- (Photo: Danny Moloshok / Reuters)
Lil Wayne is finally apologizing to the family of Emmett Till shortly after the slain teenager's relatives reportedly spoke about targeting his endorsement deal with Mountain Dew.
Wayne, the 30-year-old rapper born Dewayne Carter, issued his apology to Till's family for using the black teenager who was killed in 1955 as a metaphor for a sexual reference in a remix of the song "Karate Chop."
"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," the rapper began in a letter titled addressed to the Till family which was featured on www.missinfo.tv.
"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," the letter continued.
The rapper went on to say that he would never again reference Till in a disrespectful manner.
"Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner," the rapper stated in the letter. "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."
The letter comes after fellow rapper Rick Ross was dropped by his Reebok sponsors. Soon after, the Till family made headlines for attempting to put pressure on Carter's sponsors, namely Mountain Dew.
"Since, the rapper has not apologized, the Till family have told AllHipHop.com exclusively that they intend to pressure Lil Wayne's sponsors, namely Mountain Dew," AllHipHop.com wrote previously. "Shortly, the Till Family are expected to make offensive moves forward to further address Wayne and Mountain Dew, a product of PepsiCo."
However, Carter has since owned up to his mistake and spoke about respecting the people that came before him and uplifting the African-American community.
"I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy," Carter wrote. "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."