Music

Emmett Till’s family pens open letter to Lil Wayne

Thu., Feb. 21, 2013 9:56 AM EDT
by Nicholas Robinson

There’s no question that Lil Wayne sure knows how to stir up trouble. The silver-tongued emcee has been embroiled in controversy all month thanks to his beef with the NBA, Chris Bosh and, most notably, the Till family, who, along with many across the nation, were offended by the rapper’s disrespectful rap about slain civil rights figure Emmett Till. Now, the Till family has written an open letter to Wayne, explaining why his words were so hurtful.

The trouble all begin earlier this month, when Wayne popped up on the remix to Future’s “Karate Chop” and rapped, “Beat that p—- up like Emmett Till.”

As most know, Till was killed in 1955 for whistling at a white woman. He was kidnapped, beaten throughout the night, shot and then tossed into the Mississippi River with a 70-pound fan tied around his neck with barbed wire, in hopes that his body would never be found. However, he was found and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, demanded that he have an open casket funeral to show how her son’s face had been horribly mutilated.

Although Wayne has received a barrage of backlash over the lyrics, the emcee has yet to comment on the issue, while Future’s record label, Epic Records, recently issued an apology for the song.

Now, Till’s family has penned an open letter to Wayne, via Vibe Vixen, explaining how his words opened up an old wound for them.

“Drafting this letter is very difficult because Emmett Till was not just a “sacrificial lamb” for the movement, he was our blood. There was a before image of our beloved “BoBo” that represented the fun-loving, bubbly playful child and member of our family before there was the iconic image of his disfigured face symbolizing as described by his mother as the “face of racism”. [sic] He was more than a name that went down in history. HE WAS MAMIE TILL MOBLEY’S ONLY CHILD!” read the letter.

Read the entire letter below and check out commentary from Stevie Wonder as well. –nicholas robinson 

 

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