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The “revenge” of Emmett Till is figured here as the impudent tones and boastful themes in the recorded lyrics of a range of hip-hop artists. Some of these artists make specific allusions to the historical narrative of Till and one aim of this article is to situate those hip-hop allusions within the context of a literary history engaged in responses to the tragic murder of Emmett Till in 1955. Taken in their appropriate literary context (i.e. the writings of John Edgar Wideman, Nikki Giovanni, Eldridge Cleaver, and others), these allusive lyrics within hip-hop culture reflect the complex interactive artistic connections between the civil rights era and the hip-hop generation.