"Karate Chop" is a song by American hip-hop recording artist Future from his upcoming second studio album Honest. The song was produced by Metro Boomin and originally had a feature from rapper Casino. However, the remix features fellow rapper Lil Wayne. The remix was released as the lead single of the album on February 19, 2013. It debuted at #100 on the Billboard Hot 100 and since then has peaked at #82.
"Karate Chop" was originally written by Nayvadius Wilburn (Future) and Lil Wayne. It was produced by Metro Boomin and originally featured a verse from Free Band Gang member Casino. The original version of the track appeared on DJ Spinz and DJ Pretty Boy Tank's mixtape We Are Radio 6. Future premiered the song on January 25, 2013, and it was sent to urban radio on January 29, 2013.
Metro Boomin stated in an interview with XXL Magazine how the record came about. He explained: "I actually made that beat before I moved to Atlanta... I never really liked it, but once I moved to Atlanta I just started going to the studio with Future like everyday. So one day, I didn't come, and when I showed up the next day he played "Karate Chop". And I just didn't like it at all. Then every time people would come in to the studio, he would always play the record...". The song was officially remixed featuring a guest appearance from American rapper Lil Wayne and was released as the lead single for his upcoming album, Future Hendrix, later to be retitled Honest. The Lil Wayne remix became a bonus track on the album. It was sent to urban and rhythmic radio and released for digital download on February 19, 2013.
Pitchfork Media ranked it a number 80 on their list of the 100 best songs of 2013. They commented saying, ""Karate Chop", where his staccato-fied rhymes, supremely druggy performance, and computer-assisted warble reduce his verses to a jumble of phonemes that you have to squint at to recognize as actual words. Combined with a beat by wunderkind producer Metro Boomin’ that pairs a Hendrix-y synthesized guitar lick with blaring Inception-style horns, the song announced his new push into updating 60s psychedelia for the digital age."
The song has garnered much controversy due to a lyric in rapper Lil Wayne's verse. The lyric, "Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till", drew much criticism and the ire of Till's family. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy who was murdered in the 1950s for allegedly flirting with a white woman. Epic Records apologized for the line and made efforts to take the song down. Future mentioned in an interview with MTV that he's sure Wayne meant no harm, stating, "The record it was done from a good place, good art, he ain't have no bad intentions when he was thinking about it like that". The song was officially re-released with the line edited out of the verse. On May 3, 2013, Lil Wayne was dropped from his endorsement deal with Mountain Dew because of the lyrics.