"I want to make sure this is clear that woman is the most precious gift known to man,” he said. “It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn’t used."
Ross doesn't sound apologetic -- if anything, he's crass and places blame on the women (the "queens" and "sexy ladies") for misinterpreting such words as "took her home" and "she ain't even know it" as rape.
"I just wanted to reach out to all the queens that’s on my timeline, all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that had been reaching out to me with the misunderstanding. We don’t condone rape and I’m not with that," he continued.
Personally, I don't see what part of that lyric isn't date-rape by definition. You're having your way with a woman that's unconscious; therefore, she didn't consent to sex.
I don't usually take anything Rick Ross raps about at face value -- after all, so much of his rhymes are self-admittedly fabricated. The one-time correctional officer, now Island Def Jam artist, raps about a lifestyle (of pushing drugs) that is literally unbelievable, and these rhymes have brought him commercial success. But whatever lies Ross has told about his life -- selling drugs, etc. -- haven't really hurt anybody; implicitly condoning rape does and especially when doing so on such platform.
Going off sales (3.6 million records to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and in-demand feature verses, I'd say he has an impact on many. People listen to Rick Ross.
Rick Ross Under Fire for Lyrics That Critics Say Condone Date Rape
Riding off the mainstream obsession over the street drug -- Justin Timberlake dropped Trinidad James' "All Gold Everything" hook into his MySpace performance and "SNL" skit -- doesn't overshadow rape or give clearance.
Ross' "U.O.E.N.O." line also comes days after the verdict on the Steubenville rape case in which two high school football players were sentenced to one year in juvenile detention after being found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious 16-year-old at more than one party. I'll leave it to you to Google the disturbing video, photo and tweets that helped establish the verdict. Rape will always be an incredibly sensitive subject, but feels even moreso in light of this case. "Misunderstanding" doesn't feel like a solution to Ross' problem.
Muskegon, MI's non-profit community station 103.6 The Beat/WUVS-LP announced that they'd be pulling all Rick Ross songs from rotation because of Rocko's song and Ross' lack of sensitivty considering the Steubenville case. "Following that teen rape case in Ohio, we felt [Rick Ross] was very insensitive. It sends the wrong message out to the youth that’s following him,” Paul Allen Billings, general manager/program director of the station, told Billboard. “To promote a date rape drug in a song, it’s like saying its OK to do this behavior. He’s saying it’s acceptable.”
Of course, Rick Ross is not the first and unfortunately not the last (although we can hold out hope) who has used rape as a punchline. However, that should not and will not warrant a free pass in this situation.
Additional reporting by Alex Gale