The Motown legend sounded off on the brouhaha sparked after an unauthorized remix of Future's "Karate Chop" leaked online, featuring Weezy reciting a vulgar lyrical reference to Emmett Till—the black teen whose 1955 murder in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman helped usher in the Civil Rights movement.
The 62-year-old Wonder, who considers Lil Wayne a pal, said the offending lyric in which the hip-hopster likened rough sex to the beating of Till should never have been committed to tape, let alone left the recording studio.
"You can't equate to Emmett Till," Wonder said according to a published report. "You just cannot do that…I think you got to have someone around you that—even if they are the same age or older—is wiser to say, 'Yo, that's not happening. Don't do that.'"
The R&B star, who lobbied Congress to create the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and fought against South African apartheid, urged Lil Wayne to think hard about the impact his words have had on Till's family, who are seeking a mea culpa from the MC.
"Sometimes people have to put themselves in the place of people who they are talking about," added Wonder. "Imagine if that happened to your mother, brother, daughter, or your son. How would you feel? Have some discernment before we say certain things. That goes for me or any other [song]writer."
That's sage advice. Though whether or not Weezy heeds it is another matter. So far, the "Lollipop" hitmaker has remained mum on the controversy.
Not so however for Epic Records, which apologized on Wednesday to the Till family and said it's doing everything it can to have the remix—which features Lil Wayne's crude line, "Beat that p—sy up like Emmet Till"—removed from the Web.
According to the Facebook page of the Mami Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, which is named after Emmett's mother, Epic's CEO, L.A. Reid, also called and offered a personal apology as well.
Now that Wonder has weighed in, the family is now looking for Lil Wayne's rap forebears to also speak up.
"Where are the veterans in the rap game? Please mentor the younger, uninformed, uneducated artists that require guidance," read the Tills' latest Facebook post.