Dear Till Family:
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.
It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artistâ€™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.
Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Recordâ€™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.
I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. 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.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.
Who is Emmett Till? -Â SourceÂ
Emmett Louis TillÂ (July 25, 1941Â â€“ August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered inÂ MississippiÂ at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was fromÂ Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives inÂ Money, Mississippi, in theÂ Mississippi DeltaÂ region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in theÂ Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32Â kg)Â cotton ginÂ fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.
Till was returned to Chicago and his mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his casket and images of his mutilated body were published in black magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U.S. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the condition of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around the country critical of the state.
“Beat the pussy up like Emmett Till,” Â –
I wanted to step away from hair for a second because this issue is pretty telling. I must warn you, thisÂ commentaryÂ is pretty raw so if you have sensitive eyes then click away now.
Honestly IÂ don’tÂ even know where to start, perhaps I should start with the lyric. Wayne, in all his artistryÂ referredÂ to a woman’s son who was brutally murdered as a reference point to how he beat pussy up!… seriously? Sometimes I wonder what ‘a NIGGA’ is thinking when he sits down and composes something that is has the utmost disrespect to a family, to a dead son, to a martyr , to our history and to how lucky HE is to be here today. How is that art?
I am so happy that he lost his endorsement deal with Pepsico, because that gesture shows that we will hold individuals accountable for what they say especially when they have such a huge Â voice in this country and the world. What I don’tÂ know is, at the most personal level as a father is it enoughÂ to just ask him, ‘How would you feel if it were your son, eyes gauged, swollen body, gone at 14?’ Â He has a son, so itÂ couldn’tÂ be that he cares too much about the ‘what if it were me’ sentiment, clearly when he imagined his own son in that scenario all he could think about was the last pussy he banged and how he beat it up.
You see in this day and age, rappers and artists like Wayne feel as if they areÂ entitledÂ to say whatever the fuck they want to say in spite of and despite who they hurt. They have no respect for the social boundaries we have set as human beings because if they did that then they would have nothing to rap about. They dare to push the envelope and much like Buzz Lightyear go where Â ‘NO NIGGA’ has ever gone before in the name creative genius. The truth is they are lazy because a true artist does not have to rely on being the ‘ludest, rawest,most disrespectful’ to gain recognition for who or what they are, a true artist can respect boundaries and make hit records while taking a stand for something positive.
Some people say that the Tills are looking for a payday and that they are probably blowing things out of proportion to ensure that they get what they deserve. If they were looking for monetary rewards from this scenario then shame on them, but it is even more shameful that the issue was brought to the fore front from ‘an artist’ who has no firm understanding of the value of his history and not enough remorse to say point blank – ‘I am sorry’
I look at my son everyday of his short five month life, and as he goes through his motions, turning over only from his tummy to his back because he cant seem to master the opposite direction, or making weird noises to indicate happiness or sadness, or learning to situp and smiling at me because he did it for a full 10 seconds that time, looking to me and his dad as his ultimate protectors. I hate to think that I will not be able to protect him all the time, that this world can be that evil where someone can take my boy from me without batting an eye. The truth is, it happens everyday and though we stay in prayer for the protection of our children, someone out there hasÂ experiencedÂ that hurt before. I cant imagine what it would be like to lose a child and now that I have one, I really really cant imagine it. We are so desensitized to human life, hopefully we can continue to hold people accountable for what they say and do by not supporting or endorsing bullshit. IÂ don’tÂ know what is worse, losing a child, or losing a child and then listen to some dumbass tell the world that it was kinda like the last bitch he slammed.
These days I hear Wayne is recovering from yet another seizure, he says he has epilepsy, he just never talked about it… Hmm.
Get well soon Dummy!