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Enough Already! Discussing Lil Wayne's Offensive Emmett Till Lyrics

Lil Wayne offends…once again. The Louisiana-born rapper made a highly offensive and sexually explicit lyric on his track ‘Karate Chop.’ You might be saying, “he’s always offensive so what’s new?” Lil Wayne must have been tired of slandering women in his usual way and thought, “how can be even more offensive?” His answer was to compare a sex act with a woman to the beating that 14-year old Emmett Till received at the hands of white attackers.

The song is featured on a remix track by fellow rapper Future. Reportedly, the song wasn’t intended to reach the public and was ‘leaked.’ Epic records, the recording label that signs Wayne’s checks (despite his many references to being a ‘boss’ apparently he’s not), said they will go to ‘great efforts’ to recall the track with the offensive lyrics. An official release of the original song has been set with the vulgar lyric removed.

While that’s all well and good, let’s get real for a second. Lil Wayne’s music is offensive regardless of this latest scandal. He’s indiscriminate with his vile lyrics, targeting women (especially) and those in the LBGT community. With lyrics like, “you homo n*ggas get AIDS in the *ss” and “Then I beat her like a cop, Rodney King, baby, yeah I beat her like a cop, Beat her like a cop! Rodney King baby said I beat her like a cop,” it’s obvious that Lil Wayne has no regard for social issues, no common personal decency or definitely no respect for others.

Here’s a little backstory on Emmett Till and why the use of his name in this manner is so derogatory. 14-year old Till was a native of Chicago when he visited family in Mississippi in 1955. While there, two white men accused him of whistling at a white woman. As a result, he was beaten, had his eyes gouged out and was shot in the head. However, that wasn’t the end of it. His killers tied a cotton gin fan laced with barbed wire to his body and tossed it into the Tallahatchie River. The two men, including the woman’s husband, were cleared of all the charges by an all-white jury.

Till’s body was later found and returned to Chicago.  His mother, Mamie Till, demanded an open casket at his funeral to expose the horrors of racism. The media took pictures of his battered body and that action helped move the civil rights movement forward.

I agree that Wayne’s use of Emmett Till’s name when describing what he’d to a woman sexually is horrendous. No doubt about it. However, what makes this most recent lyric any more or less offensive than the rest? This is a man who created a song entitled ‘Lollipop,’ which details how he wants a woman to perform oral sex on him. This same man made a song entitled ‘Every Girl’ with the lyrics “I wish I could f*ck every girl in the world;” and performed it on the BET Awards stage while his daughter danced alongside him. His daughter.

Forget the ‘freedom of speech’ narrative. Sure, we all have the right to say whatever we think, feel or believe, but just because you can say it doesn’t meant you should. Lil Wayne and the rest of hip-hop ‘elite’ have a tendency to degrade women repeatedly with raunchy lyrics; reducing them to mere sex objects. No longer is there any room for informed, conscious and entertaining music in hip-hop. There’s barely any room for female rappers and hip-hop artists. There was a time where women had a voice. Queen Latifah, Eve, Mc Lyte, Lauryn Hill, Rah Digga. Each of them brought their own unique style to the ordinarily all-boys hip-hop/rap club. With the emergence of Lil Kim, though, the death of women in hip-hip and rap was ushered in.

Since Lil Kim stepped on the scene, there have only been a handful of female emcees who have kept their sexual lyrics tame (in comparison) and their rhymes comparable to the men in the game.

Now we have Nicki Minaj. The once fierce underground artist who held so much promise and was slated to be the one to bring female rappers back from the dead has been reduced to wearing rainbow tu-tus and resembling a human Barbie. I’m certain her transformation had MUCH to do with Lil Wayne’s career guidance.

Young Moolah baby!

With the slow death of hip-hop/rap quickly becoming a race to the bottom, the Lil Wayne song ‘Karate Chop’ is just another in a long line of ignorant lyrics that he and other rappers are insistent on assaulting the masses with. Isn’t it time we stopped supporting music because ‘the beat goes hard’ or ‘it’s just a song…it doesn’t reflect real life?” When is enough…enough?

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