Miami rapper Rick Ross recently lost his Reebok endorsement deal because of some very controversial lyrics. As a guest on the Rocko song “U.O.E.N.O,” he rapped about the drug MDMA, known as ecstacy, or molly, in which he said, ““Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that / she ain’t even know it.”
To talk about how all this went down is hip hop journalist and cultural critic, Dream Hampton who breaks it down.
Listen to the interview:
On Twitter, Rick Ross said, “I dont condone rape. Apologies for the lyric interpreted as rape.”
In in an interview with a New Orleans radio station he said, It was misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term ‘rape’ wasn’t used. And I would never use the term ‘rape’ in my records.”
In a statement Reebok stated, “Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand,”
“Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so. While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse. At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross.”
And it seems that once that was done, Rick Ross finally understood that words do go a long way and said in an apology, “Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets. As an artist, one of the most liberating things is being able to paint pictures with my words. But with that comes a great responsibility. And most recently, my choice of words was not only offensive, it does not reflect my true heart. And for this, I apologize. To every woman that has felt the sting of abuse, I apologize. I recognize that as an artist I have a voice and with that, the power of influence. To the young men who listen to my music, please know that using a substance to rob a woman of her right to make a choice is not only a crime, it’s wrong and I do not encourage it. To my fans, I also apologize if I have disappointed you. I can only hope that this sparks a healthy dialogue and that I can contribute to it.
In case your thinking, it’s not a big deal, they are just lyrics, let me share with you some stats:
A woman’s chance of being raped in the U.S.: 1 in 5
Low estimate of the number of women , according to the Department of Justice, raped every year: 300,000
High estimate of the number of women raped, according to the CDC: 1.3 million
Percentage of rapes not reported: 54 percent
Think about that.
*originally aired on “Knowledge is Power” on KPWR Los Angeles on April 14, 2013