Brooklyn, New York’s Talib Kweli recently weighed in on an issue concerning Lil Wayne. In an interview, Kweli opened up about why he feels Weezy should apologize to Emmett Till’s family for a line on one of his records.
“My opinion is that I think that Lil Wayne should apologize to the Till Family,” Kweli shared in a talk with AllHipHop. “But, its not for me to say; its for him to do. That’s what I would do. That’s what I think is the smart thing to do, especially since you apologized to LeBron [James] for the Miami Heat thing. But, from my perspective, wherever he’s at with it in the world and his mind space is that the surroundings around him are not necessarily making him aware that he needs to apologize to the Till family. But the surroundings around him are making him aware that, ‘You know what? You live in Miami. You should apologize to the Heat.’ Do I think that’s a little backwards? Yeah. But, I think that it’s a little hypocritical of us to put that squarely on Lil Wayne’s shoulders.”
Kweli continued explaining how “we as a community gotta take the blame.”
“We’ve been listening to dudes talk about they ‘gon’ beat the pussy up’ on records with all different types of metaphors before the Till family got affected. If we are going to encourage that and like it, then we as a community gotta take the blame. I think it’s very convenient for a lot of people to pick a certain line from a song that’s still creative. We’re not talking about censorship. We don’t wanna censor nobody. But I do think it’s a bit hypocritical. There is a line in the sand you have to draw but this is the part I find hypocritical. When you criticize Lil Wayne for it and it doesn’t stop as criticism for the line. It continues to ‘He’s a monster and he’s destroying Hip Hop. I wish he would die. I wish he would stop making records.’ When it goes to that, that’s not something I can condone. And that also will also make an artist you saying that about say, ‘Well, fuck what you gotta say. My fans support me.’ To me, the better way is through outreach and unity in Hip Hop – finding the similarities rather than the differences. That’s why I always work for these artists. For me, its art first. When you judge whether or not I should be working on an artist, the only thing you should be judging it on is on the song.”
The line in question was featured on the remix to Future’s “Karate Chop.” On the track, Wayne said he would “beat that pussy up like Emmett Till.” Epic Records officially responded to the song and pulled the lyrics from what they called an “unauthorized” leak. Future spoke about the song, saying Wayne had “no bad intentions” with the line. In 1955, at 14 years of age, Till was beaten and brutally murdered in Money, Mississippi. He was kidnapped and killed by two White men in what was a racially charged crime but the men were acquitted by an all-White, all-male jury. This event further emphasized the fight for civil rights in the nation and the racial divide that separated the country.