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In case you haven’t heard, Mountain Dew and Pepsico have severed ties with the artist Lil Wayne. The decision occurred after an article on Your Black World called out a video that was deemed racist and stereotypical toward African Americans. After the ad was cut from the airwaves, there were additional calls to support the family of Emmett Till, who was upset about a verse in which Lil Wayne compared Emmett Till’s face to a woman’s s-x organs.
PepsiCo released a statement saying that “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
The company refused to comment on other promotions that it has involving Lil Wayne. The incident is considered by some to be a watershed moment in the touchy relationship between the black community and corporate-funded hip-hop music heard on stations throughout the country.
“Good, conscientious artists can’t get on the radio, but you can hear the same Lil Wayne song three times,” said Yvette Carnell, a writer for Your Black World.
Carnell says that this incident is powerful for the black community because it didn’t involve help from a white organization.
“People are accustomed to black people not doing anything for themselves on this issue,” said Carnell. “Also, major civil rights groups are afraid to really stand up to corporations like Mountain Dew because they’re taking money from them.”
Lil Wayne’s publicist, Sarah Cunningham, said that the split with Mountain Dew was amicable and due to “creative differences.”
“That’s about all I can tell you at this time,” she said.
To hear the story of Emmett Till in a rap song made by the rapper Vigalantee, you can visit this link.