Lil Wayne is the latest rapper to lose an endorsement deal over a controversy rap line.
Last month, Reebok dropped rapper Rick Ross for an explicit date rape lyric, and this week, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew followed suit over a derogatory reference Wayne made about civil rights icon Emmett Till.
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In a statement, PepsiCo said Wayne’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.” The Young Money rapper won’t be working with the soft drink company anytime in the near future, but it’s not clear if they will stop running his current ads.
Sarah Cunningham, a publicist for Lil Wayne, attributed “creative differences” as the reason for the spilt. “That’s about all I can tell you at this time,” she said.
Earlier this week, the “No Worries” rapper issued an apology letter to the Till family. A spokesperson of the family, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, commended Wayne on his gesture, but said it fell “short of an apology,” as he never used the words “T’m sorry.”
“I think that he’s kind of been pressured or he’s been admonished to make a statement to the family because of the ongoing negative publicity and attention and the pressure we’ve put onto his endorsement with Mountain Dew,” Gordon-Taylor said. “I feel like it was an acknowledgment. He has finally, publicly acknowledged the ongoing outcry. It was not an apology. … However, I think it’s a start. I think the door is now open for us to have a sit-down, to have a dialogue.”
Mountain Dew also pulled an offensive new commercial directed by Odd Future rapper Tyler, The Creator earlier this week.
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