PepsiCo, the company behind Mountain Dew, has cut ties with Lil Wayne following the controversy over the rapper's explicit lyric about civil rights icon Emmett Till in the song "Karate Chop" by Future, according to The Associated Press.
Lil Wayne served as a spokesman for the Moutain Dew brand. The company said in a statement to the wire service on Friday, May 3, that Lil Wayne's "offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand." There was no further comment.
A spokesperson for the rapper told The AP that Lil Wayne and PepsiCo parted ways due to "creative differences" and that the business partnership ended amicably.
During his verse on the "Karate Chop" single, Lil Wayne says he wants to perform a violent sexual act on a woman until as much damage is done as was done to Till. The song debuted on January 25.
Till was a black teen from Chicago who was in Mississippi visiting family in 1955 when he was savagely beaten, disfigured and killed, allegedly for whistling at a white woman. Two white men, including the woman's husband, were acquitted by an all-white jury.
After Till's body was recovered, his mother, Mamie Till, insisted on having an open casket funeral in Chicago. Photos of his body sparked early civil rights movements. Lil Wayne wrote to the Till family in a letter saying he would not reference Till in any other music, the AP reports.
This was the second controversy the PepsiCo company faced this week. An ad for Mountain Dew by Odd Future rapper Tyler, the Creator, was pulled immediately after people companied that it was offensive.
Lil Wayne made headlines earlier this week when it was reported that the rapper suffered another seizure and had to be hospitalized in Los Angeles. However, Lil Wayne took to Twitter and told his fans after the report was published "I'm fine. Thank u."
The rapper revealed in March that he suffers from epilepsy and was treated at a medical center in March after suffering three seizures in a row.