The composition of a song influences the listener, and ultimately that person’s behavior. BF Skinner’s, theory of Classical Conditioning has been proven on a multitude of occasions. Educationalist Walter Johnson simplified it when he wrote, “Any organism is a complex object that is a product of its environment. What this means in real terms is that an object’s behavior over time can be predicted on the basis of its previous experiences. Things that have provided it pleasure will be pursued; things that provide it pain will be avoided. Hence, behaviorism of Skinner’s type takes the utilitarian calculus as its center”.
To simplify it even further for our purposes, the type of music a person listens to will affect his or her behavior. In addition, the results of that behavior can be predicted. If the person’s environment is a church, the music being played is purposed to affect their behavior. Moreover there are triggers to the emotional effects of the music one has listened to, even when it’s not playing. The most obvious is the character of the singer. The change in the listener’s behavior can be measured, that is why it can be easily predicted.
“Music also affects people long term, especially if it has words accompanying it. Music works both on the conscious and the subconscious mind – hence the effect on the mood. The combination of music and the words is powerful in changing people’s moods and influencing them to do what the words say. It may not be right away, but it builds and builds in the heart”
We will explore the popular rapper Lil’ Wayne’s lyrics to “Future – Karate Chop (Remix)”, then give consideration to it’s effect . For the most part, those who do not care for this type of music simply don’t listen to it and are tolerant of the performer. Nevertheless, it is possible to cross the line. The majority of African American’s feel that Lil’ Wayne has gone way to far.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Wayne’s song reeks of sexual violence and racism. The song was pulled, but we do not need him as a representative for any product that targets children. This is the line that is so offensive,
“Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels, Beat that p***y up like Emmett Till Yeah….”
We are now talking about a sexual assault comparable to the torture and brutality that Emmett Till suffered. Last year, the matter of rape was an enormous concern. Nothing has changed. However, gang rape is on the rise, so to suggest that it is acceptable should distress everyone. When a popular artist like Lil Wayne glorifies this behavior,all his fans try to emulate him. The results of such behavior can be nothing less than chilling.
On Rape Culture, Masculinity and Reproductive Justice:
“Sexual assault is a reproductive justice issue. The threat of sexual violence affects the way we experience sex, relationships and even our own bodies. Real and effective organizing for reproductive justice requires an understanding of the inter-sectional impacts of rape culture (how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and myriad other identities affect the way we perceive the perpetrators and victims of rape) and the ways that systems of privilege and oppression work together to make rape acceptable and even normal.”
The Gang Rape of a Latina 6th Grader, and a Horrific Community Response:
Until last week I had never heard of Cleveland, Texas, the small town where an 11-year-old Latina was gang raped, allegedly by 18 black males ages 14 to 27.
But since The Houston Chronicle told the victim’s story with compassion and a New York Times piece subtly blamed her; since various news outlets have essentially tried and convicted the suspects with a widely circulated mugshot collage; since Houston New Black Panther leader Quannell X sacrificed the victim in his zeal to raise questions about the police investigation; since Mujeres Unidas checked Quanell X; and since white supremacist Web sites are partying about this tragedy like it’s 1799, tiny Cleveland, has become a major example of how not to deal with rape in our communities.
Albeit we can bear some of the indignities in his songs, African American’s will not tolerate the inclusion of Emmett Till’s name in Wayne’s vulgarity’ The racism that he expounds is incredible. In order for Wayne to know about how badly battered Emmett Till was, he had to know his history. Clearly, something went awry along the way.
“Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.”
Emmett Till was the first spark for the civil rights movement. Black people will never forget the horror of it. Wayne should be cognizant of that, but he is not. This song uses the N word multiple times. He has no respect for women and he has no respect for himself, so it is not likely that he would see the importance of Emmett Till in the journey of Black people in America. The Till family is asking for help in letting Pepsi Co know that Wayne’s influence on our children is devastating.
This is not applicable to Black children only. If he is representing Pepsi Co by being the face of Mountain Dew Soda, he has been made available to all children, and all children will want to hear his music. The song is entitled “Future – Karate Chop (Remix)”. You may google the lyrics of your own accord, they are really too inappropriate to be placed here. Their petition is well worth reading,
The Family’s Petition Letter: (Link to the petition http://goo.gl/Syw7h)
Petition Pepsi Co: Stop sponsoring Lil Wayne! Justice for Emmett Till, dark skinned women and rape survivors!
“Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels, Beat that pu**y up like Emmett Till,
.Is this what Pepsi Co stands for today?
Emmett Till was only 14 years old when he was kidnapped at gunpoint for whistling at a white woman in southern Mississippi. His eye was gouged out before he was stripped naked, shot, and drowned. Emmett’s remains were so badly mutilated, that it fueled the civil rights movement and sparked national outrage.
Now Emmett’s tragic memory is revisited once again. In early 2013 rapper Lil’ Wayne released a verse on a remix track called Karate Chop. The lyrics state, “beat that pu**y up like Emmett Till”. Wayne remains silent; arrogantly refusing to deliver a single statement of commiseration to Emmett’s family.
Lil’ Wayne has a lengthy track record of exploiting racism and child abuse. In his song “Right Above”, Lil’ Wayne disrespected dark skinned women as being inferior to lighter skinned women (or “red” women, which is a slang for light skin). In a documentary titled The Carter Wayne places a 15 year old boy in a sexually coercive work environment, where he was vulnerable to getting raped as initiation into Young Money.
For years, many have watched Wayne’s destructiveness on the sidelines with the belief sponsors would respond. As no satisfactory response has been issued from PepsiCo, we are using social action platforms to demand accountability in ways many of us thought impossible a decade ago. A revisit of Emmett Till’s legacy is a chilling wake-up call: something must be done about the state of the music industry. Apologies are no longer enough. Even if he apologizes after so many months of opportunities, we cannot condone disparaging lyricism in exchange for empty condolences.
What we ask is that:
Dwayne Carter must be terminated from his endorsement deal with Pepsi Co’s Mountain Dew brand, which is financing his upcoming tour.
Why this is important:
1) In addition to his latest remarks against Emmett Till, Wayne has a lengthy track record of promoting racism and sexual violence. Mountain Dew’s STOKED program is principled towards the “healthy living” of children. Wayne’s actions contradict the virtue of “healthy living” for children. Wayne claims that he is NOT “an example for how people should live their lives”, and states further that: “if you need an example for how to live then you just shouldn’t have been born.” Consider what that implies about children who profit from good “examples” and role models in Mountain Dew’s outreach programs.
2. Lil’ Wayne promotes racial inferiority of dark skinned women, implying that to be dark means to be inherently inferior to lighter skinned people.
3. Supporting Lil’ Wayne with endorsement money or radio airtime trivializes our nation’s brutal history with slavery and Jim Crow. Chris Robinson, director of Mountain Dew’s “Deweezy Project” expresses to the students in the Deweezy Documentary that “a thought in your mind can become a reality.” Youth emulate artists. The minimization of our nation’s history and its ramifications on today’s world can “become a reality” as well.
While we believe in an artist’s legal freedom of speech, what they choose to promote is not entitled to the people’s social support. By extension, they are not entitled to our money. We too exercise our own liberties.
Pepsi Co. Drop Lil Wayne from your campaigns immediately. Lil Wayne has shown massive disrespect to the memory of Emmett Till by using him in his music to analogize how he treats his women sexually. Making light of a civil rights martyr is not a “joke”. Neither is belittling a person’s skin color, or coercing children to get raped. Show that you agree by letting him go!