Mountain Dew’s move this weekend to end its multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Lil Wayne comes just days after it was forced to pull an online video created and directed by rapper Tyler the Creator.
The most recent rap-related controversy came after family of the late Emmett Till – an African American teenager whose 1955 torture and murder after he allegedly wolf whistled at a white woman led to him becoming an icon for the civil rights movement – took issue to a Lil Wayne lyric which referenced Till and pressured the brand to drop the artist. The offensive lyric in question said “beat up that p***y up like Emmett Till”.
Although the lyrics, which come from his appearance in fellow rapper Future’s song “Karate Chop”, did not feature in any Mountain Dew ads the brand decided to cut ties with the rapper late last week.
In a statement PepsiCo said: “We do not plan any additional work with Lil Wayne moving forward. His offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
Last week Lil Wayne issued a letter to the Till family in which he said: “As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure”.
The family, however, were unsatisfied with the response and called a meeting with PepsiCo executives, according to the New York Times.
PepsiCo UK did not respond to a request for additional comment to clarify whether the meeting took place or if it was to re-evaluate its music strategy in time for publication.