PepsiCo, Lil Wayne End Partnership After Emmett Till Lyric Controversy
The rapper formerly represented the company’s Mountain Dew brand, which recently pulled an ad featuring Tyler, the Creator.
Days after Mountain Dew pulled its ad featuring Tyler, the Creator amid racist allegations, parent company PepsiCo is severing ties with Lil Wayne.
Wayne previously served as a spokesperson for the Mountain Dew brand, but the company said Friday that it was unhappy with the rapper’s recent controversy involving a song lyric referencing civil rights martyr Emmett Till.
In a statement, PepsiCo said that Wayne’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand” while reps for Mountain Dew told Billboard.biz that “we do not plan any additional work with Lil Wayne going forward.”
Weezy stirred controversy after featuring on Future’s song “Karate Chop,” in which he compares a sexual act to the brutal 1955 murder of the Chicago teenager.
A publicist for Wayne said that the split was amicable and due to “creative differences.”
Earlier this month, Wayne reached out to the family of Till to “acknowledge” the hurt that he had caused them with the lyric but reportedly failed to offer an apology. A Till Family Representative told TMZ: “While it’s commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till 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.”
Meanwhile, fellow artist Rick Ross was also recently dropped from a deal with Reebok after rapping about date rape.
Earlier this year, Wayne's use of "sizzurp" -- a recreational drug popular with the hip-hop community -- came to light after the rapper suffered a series of seizures and was admitted to the intensive care until of Cedars-Sinai. Coincidentally, the addictive drink is often concocted by combining prescription-strength cough syrup with sugary sodas such as Mountain Dew, to which hard candies like Jolly Ranchers are added for more flavor.
While initial speculation had suggested that Wayne's ailment was due to an overdose of sizzurp, he later told the public that he is an epileptic and has suffered from seizures his whole life.