This past week, the Rick Ross-Reebok fallout affected other controversial rappers’ endorsement deals, and a So So Def vet lost his life.
Odd Future’s “Racist” Ad for Mountain Dew Cut
A few harsh critical assessments of Odd Future lead man Tyler, the Creator’s latest commercial for Mountain Dew has led Pepsi to drop the ad and erase all traces of its existence online. Syracuse professor Dr. Boyce Watkins called it the “most racist commercial in history.” Clearly motivated by Rick Ross’s recent debacle with Reebok and the need to deflect attention from the issue as soon as possible, the company acted swiftly.
Lil Wayne Canned by Mountain Dew Over Emmett Till Lyric
Mountain Dew was busy this past week. The brand finally caught wind of Lil Wayne’s lyrics on Future’s “Karate Chop,” which compares rough sex to the beating and murder of Emmett Till in 1955. The song hit the airwaves back in February.
Last Wednesday, the Louisiana rapper issued a statement, promising to remove all mention of Till from the song and to refrain from referring to him in the future. But the family of Till felt the statement fell short of an apology, since Lil Wayne did not actually say he was sorry for the lyric. Feeling the heat, Mountain Dew severed ties with the Young Money MC. In a statement, the company distanced itself by claiming that the lyric’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
It would be tragic if rap lyrics suddenly become sanitized and policed by the politically correct. But to put this in proper light, Wayne managed to apologize to the City of Miami almost immediately after his on-stage rant about the Miami Heat. It’s unclear why that attention wasn’t similarly warranted or even considered in this case.
Kris Kross Rapper Dead From Suspected Drug Overdose
Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly, one half of 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died on Wednesday of a suspected drug overdose. An autopsy suggested no foul play. The late rapper’s mother reportedly informed authorities that her son had consumed a speed ball (a mixture of heroin and cocaine) the night before she found him unresponsive in his bed.
Kelly reportedly had an “extensive history of drug abuse,” which was further aggravated by his recent rise in popularity following his reunion with Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith for So So Def’s 20th anniversary concert.
Producer and long-time collaborator Jermaine Dupri released a statement expressing the sadness he felt after learning of Kelly’s death. Referring to the deceased performer as “a son I never had,” Dupri said, “When I think about it, I spent more time with Chris and Chris [Smith] than d*mn near anybody in my whole life, so you can imagine how bad this hurts.”
The group is widely known for their insanely-popular 1992 hit “Jump.”