Cola-maker Mountain Dew and parent company PepsiCo have been in the headlines this week, for pulling an Odd Future ad, after several groups claimed it portrayed racism and violence against women. Now, at week’s end Mountain Dew has severed its relationship with rapper Lil Wayne. Previously, they had created a #DEWeezy brand, including a 2012 South By Southwest event.
The Associated Press reports that the relationship was compromised regarding Wayne’s lyrics on a February remix to “Karate Chop” by Atlanta, Georgia rapper Future. Wayne rapped, “I beat the pussy up, like Emmett Till,” comparing sex to the 1955 beating and subsequent murder of a Mississippi teenager after allegedly flirting with a White woman. The two men accused of killing Till, who was visiting from Chicago, were later acquitted.
Mountain Dew responded in a statement today, calling the lyrics an “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
While Weezy had released an apology in the form of a letter at mid-week, a cousin and spokesperson for Emmett Till’s family, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, refused the apology a day later, claiming it “falls short.”
Lil Wayne’s publicist claimed the parting of ways was due to “creative differences,” calling the split “amicable.” Lil Wayne has yet to react publicly.
This comes nearly a month after another high-profile rapper and frequent Wayne collaborator, Rick Ross, was dropped from a similar partnership with Reebok. Ross was criticized by online petitions and retail store protests for lyrics on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” that were perceived to endorse rape. The deal was estimated to be worth as much as $5 million.