According to Associated Press, Epic Records has responded to the backlash. After the Rev. Jesse Jackson reached out to Wayne’s management The Blueprint Group on the family’s behalf, the label has released a statement claiming that the remix was “unauthorized” and that it leaked online. The label promised to make efforts to erase the track from the web, stating that an official version of the song will be released at a later time that “will not include such references.”
“We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future’s ‘Karate Chop,’ which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. … we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version.”
Additionally, a Facebook posting on the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation last night said that Epic Records Chairman and CEO LA Reid personally reached out to apologize.
After learning of the reference on the song, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, the founding director of the Foundation and cousin of Emmett Till, spoke out on behalf of the family and branded the reference “disrespectful.” “We found it dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture,” said Gordon-Taylor. “It was offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors and to women and to themselves as young, black men. I just couldn’t understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I feel as though they have no pride and no dignity as black men.”
Till was killed in 1955 while visiting his family in Mississippi. He was beaten severely and shot in the head before his attackers tied a cotton gin to his body with barbed wire and threw him into the Tallahatchie River. Two white men were acquitted of the killing by an all-white jury.