Young Money’s Drake is the latest hip-hop artist to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Rick Ross over dropping controversial lyrics on Atlanta rapper Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” anthem.
While careful not to judge too much, Drake admitted the overwhelming backlash made him realize how cautious he has to be on records.
“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”)
A few days ago, Drake’s Young Money labelmate Tyga backed up Ross’ comments and said he exercised his freedom of speech.
On Ross’ verse on the Rocko song “U.O.E.N.O.”, Tyga felt the situation was blown out of proportion. “It’s freedom of speech,” he said, “I mean it wasn’t even his record.” The rapper expressed that those criticizing Ross probably don’t actually know all that much about him. “I mean activists, and all those righteous groups. That’s what they do, they probably don’t even listen to Ross’s music. I know they don’t know who Rocko is.” he said, concluding that “they’re just finding anything they can.” (Hot New Hip Hop)
Along with Tyga’s comments, MMG member Meek Mill spoke up for the “Boss” earlier in the week.
“I don’t even care about nobody criticizing no lyrics. People rap about killing stuff all day. Biggie said, “Rape your kid, throw her over the bridge” back then, it was nothing, it was just hip-hop. Now you got all these weirdos on these social sites voicing their opinion about something anybody say. I don’t care, you know what I’m saying? I’m from the hood. I never really cared about what nobody say in no rap. Rap’s always been talking about killing, drugs, all types of stuff. You know what I’m saying? So you can’t just criticize no one thing nobody say. It’s imaginary visual. If a writer write about somebody getting raped in a movie, that mean he a rapist or he want girls to get raped? No, he just wrote about that in a movie. [Eminem talked about] you can kill your mom, kill your baby mom, rape her, tie her up. … It’s just different now. People can voice their opinion on a social site and become popular and people are turning it into any thing. Me? I don’t care about that. You can say whatever you want. I take care of my family, I’m getting money, I’m living my life and I’m being me.” (Urban Informer)
As a result of his lyrics, mega sneaker retailer Reebok cut its business ties with Ross.
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)
Check out Drake’s interview: