up, a goat and a beaten white girl? Really?…companies are such opportunist….they want to punish the people they choose to represent their brand only when it might hurt them financially….I don't like Lil Wayne..he's an idiot…that aside this is just moronic to say its about the lyric…when he has said much worse than this on his albums.

  • Tony zoltan

    Is jes a lyrics in a music.music is very social and dynamics. was lil wayne there when the damn Till was killed? Fuck everybody Lil Wayne is jes a rapper doin his on own shit.

  • Veronica Carter

    Lil Wayne must know that being in the public eye or better yet being a father one must be careful of what comes out your mouth. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that although he knew who Emmett Till was he didn't know the full ramifications of what his big mouth would cause. My advice to you Lil Wayne is to learn before you speak.

  • D J

    My issue is Lil' Wayne has previously said controversial things and it is just now raising eyebrows. To quote some of his lyrics, the infamous Emmett Till lyrics "beat up the p**** like Emmett Till," "Rodney King, baby, yea, I beat it like a cop, " and "I'm killing these h*** just like Ted Bundy." These references, to some (Lil' Wayne included), might be considered unique and cutting edge, but they trivialize the seriousness of these tragic events, victims and issues. (Part 1 of Lengthy Response)

  • D J

    I believe Lil' Wayne thought he could get away with the Emmett Till lyrics because no one addressed his previous lyrics. Kanye West had a similar experience when he interrupted several award shows but came under scrutiny we he interrupted America's Sweetheart Taylor Swift. If he was stopped before, the Taylor Swift thing would have never happened. In Kanye's case, one could argue the race issue but the REAL issue is his interruptions were rude and disrespectful WAY before the Taylor Swift incident. In Lil' Wayne's case, his lyrics should have warranted a reaction a llllooooonnnggg time ago. We as concerned listeners need to address controversy early. (Part 2 of Lengthy Response)

  • D J

    The entertainment industry, media and society has pressured artists to be "controversial" and "push buttons" because it makes money. I blame them partially for the some of the fights, scandals, and other moments of disrespect that have occurred in various areas of entertainment. I also wish fans would stop being naïve. It's like we have forgotten about publicity stunts and media pranks.
    In regards to freedom of speech, everyone is guaranteed this inalienable right in America. However, that does not negate moral and social RESPONSIBILITY. You cannot go into a building yelling “Fire! Fire! Everybody get out,” alarming the fire department and causing panic because you think it’s funny or you think it’s unique to see people in a natural state of fear. Some words spark fires. Some of these fires are noble (songs addressing injustices) and others are destructive (songs trivializing traumatic situations). (Part 4 of Length Response)

  • D J

    For me personally, Lil’ Wayne’s most troublesome lyrics are "come take a walk with Satan" from Fireman and "these h*** love me like Satan" from Love Me. I believe this explains why the Till lyrics initially weren’t a big deal for him. If you don’t care about how loosely you use Satan’s name, why would you be concerned about using any other derogatory reference? As a Christian, I am concerned for Lil’ Wayne spiritually. I’m praying for him like I pray for the rest of the world. (Part 5 of Lengthy Response)

  • D J

    Sorry ya'll they won't let me post part 3. But they will let people use profanity. Does that not prove my point? LOL

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