I’m sure by now many of you have already heard of the controversy surrounding the family of Emmett Till , a young man who was brutally murdered, tortured and left to decompose in the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi in August 1955. Due to he whistled at a white woman by the name of Carolyn Bryant, a married co owner of a local grocery store. During this time racism was at an extreme and do to the fact that Emmett was from Chicago where racism was not as brutal, he was unaware of the repercussions of doing so where he visited family in Mississippi. Recently Lil wayne has been under fire due to his lyrics in Rapper Future’s single Karate Chop, after song leaked online , with part of his lyrics saying
“Pop a lot of pain pills
Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels
Beat that p*ssy up like Emmett Till
i want to make it perfectly clear these are my views and my perception of the situation, in no way am i negating the seriousness of the “real Issue” But i am indeed giving a perspective on the total issue not from a biased view of rap, and the culture itself. We live in a society where we face many issues, we face, racism, prejudice, injustice everyday, and to say it doesn’t exist would be an understatement and an ignorant one. The history of Our Culture as African Americans is a very painful yet at times a forgotten one. So many forget that while every culture has faced their share of slavery( holocaust), It is our job as a community to keep the awareness of the culture and its past in the forefront, not to hinder us but to empower us! Lil wayne is a Mega Star, He has ton’s of fans and he has ton’s of outlets to reach the masses, do i think the comparison of his ‘putting a beating on a woman’s vagina, is in any way a comparison to the brutality of the Murder of Emmett Till, NO. But i do understand his word play and reasoning as a Artist. For some reason people find it very hard to separate the two. What people do not understand is now days for whatever reason we place celebrities, or better yet Music Artist on this pedestal and make it completely impossible to create, all while holding them as the main go to for knowledge based information when music should be for them to entertain, It is our job as a whole to bring awareness and knowledge about issues such as civil rights era. I wonder do the same people who bash rap artist, feel the same about women, degrading themselves and showing their body when we have a woman who died for us to not be put on display as a human zoo animal due to our large boobs, and buttocks. (See Sarah Baartman). So as you can see there is a lot of history many are ignorant to but pinpoint which is more pivotal than the next. When i heard the song, honestly it made me say WOW! But not in a automatic way of negatively thinking that Lil wayne was maliciously laughing off the seriousness of what happened to Emmett, But WOW at the fact that he was the first artist to provoke a conversation about who Emmett was and what happened to him in just those lil words. You see i don’t think People truly understand how many from this generation DO NOT KNOW WHO EMMETT TILL IS. NOR DO THEY KNOW HIS STORY. So the people who listen to Lil Wayne were being introduced to a piece of African American History. Through his music he was able to bring a little knowledge to the youth, making them curious enough to want to research and find out who this person is, and why wayne said that. Amazing how instead of Big organizations like mountain Dew, and Pepsi, who by the way probably never even listen to HIP HOP or probably have racism deep within their blood lines as well Use artist for publicity and have no real thought through plans to educate, uplift or create a knowlege based plateform for their partnerships to actually change lives instead of making a mochery of it. Who only stand by the artist they use to gain more of a fan base only to drop the artist when the fire gets hot. If these organizations where really “Branding” Expertise they would either never use these artist from jump knowing the type of lyrical content they use and or create a partnership where they change the perception of Rappers being ignorant, incompetent and destructive embosils to the culture, they would maximize on the fact they they can change the perception by diversifing their perception of our History and culture as a whole. But i guess Non of that truly matters, cause in all honesty they dont stand by the culture, it’s artist or could care less about actually educating the youth while selling their products. But thats a whole different logic). Not surprising how they didnt see this as an educational marketing opportunity. They reach out to rappers to try to get that cross over effect, or become “Cool” to the younger generations, when they really don’t care enough to see the importance of having an artist of Lil wayne’s statue to partner to create a campaign where he speaks and brings even more awareness to who Emmett was and how we can continue to fight against racism and the ignorance of it as a whole. I guess Black History only matters in February or Martin Luther King Jr’s Day. I understand the family being upset with the lyrics, but What is the true basis of your anger? He brought more awareness to who he was as of the late than ive heard anyone do in the last 15 yrs. No new documentaries other than the one they aired on history channel after Emmett’s mother Passed, and who all saw that? Who all even watches the history channel in the younger generation? You see So why are you really so angry at the artist? Because he created more of a conversation about a huge part in history when no one even thought to mention Emmett in any form of way to create any kind of spark of interest. Sad But True. Granted the comparison is not the best one, but it got us to talking right? So instead of us focusing on immediate negativity why not view it as a door opening to discuss the real issue, Emmett. I believe as a family they want nothing but to keep an open dialog about who he was and what they feel they want people to take from his story, This would be an opportunity for them to also create a platform for more education on his murder. Not only Emmett, but others such as Medgar Evers, Sarah Baartman, and so many more, instead of focusing so much energy on killing off lil Wayne’s endorsements and celebrity. Why is that more important and is it really going to get the outcome you want? No! Because the outcome that is really wanted is for his memory and many others who have seem to be forgotten, to be remembered and their deaths to not be in vain. So my real question would be , wouldn’t it be more inpactful for The Evers family to use this opportunity to bring more awareness, and wouldn’t organizations such as mountain dew and Pepsi think it would be more Powerful (if it’s really his legacy they care about) to join lil Wayne, Evers family and their companies together to come up with a Knowledge campaign to bring awareness to the fallen yet forgotten People of our History’s Past?
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