Lil Wayne Loses Pepsi Deal Over Foul LyricsRapper Lil Wayne has lost his deal to promote Pepsi products after making a foul reference to a civil rights martyr in one of his songs.
Pepsi said in a statement on Friday that the rapper’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., used to promote Mountain Dew for Pepsi.
The rapper referenced Emmett Till, a civil rights martyr, in the song “Karate Chop” which was released this year.
In one part of the rap song, Carter talks about beating someone, causing as much damage as was done to Till, during a sexual act.
Till was killed in 1955 after whistling at a white woman. He was shot in the head after being beaten and having his eyes were gouged out. His body was thrown into a river.
When his body was recovered, his mother maintained he should have an open casket and the pictures of his body subsequently became a rallying point for civil rights activists.
Nonetheless, the Carter’s publicist said that Carter’s split with Pepsi was amicable and was because of “creative differences”.
Carter has also issued a formal apology to the Till family.
“It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist’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,” Carter said.
“Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner,” he added.
“I fully support Epic Record’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,” he said.
“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,” he ended.