File This Under "Obvious": It's NOT Okay For Rick Ross To Rap About Date Rape



rick-ross "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." So raps Rick Ross in his newest song, “U.O.E.N.O.” To clarify, Molly is a name for M.D.M.A, and Mr. Rozay is insinuating that he is putting a drug in his date's drink and then taking her home, which, both colloquially and in courts of law, is known as date rape.

Sadly, talking about rape, disrespecting women, and drugging or abusing women in music, specifically rap, is nothing new, and it has generally been looked upon as an unfortunate but acceptable practice. (See: Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, a particularly egregious example from Notorious B.I.G., and many more.) Indeed, female rappers are particularly well-known for turning around and serving it straight back to men, but for the most part, misogyny in rap has been generally accepted as a part of the music — either as a reflection of cultural norms or inherent class divisions in the music. But, guys, it is not okay. (It was never okay, but in 2013, it is less acceptable than ever.)

Of course, as members of the human race (and owners of a couple Rick Ross albums) we should get angry. But at this point, anger isn't enough. The author of this post has (on several occasions) interviewed or met Rick Ross, and he was incredibly friendly and gentleman-like. (This isn't to say that friendly, gentleman-like people aren't capable of date-rape, but chalking up Rick Ross to an Eminem-style provocateur isn't going to work in this instance.) The reason we mention this is because Rick Ross, at this point, should know better. His album label should know better. His producers should know better. His friends, both male and female, should also know better. The attitude of, "Well, this is okay because it is a part of the culture, even though it is ignorant" is now imploding on itself, with Steubenville, Adria Richards, and with Todd Akin. In fact, it seems that, even though foot-in-mouth misogyny is running rampant, rappers are particularly complacent in their acceptance of disturbing imagery like date rape.

Let us also remember that even though it is unlikely Rick Ross intended to rape a girl, it is this speech that contributes to "rape culture." This is a clear moment in time — with "legitimate rape" and Steubenville and #SafetyTipsForLadies fresh in our collective minds — that we need real, actual discussion. In the '90s, kids and teens used the word "f*****t" a lot, and one of the reasons that usage slowed significantly (in tandem with raising awareness of the cruelty of the word) is because a lot of peers turned to one another and said, "Hey man, that isn't cool to say."

Most importantly, we need to stand up for one another, to point out that an off-the-cuff comment in a song about people "not even knowing" what Rick Ross is up to, having sex with a drugged woman is not one of those things that's cool to mention. Instead, we need to challenge each other — especially if we are peers — to think before we speak, weigh our words and the meanings they carry. And we need to help each other in doing so. So, listen up, Mr. Rozay.

Photo: Everett Collection/Rex USA.