Rick Ross (Getty Images file )
As an entertainer, I can tell you no artist likes to be censored or have his or her lyrics dissected. It blows! Freedom of speech is something we creative folks value, but the same rights that let artists say what we want are the ones that can land us in a world of trouble.
In rapper Rick Ross' feature verse on "U.O.E.N.O," a mixtape song by artist Rocko, Rozay shocked rap lovers everywhere by getting all date-rapey.
The lines "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" pissed people off and caused a lot of backlash. Petitions were drafted, radio bans were put in place, and Rozay's lyrics, which seem to glorify date rape, began to get more attention in the Twittersphere than Rocko's entire song. So of course, being the savvy businessman that he is, Ross decided to address the controversy.
In an interview Thursday with Q93 in New Orleans—after plugging a bunch of new music that his artists soon will release—Rozay explained that the date-rapey lyric that is stirring up so much trouble actually was "misinterpreted."
"I would never use the term 'rape' in my records and as far as my camp, hip-hop don't condone that, the streets don't condone that, nobody condones that," he said. He then went on to call women precious and sexy and queens, and a bunch of other positive stuff that he never calls women in his music. And of course the media began reporting that the whole incident was a misunderstanding.
Now, I don't know Rick Ross. Never met the guy. I'm not psychic, and I have no way of knowing his intentions. However, the fact that I am not dumb keeps me from being able to accept his explanation as the truth, mostly because he made no effort whatsoever to explain what his "misinterpreted" lyric truly meant. I mean ... if it meant something else, then why didn't he resolve the issue by saying what he actually meant?!
Let's be honest here: Rick Ross' music has never been appealing because of his lyrical dexterity and his ability to spit clever metaphors or whatever. Rozay's rhymes are simple, easy-to-understand lines delivered over bottom-heavy beats that appeal to people who embrace his braggadocious "Boss" flow.
That being said, it is really difficult for me to understand what else "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" could possibly mean. I call bull, bro. An apology wouldn't have changed things anyway, so I'm glad he didn't bother to issue one.
Fortunately for Rick Ross, this little incident won't affect his career in the long term. Multitudes of women are going to accept his explanation as truth and they are still gonna spend their money on his music as if he never released a song that suggested an effective way to date-rape a girl.
However, if there are any girls out there like me, girls who aren't as easily pacified, girls who don't accept disrespect, girls who are ourselves rape and abuse survivors, they will never spend money on a Rick Ross tune ever again. Why not? Because the only thing worse than glorifying date rape is insulting angry women's intelligence by pretending you didn't glorify date rape.
RedEye special contributor Nikki Lynette, a Chicago native, is an indie recording artist whose music appears on MTV, VH1, Showtime and more.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.