COMMENTARY: Rick Ross Stirs Controversy Over Suggested Date Rape Lyrics

 Ross-Reebok“You better watch what you say to me.”

Those were the lyrics said by rapper, T.I., who doesn’t shy away from criticism or controversy. Lyrics tend to explain how an artist feels or a particular story they want to tell. Rapper Rick Ross doesn’t think so, and has started a heat debated over the censorship of lyrics. In a recent song, smash hit “U.N.E.N.O” by Rocko with a feature from Ross, he made a suggestive sexual remark that caught ears of some sensible fans. Ross says at the beginning of those twelve bars,

“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.”

Molly is the slang drug term, for the powerful psychoactive drug MDMA form of ecstasy.

Really? Yes, it’s just a song, and as a music artist you have the freedom to say what you want, but some rhymes should be left unsaid. Ross, with all the success he’s had including his Reeboks partnership to show for it, should be mature and intelligent enough to know those lyrics were extreme. To suggest date rape in a song screams the lack of respect he has for his mother and women in general.

According to the Department of Justice, one of six women are victims of rape or attempted rape. 57% of those rapes happen on dates.

Recently, the case of a raped Ohio girl has brought attention to popular culture’s younger audience. Two high school football players raped the drunk teen after a party while describing the events throughout social media. The boys are solely at fault, and will pay for it for the rest of their lives. But rappers like Ross remain a powerful influence in the thinking of our youth.

For decades, rappers are still blind to the roles they play in children’s consciences. Ross has since apologized and said that he doesn’t condone rape. But the damage is already done. Once you put a song out there, it’s no coming back.

Some twelve year-old is already reciting those lyrics on his walk to school. A teenage girl is already blasting it in her car. The latest date-rape victim has already cried herself to sleep because the song popped up unexpectedly on the radio. Sure, he can apologize, but there are thousands of girls that wouldn’t like to be reminded of their assault.

Girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault according to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Luckily, Reebok, one of the leading producers of athletic wear dropped Ross as a spokesperson. The company dumped the star after weeks of criticism from fans and protest from activist groups.

On April 4, Ultraviolet, an activist group, picketed outside a Manhattan Reebok store with other protestors expressing the displeasure with the lack of remorse displayed from the rap star. With a petition in hand, they demanded the sportswear company release Ross.

Reebok released a statement early Thursday stating, “Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand,” the statement read. “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.”

rick ross performing

The rapper is king throughout hip hop, but fails in recognizing his responsibility as a role model within hip-hop’s culture. With young boys eyeing his every move and restating his every word, they should see how his ignorance and naïve attitude will affect his pockets.

The group said Thursday to local media affiliates, “We are thrilled to hear that Reebok is joining the fight against rape culture and dropping Rick Ross. This sends a strong message that rapping about drugging and raping an unconscious woman is not only morally wrong, but has real consequences…Thank you Reebok for taking a stand.”

Hopefully, more will be done to address other rappers that don’t understand the power they possess behind the mic.  With one blurb of the tongue, Ross has lost fans and money.

And at the time, it’s sad to admit, he “ain’t” even know it.

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