Stevie Wonder on Lil Wayne’s Emmett Till Lyric: “You Just Cannot Do That”

Ironically transpiring during Black History Month, Lil Wayne’s comparison of a rough sex act to the vicious murder of Emmitt Till, a 14-year-old black teen in 1955 for whistling at a white woman on Future’s “Karate Chop” song caused a firestorm, one big enough for Epic Records to agree to take the song from the internet and re-release without the questionable lyrics. The exact lyrics begin with “Beat that pu**y up like Emmett Till,” and Wayne goes on to describe the amount of damage he wants to reenact in reference to the brutal crime.

Stevie Wonder took offense to the lyrics, and responded last Thursday. "You can't equate that to Emmett Till," Wonder said. "You just cannot do that. … I think you got to have someone around you that – even if they are the same age or older – is wiser to say, `Yo, that's not happening. Don't do that.'"

Words are powerful, and Wonder wants songwriters to take responsibility for the words they choose. "Sometimes people have to put themselves in the place of people who they are talking about," Wonder said. "Imagine if that happened to your mother, brother, daughter or your son. How would you feel? Have some discernment before we say certain things. That goes for me or any other (song)writer."

Rev. Jesse Jackson reached out to Wayne’s management on behalf of Till’s family to, while Epic agreed to pull the track. In a statement, the Epic states that version of “Karate Chop” was an unauthorized online leak, and they plan on scouring the net to have it pulled. “Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. … we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version,” the statement says.

The label assures that an authorized version will be released at a later date without the controversial lyrics.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.