Too little too late? Lil Wayne's rhymes are getting him in trouble -- and this time around, even an apology can't save the situation. The "Money on My Mind" rapper has officially been dropped from an endorsement deal with Mountain Dew over controversial lyrics that he contributed to a remix of Future's "Karate Chop," which was leaked online in February.
The line in question involves Wayne rapping that he'll "beat the p---y up like Emmett Till," a nod to the historic 1955 beating and murder of Mississippi teenager Emmett Till after the teen allegedly flirted with a white woman.
Members of the Mamie Till Mobley Foundation, which honors both the memory of Emmett's late mother and his haunting legacy, immediately took issue with the verse, reacting to Wayne's word choice with "utter shock, disappointment and sadness."
Mountain Dew and parent company PepsiCo. issued an official statement on Friday, May 3, distancing themselves from Wayne and confirming that they had severed ties with the artist and dropped their joint "DeWeezy" campaign.
"We do not plan any additional work with Lil Wayne moving forward," the company said in the statement. "His offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand."
Earlier this month, Weezy himself took responsibility for his lyrics and wrote a letter addressing the controversy.
"As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play," he began the apology, which was first published at MissInfo.TV. "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 artist's song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure."
The letter goes on to state that he will refrain from referencing Emmett Till or the Till family in general in any future songs, and that he has "tremendous respect" for those who have made an impact and "paved the way" for public figures such as himself.
Wayne's apology didn't fix the situation, however, and after Mountain Dew ultimately pulled the plug on its relationship with Weezy, the Till family praised the company for its decision.
"Just as Mamie Till Mobley didn't endure the pain of losing Emmett Till alone, many people have stood in solidarity with our family, even if it wasn't the most popular stand to take," Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Executive Director of the foundation, said in a statement. "This decision was monumental, we commend Mountain Dew for taking action towards better social responsibility, and now I finally feel that we can exhale and focus on our beloved Mamie Till Mobley's charge... Let's get on with the business of positive thinking and living."