After the release of Future’s “Karate Chop”, featuring the Young Money honcho Lil Wayne, Emmet Till’s cousin had a few words to say about the use of her relative’s name in the song.
After dealing with his controversy over statements towards New York and recent actions at a basketball game, Lil Wayne finds himself in the crosshairs of yet another bitter embattlement, this time over lyrics in Future's "Karate Chop" remix. In response to the use of her cousins image and name, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, founder of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, spoke out about why she disagrees with the harsh lyrics.
In the song, Lil Wayne raps, “Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till.” Upon hearing the lyrics, Gordon-Taylor and the rest of Till’s relatives felt a bit perturbed towards the association of a racist murder and the female genitalia. While speaking with Dr. Boyce Watkins', Gordon-Taylor said, “To compare his murder and how beaten and how bullied, 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.”
She also mentioned it was disrespectful not only to women, but to African Americans in general as well. She continued, “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.”
However, Gordon-Taylor didn’t stop there about the controversial lyrics. She also said that since Lil Wayne has such a wide and young fan base, it can have a negative effect on how those fans later go on to live their lives. She explained that the opposition relating to young African Americans is already resounding, stating, “Our young people they emulate what they see, what they hear, and what they’re immersed in. And then we question them as they grow up and become citizens and they’re supposed to be productive in society and they’re not productive. 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. And that’s the biggest concern. We’re concerned about our young people as well as the image of Emmett Till.”
Emmet Till’s death is still one of the most horrific race-related crimes from the mid-half of the past century. While visiting Mississippi in 1955, Till allegedly flirted with a white girl. Upon hearing the news, the woman’s husband and half-brother beat the 14 year old boy to death and disposed of his body in the Tallahatchie River. It was an extremely gruesome murder and no arrests or guilty charges were ever made then or in 2004 when the case was reopened.
Lil Wayne has not responded back as of yet, however according to the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation Facebook page, L.A. Reid is pulling the song, after claiming the track leaked and he did not hear or agree with the lyrics.