Despite the months of criticism that Lil Wayne has faced in regards to his hotly contested Emmett Till lyric, the Young Money president has remained silent on the issue, until now. On Wednesday (May 1), Wayne, addressed the offensive rap line in a letter to the Till 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,” the rapper wrote in the note, which was made public and posted in full on MissInfo.TV. (MTV News reached out to sources close to Wayne who confirmed the authenticity of the letter.)
The lyric in question appeared on the remix of Future’s “Karate Chop” single, which was released in February. On it, Wayne made a correlation between his sexual strength and the 1955 fatal assault on the civil rights figure, rhyming, “Beat the p—y up like Emmett Till.”
Future’s label, the Sony-distributed Epic Records, immediately pulled the lyric from the song, but the Till family, unsatisfied, continued to demand an apology from Wayne. They even threatened to go after the rapper’s corporate sponsors, Mountain Dew.
Wayne has heard the message loud and clear. At the top of the letter he did message that he has an affinity for clever word play, but acknowledges that he went too far. “Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner,” he wrote. “I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue.”
To close the rapper writes on the importance of Till and says he hopes to uplift through his many business and philanthropic ventures. “I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans enjoy,” he wrote, before he signed off using his birth name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.