Reporting Scott T. Sterling
Update (June 18): A day after the controversy, Lil Wayne spoke out via Twitter, chalking it up to an accident. How far the explanation will go with those offended by the fact that the American flag was “just there” for him to walk on remains to be seen.
I didn't step on the flag on purpose! It's a scene in a video where the flag drops behind me and after it drop it's just there as I perform—
Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) June 18, 2013
Hours later, Weezy drove his point home with a statement released on his official Facebook page. It reads in full:
“It was never my intention to desecrate the flag of the United States of America. I was shooting a video for a song off my album entitled ‘God Bless Amerika’. The clip that surfaced on the Internet was a camera trick clip that revealed that behind the American Flag was the Hoods of America. In the final edit of the video you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground. In most people eyes including my own who were raised in that environment, the Hood is the only America they know and the only America I knew growing up. I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people who are born in that environment don’t get that chance. That’s their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That’s who I’m speaking for in this song.”
Original story (June 17): In recently leaked cellphone footage of a music video shoot, images of rapper Lil Wayne stepping on an American flag have hit the Internet, eliciting a barrage of protests from those who find the act offensive and anti-American.
The footage was taken while Weezy was in his hometown of New Orleans shooting a music video for the song “God Bless Amerika.” The rapper is seen performing in front of a large American flag, which drops to reveal a crowd of people standing behind him. Wayne casually strolls and dances across the fallen flag while continuing to rap along to the second verse of the track, which contains the line, “The stars on the flag are never shining.” It’s difficult to tell if his treading on the flag is purposeful or merely the product of low-budget production and off placement.
Predictably, the video clip has ignited a firestorm of outrage, with offended viewers taking to various social networks to decry what they consider to be an overt show of disrespect to the American flag.
Wayne, who is no stranger to courting such controversy, recently lost a lucrative endorsement deal with Mountain Dew after a lyric he wrote referencing Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman, showed up in a remix of Future’s song “Karate Chop.”