PepsiCo Axes Lil Wayne Over Emmett Till Lyric
Lil Wayne’s fans might like his unapologetic aggression and his willingness to cross lines to generate laughs and thought-provoking conversations, but apparently, the fine people over at PepsiCo aren’t quite as enthused about those same attributes. This weekend, the popular beverage company announced it has severed ties with Weezy over the jab he took at civil rights martyr Emmett Till and the subsequent apology many deemed half-hearted.
The lyric in question refers to beating a “pussy up like Emmett Till” and was spit on the Future track “Karate Chop (Remix)”. After the deceased fourteen-year-old’s family expressed outrage, Lil Wayne released a statement calling the line a “miscue” in the spirit of wordplay. That’s almost certainly what it was, but the family was looking for an overt apology and thus, wasn’t extremely pleased with Weezy. They called for a boycott, and while that almost certainly wouldn’t have worked, the ensuing publicity was enough to convince PepsiCo to sever ties.
Here’s a portion of the official statement, as per MTV…
"We do not plan any additional work with Lil Wayne moving forward. His offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand."
PepsiCo’s termination of Weezy’s contract is just the latest in a series. Last month, Rick Ross was axed from Reebok and just days ago, Tyler The Creator had his Mountain Dew commercial yanked because some deemed it offensive. Did the companies overreact? Probably. But given how sensitive large organizations are to negative press nowadays, no one, least of all any of these musicians, should be surprised by what happened.
PepsiCo’s decision will hit Weezy’s pocketbook, but luckily, the loss won’t have any tangible impact on his overall wealth given how well he’s done financially. Here’s to hoping Lil Wayne’s health problems will improve and any future partnerships will go a little more smoothly.