Rapper Rick Ross has responded to a backlash from critics after one of his songs seemed to glorify date rape.
The rapper came under fire earlier this week when his collaboration with Atlanta rapper Rocko titled “U.O.E.N.O” appeared to suggest drugging a woman before taking her home.
The lyrics in question read: “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.”
Now, Ross is speaking out, emphasizing he never actually used the term rape. “Woman is the most precious gift known to man,” he said. “And there was a misunderstanding with a lyric…a misinterpretation where the term rape was used. I would never use the term rape, you know, in my lyrics. And as far as my camp, hip hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that, nobody condones that.”
Ross continued that it was his responsibility as a rapper to clarify the lyric. “I feel like us being artists that’s our job,” he said. “To clarify the sensitive things and the things that we know that really need to be clarified such as a situation as this.”
While Ross does appear to be owning up to poor word choice, he never directly addressed the lyric in question.
“Molly”, also known as MDMA or ecstasy, is a drug used prolifically in clubs and often touted by rappers like Ross. Effects of “molly” can include recklessness and an inflated sense of well-being, both conditions that could easily lead to rape.
Ross may not be glorifying rape, but he is definitely glamorizing a drug that often leads to it.
Owing to the lyric controversy, Reebok has come under fire for its endorsement deal with Ross. Several feminist groups are urging Reebok to drop Ross.
Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of the anti-sexism and women’s rights website Ultraviolet, has started an online petition asking for Reebok to remove Ross from its ads.
The petition reads: “Reebok devotes a lot of time, energy and money to marketing to women – and now they’re paying a man who is literally bragging about raping women. That tells women that Reebok isn’t interested in our business. It tells us that Reebok is okay promoting rape culture and when one out of five women are the victim of an attempted or completed rape that has real life consequences.”
Reebok has yet to respond to the petition or issue a public statement on Ross.