On the “Karate Chop Remix,” Lil Wayne spit “Beat that p*ssy up like Emmett Till,” which caused Till’s cousin to speak out against Lil Wayne and the record.
Emmett Till’s cousin and founding director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, Airickca Gordon-Taylor called Lil Wayne’s Emmett Till lyric “dishonorable,” “offensive” and stated that her family “was very offended, very hurt,” and “disturbed by it.”
The family found the lyric so offensive due to the vicious attack on Emmett Till, in 1955 when he was visiting family in Mississippi, that left him dead at the age of 14 after allegedly flirting with a white woman. He was beaten, had his eyes gouged out and was shot in the head before being tied a cotton gin fan with barbed wire and tossed into the Tallahatchie River. Two white men, including the woman’s husband who Till allegedly flirted with, were acquitted of the killing by an all-white jury.
Below are a few quotes taken from Airickca Gordon-Taylor’s interview, where she speaks out against Lil Wayne and the remix, with Dr. Boyce Watkins.
To compare his murder and how beaten and how bullied, beaten, and tortured he was to the anatomy of a woman was really very disrespectful. We found it dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture. It was offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors and to women and to themselves as young, black men. I just couldn’t understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I feel as though they have no pride and no dignity as black men.
Gordon-Taylor also stated:
Our family was very offended, very hurt [and] disturbed by it. Our young people they emulate what they see, what they hear, and what they’re immersed in… 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.
Responding to the controversy of the track, and Emmett Till’s family speaking out, Epic Records gave a statement that was published by the AP:
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.
You can listen to Airickca Gordon-Taylor’s full 20 minute interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins, where the above quotes from Gordon-Taylor were transcribed from, below: