Pepsi Drops Rapper, Pepsi Co has said it is cutting ties with Lil Wayne after he made an "offensive" reference to civil rights martyr Emmett Till in a song.

The New Orleans rapper has been embroiled in a months-long controversy over a lyric in a remix of Karate Chop, originally written and performed by hip-hop artist Future, that likens the lynching of 14-year-old African-American Emmett Till to a sexual act.

The song was leaked on the internet in February and prompted an apology from Future's record company, Epic Records, after Till's family had complained.

But the controversy did not stop there. In a letter to Till's family this week, Wayne called the reference "inappropriate" but stopped short of an apology.

Till, from Chicago, was beaten and murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman in the village of Money, Mississippi, where he was visiting family.

An all-white jury acquitted two white men of Till's murder, sparking national outrage.

The trial is credited with mobilising the civil rights movement and drawing attention to racial injustice and violence in America's South.

Wayne, 30, had a deal to promote the company's Mountain Dew soda.

In a statement, the company said the "offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.

A publicist for Wayne, Sarah Cunningham, said that the split was due to "creative differences" and that it was an amicable parting.

"That's about all I can tell you at this time," she said.

On Wednesday, Pepsi Co pulled a series of online ads for Mountain Dew by rapper Tyler, The Creator, which was criticised for embracing racial stereotypes and trivialising violence toward women.

Earlier this month, rapper Rick Ross also lost his deal with Reebok after he rapped about raping a woman who had been drugged.

Epic Records is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a division of Sony Corp.

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