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Lil Wayne Apologizes to Emmett Till's Family for Offensive Rap Lyric

Lil Wayne Isaac Brekken/Getty Images, Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Lil Wayne has owned up to screwing up.

The rapper sent a letter of apology to the family of Emmett Till for a lyric he contributed to Future's "Karate Chop" that contained a degrading reference to the slain teen, whose murder in the Jim Crow South in 1955 became a cultural touchstone of the burgeoning civil rights movement.

"It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist's song has deeply offended your family," Wayne wrote in the letter, which Till's family released to the media today. "As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys."

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So attorneys were involved.

When what Epic Records called an "unauthorized remix" of "Karate Chop" first hit the Internet in February, Till's cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, said that her family found the lyric—which compared Till's beating to a sexual act—"dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture."

Epic immediately apologized and promised to remove the offending version of the song from its website.

"Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner," Wayne's letter continued. "I fully support Epic Record's decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue.

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"I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community."

Wayne, who suffers from epilepsy, was reportedly in and out of the hospital again this week after having another seizure.

"I'm fine. Thank u," he tweeted to his fans.

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