When Lil Wayne dropped the classy line “beat that p*ssy up like Emmet Till” earlier this year, the backlash was swift and severe. Epic Records head L.A. Reid apologized to Till’s family, claiming the line came from an unauthorized remix. Weezy’s buddy Stevie Wonder distanced himself from the rapper, telling him to directly apologize to the family as well.
But Wayne is too rock and roll for apologies, and defied critics due to the whole “artistic freedom” thing. As it turns out, he’s only rock and roll as far the endorsement deals will take him, and with the threat of losing a major Mountain Dew sponsorship looming, Wayne released the following letter of apology (written and released by his lawyers, of course):
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.
Forced apologies are the least of Wayne’s concerns these days, as TMZ reports he was admitted to the hospital for the second time this spring with seizures. Wayne claims the seizures are due to epilepsy, which he’s suffered from since childhood. Or, so he claims, of course.