When my parents were in their teens and twenties, they listened to music that had a message. The musicians they listened to not only entertained their audiences, but educated them on the political issues of the time. I can’t say that about Lil Wayne’s latest musical venture. Recently, Lil Wayne recorded a verse on Future’s song “Karate Chop.” Lil Wayne’s lines are both confusing and vile. In his line, he discusses performing a rough sexual act on a woman while making reference to Emmett Till, the Chicago teen who was tortured and brutally murdered in Mississippi after whistling at a white woman. Words cannot describe how disgusted I was when I first heard about the incident. Here are the offending lyrics, edited for the sake of decency:
Pop a lot of pain pills
‘Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels
Yeah, beat that (expletive) up like Emmett Till
There are articles that have the exact word, so you can look that up on any search engine. It’s frightening, that in this day and age, a young, intelligent black man would degrade his own people and history by describing the double disrespect of not only the woman with whom he intends to share intimacy and the brutal assault and murder of an innocent teenager. Lil Wayne, if you haven’t already done so, do some research on Emmett Till. Look up a picture of his mutilated body and see the image of the young man to whom you’ve made reference in your disgusting, poor excuse of a song. If this is what we call music nowadays, I am thoroughly ashamed. And my peers wonder why I prefer old school music to today’s R&B and hip hop. This is so bad I hesitated in telling my mother about this cretin and his choice of words. When I did, she was disturbed, and understandably so. I think it’s about time we re-evaluate our choices in music and the musicians we support. It’s also time that companies such as Epic Records reconsider the caliber of artists they choose to sign. These artists will not only earn money, but will represent the company. If you want Lil Wayne to represent your label–be he a signed artist or an artist appearing on the album–then consider the quality of work you will receive. This work you allow him to record and allow yourselves to release will speak volumes about you as an organization. What do you want your work to say about you? What do you want your artists to say about you as a recording company? Do you want to be respected and admired, or do you not want people to buy your products? When you allow artists such as Lil Wayne to record garbage, it says a lot about you. It says that you don’t care what you publish under your name and the quality of your work doesn’t mean a thing to you. It’s good that L.A. Reid has apologized for allowing this filth to be released, but it would be even better if Lil Wayne offered his apologies as well. While Epic Records allowed him to record this disgraceful line, Lil Wayne made the conscious decision to write and record it. Lil Wayne, put your big boy pants on and do the right thing.