LOS ANGELES — Epic Records Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid has apologized to the family of slain civil rights figure Emmett Till, and his label is working to remove from circulation a remix of the track “Karate Chop” by Atlanta rapper Future that included a vulgar sexual reference by fellow rapper Lil Wayne invoking Till’s name.
“Just ended a conversation with L.A. Reid, CEO of Epic,” reads a recent post on the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation Facebook page. Mobley was Till’s mother. “He apologized to me and our family and stated the song is being pulled!!!! ‘Future’ owns the rights to the song so they have the power to pull it.
“Mr. Reid stated the song was leaked out and he had not heard the lyrics. He is a man of integrity that values our family’s legacy and wouldn’t allow such heinous usage of Emmett Till’s name or dishonor his memory. We have yet to hear from Lil Wayne’s camp. ...”
Epic representatives said they would make efforts to remove the remix from the Internet and replace it with a version without Lil Wayne’s reference to Till, which cannot be printed in a family newspaper. A representative for Lil Wayne did not respond to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment as of press time.
“We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future’s ‘Karate Chop,’ which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics,” a statement issued Thursday by Epic 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.”
There was no reference to the Lil Wayne controversy on Epic’s home page Thursday, but it did include a link to another mix of “Karate Chop” featuring Future’s fellow Atlanta rapper Casino, one with multiple uses of the “N” word.