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Lil Wayne's non-apology not enough for Till fmaily

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Thumbnail image for idiotwayne.JPGIn February, Lil Wayne's musical name-dropping of Emmett Till landed him in the middle of a Chicago controversy, one which drew in the Rev. Jesse Jackson to get it resolved.

In his contribution to "Karate Chop," a track by Atlanta rapper Future, Lil Wayne (aka Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.) used the battered face of the young Civil Rights icon as a metaphor for the ferocity of his sexual prowess. Airickca Gordon-Taylor, founding director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, said then the song was "disappointing, dishonorable, and outright disrespectful to our family."

On Wednesday, Lil Wayne attempted to apologize -- but without really apologizing.

In a letter to the Till family, Wayne offers his condolences for the pain they have endured -- not necessarily by his song, depending on how you read it -- and promises not to perform the lyric live or reference Till in future songs.

"It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist's song has deeply offended your family," Wayne's letter states. "As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys."

He never actually apologizes -- "take a moment" is pretty weak tea -- and Gordon-Taylor isn't pleased.

"While it's commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till," Gordon-Taylor has told TMZ, "and his memory to 'not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music,' this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned."

Wayne's letter materialized this week after reports that the Till family was preparing a campaign to boycott Pepsi's Mountain Dew products, which Wayne currently endorses. In a YouTube video, a Till representative says, "We also support blocking and banning the endorsements. ... Don't do the Dew."


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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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