Pepsi will drop rapper Lil Wayne after the 30-year-old made a crude reference to civil rights martyr Emmett Till in a track.
In Future’s song “Karate Chop,” released in February, the rapper uses the lyric, “Beat that p***y up like Emmett Till.”
The reference to Till, a 14-year-old boy who was tortured and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955, drew criticism from various sources, including fans, Lil Wayne’s record label, fellow musicians, and the Till family.
Lil Wayne penned a letter of apology to the family, who were not impressed. Airickca Gordon-Taylor, a cousin of Till’s, told The Associated Press:
“I think that he’s kind of been pressured or he’s been admonished to make a statement to the family because of the ongoing negative publicity and attention and the pressure we’ve put onto his endorsement with Mountain Dew.”
As of today, that endorsement with Mountain Dew is no more. Pepsi, which produces the popular soda, has dropped Lil Wayne altogether. In a statement released Friday, the drinks company said Wayne’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
The three-part commercial featured Felicia the Goat, who attacks a white waitress after she fails to bring large amounts of Mountain Dew. Felicia eludes the police in the second spot and then, in the final commercial, is seen standing in a police lineup with five black men. The battered waitress is intimidated by Felicia and runs out of the police station screaming.