Emmett Till’s family pens open letter to Lil Wayne

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Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old Chicago boy, who was brutally murdered near Money, Mississippi. (AP Photo/File)/ Lil Wayne (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old Chicago boy, who was brutally murdered near Money, Mississippi. (AP Photo/File)/ Lil Wayne (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

While Lil Wayne still hasn’t responded to or apologized for his controversial lyric referencing Emmett Till featured in a remix of the song “Karate Chop,” the family of the civil rights icon has reached out to him via an open letter.

The document, which was given exclusively to Vibe, the Till family asks Weezy to think before he speaks and to take ownership of the power of his celebrity status:

Yesterday marked a week since the “unofficial” release of “Karate Chop~remix” inclusive of your lyrics. The words we speak are powerful enough for preservation of life but also have the capacity to destroy it. When you spit lyrics like “Beat that p—-y up like Emmett Till”, [sic] not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till’s memory and name, but the impact of his murder in black history along with degradation of women.

The tongue possesses power! I could offer you a history lesson and talk about the trailblazers that paved the way for our people and lyricists to engage in freedom of speech such as Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mamie Till Mobley; but this isn’t an argument about freedom of speech. It is critical that we stay true to urgency of the hour… our youth! Your “celebrity” thrusts you into the spotlight affording you the opportunity to embrace your role as a black man, father, friend, and artist that has the ability to reach international audiences. Are you bothered in the least by the staggering statistics of the extinction of our children?

While Epic Records removed the Till verse from its release, is it time for Lil Wayne to respond personally?

Read the rest of the letter here and let us know what you think in the comments below.

For the latest music news, follow Kyle Harvey on Twitter at @HarveyWins.