Stevie Wonder is among those criticizing Lil Wayne for the rapper's derogatory reference to Emmett Till. "You can't equate that to Emmett Till," the music icon explains why he's not impressed by what Weezy rapped in song "Karate Chop". "You just cannot do that."
"I think you got to have someone around you that - even if they are the same age or older - is wiser to say, 'Yo, that's not happening," Stevie says in an interview with the Associated Press. "Don't do that.' "
"Sometimes people have to put themselves in the place of people who they are talking about," he adds. "Imagine if that happened to your mother, brother, daughter or your son. How would you feel? Have some discernment before we say certain things. That goes for me or any other (song)writer."
African-American Till was beaten to death at the age of 14 for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi while he was visiting his family. An all-white jury acquitted the murderers, drawing attention to racial violence and injustice and sparking the civil rights movement in the U.S.
In damage control, Epic Records said the remix was unauthorized and promised to scrap the offensive lyrics "out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family." The record company claimed they've been "going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version."