Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Lil' Wayne's crude name-check in ‘Karate Chop’ has caused controversy US, but who is Emmett Till?

Rapper Lil' Wayne is not exactly known for his sensitivity, but his latest lyrical effort plumbs new depths with a line that's not only misogynistic, but also dismissive of the civil rights movement. 

In "Karate Chop (remix)", Wayne threatens to "beat that p***y up like Emmett Till", prompting a complaint from Till's living cousin Airickca Gordon-Taylor, "My agenda is not to be disrespectful to Lil Wayne, even as much as I feel he's been disrespectful to my family. We just want Emmett's name to be removed from that song...He wouldn't even be out rapping these stupid lyrics without the sacrifice Emmett made."

Emmett Louis Till was a 5ft4, 14-year-old African American from Chicago. While on a trip to visit relatives in Mississippi, Till was brutally murdered by a white gang, for the supposed crime of flirting with a white woman.

On the day prior to his murder, Till visited a grocery store and spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, who owned the store with her husband, Roy Bryant. Some accounts say Till wolf-whistled at Bryant, others that he called her "baby" - the exact details of their encounter are is disputed. In the early hours of the following morning Till was taken from his house by a gang led by Roy Bryant and murdered.

His body was found three days later, badly beaten, shot and with an eyeball gouged out from a socket. Till's mother insisted on an open casket funeral and images of his badly disfigured body were published around the world, drawing attention to the civil rights struggle in the South. Both defendants were later acquitted at trail by an all-white jury.

Lil' Wayne's record label, Epic have apologised for the lyric and pledged to remove the remix from the internet, but Lil' Wayne himself is yet to offer comment.

React Now

Read Next

If I were Prime Minister: I'd champion the young and hold a cabinet meeting on top of Ben Nevis

Bear Grylls

i Editor's Letter: The five reasons why I vote

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot