Maybach Music Group leader Rick Ross is having a tough week as controversial rap lyrics have sparked widespread outrage and protestors wanting Reebok to end its ties with him.
Thousands upon thousands of petition signatures have continued to rack up this week with the most notable one being a demand for Reebok to ditch him.
Rick Ross’ date-rape-referencing lyrics on rapper Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” have already sparked online outrage among women’s groups. Now a second wave of petitions is calling for Ross’ endorsement deal with Reebok to be discontinued, in part because “Reebok devotes a lot of time, energy and money to marketing to women.” That’s a statement from Nita Chaudhury, co-founder of anti-sexism collective UltraViolet, who received 51,000 signatures from members, moms and young athletes by Friday morning demanding Reebok drop Rick Ross from an endorsement deal that has already included multiple TV commercials and print campaigns. (Billboard)
Some organizations simply want Ross to own up to the lyrics and apologize.
Though the song’s been out for a month, listeners are just responding to the lyric. The vitriol seemed to rise this week on Twitter and Facebook, among other sites. Still, Change.org is having none of it: “This should be investigated further and he should be prosecuted,” according to a statement on the website. “If it is not true and they are just lyrics, he has still just glorified rape and this should not be ignored.” The petition has 542 supporters so far. (Complex)
This week, Ross said the public simply misunderstood his lyrics rather than offer any sympathy.
“I want to make sure this is clear,” Ross said in an interview. “Woman is the most precious gift known to man, you understand? It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the word rape in my records. And as far as my camp, hip-hop don’t condone that, streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that, you understand me? I just wanted to reach out to all the queens that’s on my timeline, all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that have been reaching out to me about the misunderstanding. We don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.” (Q 93.3)
Prior to coming forward, ample bloggers and writers inked posts about the “Boss'” lyrics and how he would likely apologize.
“What’s so scary about Ross’ line is that this is something that a good number of men and boys actually do. Maybe a rap lyric won’t inspire an impressionable young dude to go and try to flip a couple keys, but normalizing this sort of rape? I see it. I see it and it scares me. Because he’s tied to a major label and because the rape reference was so blatant, it’s likely that Ross will issue some sort of apology or come forward to say that it was just a joke — “Don’t really go out and do that now, y’all!” To that, I’d say … the title of his last studio album was God Forgives, I Don’t and, well, that’s one thing I have in common with the ex-cop. Not unless he commits himself to actively working to change his tune, and if that happened, he probably wouldn’t be signed to anyone’s major label anymore. So while this sister is praying for him and urging him to be some positive person that I’ve never observed him to be during his rap career, I just hope he goes away and fast.” (Ebony)