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PepsiCo ending ties with Lil Wayne

NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo is its cutting ties with Lil Wayne after the rapper made a crude reference to civil rights martyr Emmett Till in a song.

Lil Wayne, one of the biggest stars in pop music, had a deal to promote the company's Mountain Dew soda.

PepsiCo said in a statement late Friday that Wayne's "offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand." It declined to provide any further comment.

A publicist for Lil Wayne, Sarah Cunningham, said in a statement that the split was due to "creative differences" and that it was an amicable parting.

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"That's about all I can tell you at this time," the statement from Wayne's publicist said.

The controversy erupted after Wayne made the reference to Till on Future's song "Karate Chop" earlier this year. He refers to beating someone during a sexual act and says he wants to do as much damage as was done to Till.

The black teen from Chicago was in Mississippi visiting family in 1955 when he was killed, allegedly for whistling at a white woman. He was beaten, had his eyes gouged out and was shot in the head before his assailants tied a cotton gin fan to his body with barbed wire and tossed it into a river.

Two white men, including the woman's husband, were acquitted by an all-white jury.

Till's body was recovered and returned to Chicago where his mother, Mamie Till, insisted on having an open casket at his funeral. The pictures of his battered body helped push civil rights into the cultural conversation.

Wayne had sent the Till family a letter offering empathy and saying that he would not reference Till or the family in his music, particularly in an inappropriate manner.

The Till family, which this week had called for a meeting with Wayne and PepsiCo representatives, was made aware of the decision Friday but did not immediately have a statement.

Earlier this month, Rick Ross also lost his deal with Reebok after he rapped about raping a woman who had been drugged.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
May 6, 2013 9:52PM
He cant sing anyway...Just a bunch of jibberish, so don't know how they (the media) can call him one of the greates....he SUXXXXXXXXXXX
May 6, 2013 1:28AM
sometimes people should understand you just cant say what you want an think its O.K. its not!!!!!!
May 5, 2013 3:43AM
It's crazy cause anyone who listens to Wayne would know that on the Drought 3 mixtape that came out in 08, he already used that Emmitt Till lyric. Its on the Swizzy remix, "Beatin up tha block yea I get my Emmitt Till on". Did everyone all of a sudden forget about that? Idk just seems dumb to me. I guess they didn't care then?

May 5, 2013 2:44AM

Pepsi does a lot more than they let on to the general media. They are guilty of fetus cells in their products and the testing of this process. They produce GMO (genetically modified organism) beverages and paid a lot of money to go against proposition 37 in California and other groups fighting against harmful GMO foods and beverages. Pepsi is guilty of a lot since they do not tell the public who they are connected to either. Sodas are NOT good for you anyways.

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