Emmett Till's family reacts to Lil Wayne lyric
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2012 file photo, recording artist Lil Wayne speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in New Orleans. Epic Records is going to "great efforts" to take down a new Future remix leaked over the weekend with a vulgar lyric by Lil Wayne that has offended the family of Emmett Till. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A cousin of the late Emmett Till wonders if Lil Wayne understands just how damaging it was when he rapped a vulgar reference to the black U.S. teen whose death in 1955 became a significant moment in the civil rights movement.
Airickca Gordon-Taylor says Till's family would like an apology from Lil Wayne for the brief but disturbing lyric on Future's "Karate Chop" remix. But more than that, she'd like the platinum-selling New Orleans rapper to understand how his comparison of a sex act to the 14-year-old Chicago native's torture death in Mississippi is hurtful to the black community.
"It was a heinous murder," Gordon-Taylor said in a phone interview Thursday from Chicago. "He was brutally beaten and tortured, and he was shot, wrapped in barbed wire and tossed in the Tallahatchie River. The images that we're fortunate to have (of his open casket) that 'Jet' published, they demonstrate the ugliness of racism. So to compare a woman's anatomy — the gateway of life — to the ugly face of death, it just destroyed me. And then I had to call the elders in my family and explain to them before they heard it from some another source."
The Future remix with Weezy guesting was leaked on the internet over the weekend. Epic Records said Wednesday it regretted the unauthorized remix version and that it was employing "great efforts" to pull it down. The brief reference — just seven words — will be stricken from the song when it's officially released later.
The rapper made a crude reference to rough sex and used an obscenity. He indicated he wanted to do as much damage as had been done to Till.
FILE - This undated file photo shows Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old Chicago boy, who was brutally murdered near Money, Mississippi, Aug. 31, 1955, after whistling at a white woman. Epic Records is going to "great efforts" to take down a new Future remix leaked over the weekend with a vulgar lyric by Lil Wayne that has offended the family of Emmett Till. (AP Photo/File)
Gordon-Taylor says Epic Chairman and CEO LA Reid personally reached out to her on a conference call Wednesday evening that included the Rev. Jesse Jackson to explain and apologize. Jackson said in a phone interview Thursday that Reid said on the call that Future and Lil Wayne were cooperative.
"Once he got the point he realized this was beyond the zone and he immediately pulled it," Jackson said. "And he talked with both artists, who agreed."
Weezy has made no comment, nor has he addressed the issue on his Twitter account. Gordon-Taylor says there's been no attempt to apologize so far.