On the hit Rocko song, “U.O.E.N.O.”, Rick Ross raps, “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.”
This past month, Rick Ross conducted a radio interview with New Orleans hip-hop/ R&B station, Q93.3. During one part of the interview, he addressed the date rape lyric that provoked a wave of negative responses on the internet and beyond. However, his “apology” was just him transferring the blame to those who found the lyric problematic, a cog in rape culture. The selected portion is at about 4:15.
Aside from faulting his detractors (mainly women) by saying that there was “a misunderstanding” in their judgment of the lyric, Ross’s entire “apology” was sexist and misogynistic.
Some choice phrases from his response are quoted below.
“Woman is the most precious gift known to man.”
- Though an attempt to show how highly Rick Ross esteems women, this sentence presents women as objects, gifts for men to have, and have their way with. This sentence actually syncs up nicely with his date rape lyric: women are to be utilized for male pleasure, according to both. This sentence also has heteronormativity in it. It implies that all men should be sexually satisfied with a women when many men have no such dominant desire.
“There was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation”
- Two times in this sentence, Rick Ross says his lyric’s detractors are wrong. How can they be? He slipped a drug in her champagne. He “enjoyed” her body. And she had no clue. She could not consent. This is blatant rape. That somebody could not see that this is a date rape is alarming. And if he does see that this lyric describes a date rape, but won’t own up to it is alarming as well. He should just accept that he rapped an atrocious thing, and seek education on what constitutes rape. Here, I can’t help but be reminded of political analyst and writer Zerlina Maxwell’s insistence on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show that society teach men what rape is and not to commit rape. This is a prime example that what she said is correct. If someone can’t tell that this situation is a rape (and not one committed by a “faceless, nameless” man, as Maxwell points out), our efforts to educate man on the subject are woefully sub-par.
“[There was a misinterpretation] where the term ‘rape’ was-wasn’t used, and I would never use the term ‘rape’ in my records.”
- Is Ross implying that if the word “rape” isn’t used to describe something, it can’t be rape? This is dangerous, harmful thinking.
“… And as far as my camp, hip-hop don’t condone [rape], streets don’t condone that, nobody condones that.”
- This sentence is especially interesting. Ross proclaims that hip-hop, street culture, and humans, in general, don’t condone rape, and subsumes all three under the umbrella of his “camp” (probably his label, Maybach Music Group). How can this be done? This make no sense. And there are plenty of people in the world that condone rape. Take, for example, the deluge of racialized rape and death threats presented to both Zerlina Maxwell and web developer Adria Richards. And in cultures whose levels of machismo and masculine posturing are alarmingly high (such as hip-hop culture and street culture), rape certainly occurs, and is, if only implicitly, condoned.
“So I just wanted to reach out to the queens that’s on my timeline, the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that’s reaching out to me with the misunderstanding.”
- This is the third time in this radio interview that Ross has insisted that his detractors are mistaken in their judgment. He also refers to the women that called him out on Twitter as “queens”. But why? He should respect them and respond to their tweets regardless of whether they have a royal bearing, and regardless of whether he finds them “sexy” or “beautiful”.
He also tweeted today, April 4th, 2013, to offer another pseudo-apology.
— Mastermind (@rickyrozay) April 4, 2013
— Mastermind (@rickyrozay) April 4, 2013
Lately, I’ve been attempting to shy away from music with lyrics I deem reprehensible (sexist, misogynist, classist, heterosexist, xenophobic, etc.), so this incident further pushes me away from songs of that sort, especially those in Rick Ross’s discography.