News: Freeway Ricky Ross On The Boss' Reebok Loss: "This Will Be A Turning Point"

Monday, Apr 15, 2013 2:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Former drug kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross has shed some sympathy toward his nemesis rapper Rick Ross in light of the "Boss" losing his Reebok endorsement deal last week.

Despite handfuls of legal battles against Ricky Rozay over him using his name as a rap moniker, Freeway felt for his loss.

"It is a sad situation, but we all have to be responsible about what we say in art and in life. Maybe this will be a turning point that brings a better awareness by artist of repercussions from consumers. The youth are listening and following us all as role models." Always outspoken, "Freeway" Rick Ross also advises future endorsers in Hip Hop to properly assess who they are investing in so they are not blindsided by these type of preventable mishaps: "Endorsers also have to hold this high standard in evaluating who they use to sell products in our communities. They can't just wait until a firestorm and react, they should evaluate their partners throughout the time of their deals." (AHH Rumors)

Last week, Young Money's Drake shared a similar sentiment and said Ross' situation made him realize the power of rap lyrics.

"That situation the other day with the Rocko song was a big wake-up call for all of us. Like, rap is important. The world is listening, this is a wake-up call. If you're going to say something that's going to put you at risk, make sure it's a message worth fighting for. I know Rick Ross very well, by all means I don't mean to speak on another man's situation, but it just, for me, it clicked. ... Watching Pac, he felt like that message was worth fighting for. And in this day and age, he would have lost corporate sponsorship and he would have lost money but at the end of the day, that message was important for him. It's just a wake-up call, man, and just realizing more to it." ("East Village Radio")

Atlanta hip-hop artist Rocko sided with Ross and questioned Reebok's business decision a few days ago.

"As far as the Reebok thing, I don't think that was fair because what he brought to Reebok. People in my neighborhood, in my city, they're back wearing Reeboks," Rocko said about the sneaker giant and its popularity among rap fans. "It was a cardinal sin to wear Reebok before Ross started promoting 'em. Ross stepped in and he branded 'em and he got the urban market back in to 'em." (MTV)

Last week, Reebok issued a formal statement on parting ways with the "Boss."

Athletic goods retailer Reebok on Thursday terminated its relationship with rapper Rick Ross, whose song featuring lyrics that seem to boast about drugging and raping a woman has caused an uproar. "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," Reebok, a subsidiary of Germany company Adidas, said in a statement. "At this time, it is in everyone's best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross," it said. Ross had an endorsement deal with the company and promoted its shoes in print and TV commercials. (Reuters)

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