Hip-hop artist, Rick Ross, has been under fire for the last few weeks over a variance of interpretations of some questionable lyrics in his single called “U.O.E.N.O.” The rhymes in question have been believed by listeners and critics to insinuate date rape.
The track appears on Rocko’s “Gift of Gab 2” mixtape and a few lines of Ross’ verse have the potential to leave one – namely a woman – feeling creepishly uncomfortable.
“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.”
The lyrics have been interpreted by many and the general consensus is the intention to take advantage of a woman who’s been drugged without knowledge is ever-present. What’s most disturbing is the idea that the hypothetical predator “took her home,” “enjoyed that” and “she ain’t even know it.” In other words, removing her person from a common place to the privacy of his home, “has his way” with her and she won’t remember when she comes to. Who would even want to have a bottled water with this guy after all this?
According to the Huffington Post, a group of activists and rape survivors have petitioned Reebok to drop Ross from their recent ad campaign in which the 37-year-old Miami rapper is a featured spokesperson for the classic sneaker.
Ultra-Violet, a group of advocates for women’s rights and eradicating sexism, claims Ross’ lyrics are “condoning” rape and sends a “dangerous message” to the young crowds the shoe company solicits.
In a letter to Reebok’s President Uli Becker, Chief Marketing Officer Matt O’Toole and Corporate Communications Daniel Sarro, the group reasons that Reebok is “condoning” rape by keeping Ross:
Like far too many women, we are survivors of sexual assault. Every single day that Reebok continues rewarding Rick Ross with a lucrative endorsement deal, Reebok is condoning rape. When one in five women will be the victim of completed or attempted rape, this is dangerous and it has real-life consequences. Your silence on this issue is unacceptable. It’s time you took a stand against rape and drop Rick Ross as a spokesman.
Ross informally responded to the backlash through a series of tweets – apologizing for the misinterpretation of his lyrics.
“I dont condone rape.Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS,” he tweeted. “Apologies to my many business partners,who would never promote violence against women. @ReebokClassics @ultraviolet” he followed with direct mentions to his business affiliates.
Even if this is the way Ross gets some action from time to time, this is no seed that needs to be planted in the minds of the young and impressionable sector of his fan base. The decision to publish those lyrics was reckless and a clear oversight on him and his creative team’s behalf. If he does get dropped from Reebok, hopefully it will serve as a lesson. Someone’s daughter, mother and sister are victims of sexual crimes of this nature on the daily basis. This type of behavior is not acceptable entertainment material and you owe your mother, sisters and daughters a formal apology … can we get 16 bars on that?