Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rape Rap

I grew up listening to rap music. Before C.D.'s existed, and mp3's became the norm, (yes I am that old), and before rappers even made albums I was listening to rap or hip hop music. Over the years the music has gone through an extreme metamorphosis. The music of my youth has gone from being a vehicle that gave a voice to the voiceless, to being a money driven machine exploited by any and everybody who has the ability to drop a "hot 16" (most rap songs have 16 bars, or 16 lines of lyrics). Rap music has become more and more controversial over the years because of the level of misogyny and violence in some songs. But besides the occasional corny 2 Live Crew song, or NWA record, most artists have had sort of a respectful ambiguity when it comes to their messages. Nothing too overt, but insinuated or implied. When asked to explain their songs most said that their music reflected their reality. These days, some rappers have become parodies of themselves. It would almost be like life imitating art, if the music had any artistic value. Some have become cartoonish figures who's aim is to sell enough records to get rich and stay rich, no matter what. But sometimes these artist go too far.

William Leonard Roberts II, aka Rick Ross, aka "The Bearded Bear", has made a career out of his false persona. Ross had made and estimated $28 million recording songs about the same subject matter over and over again using a different beat. Money, cars, girls, watches, money, and more money is all that he raps about. Catchy hooks, with lyrics as deep as a kitty pool. But now he has crossed the line. Ross has released a new song giving advice on how to romance your lady even if she doesn't want to be romanced, drug her, get her drunk and rape her while she's unconscious so she never knows what happened. In his new song "U.O.E.N.O." Ross raps,
"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." "Molly" is slang for the drug MDMA, or Ecstasy.

Now outraged fans and foes are calling on Reebok to drop Ross as a spokesman. An online petition states,
"His lyrics aren't vague, he's not hinting that he raped a woman he's clearly and proudly saying that he drugged and raped a woman who was not capable of consent."

"By holding Rick Ross up as something to aspire to, Reebok is sending the message that raping a woman is cool and that's a dangerous message to send to the boys and young men that Reebok markets to. This is what rape culture is."

I agree whole heartedly. He should lose his Reebok endorsement. I fail to see how this verse is open to interpretation, and artists like Ross who feel that they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, should he held accountable.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. Reebok? Really!?
I guess you don't have to look like the picture of health to endorse fitness.......
What was Reebok thinking?

It looks like Leonard is in big trouble. In a desperate attempt at damage control, he went on the radio in Louisiana last week to defend his lyrics and called it all a big misunderstanding.

"Woman is the most precious gift known to man. And there was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation," he told 93.3 in New Orleans.

"I would never use the term rape in my records, in my lyrics. And as far as my camp, hip hop don't condone that, the streets don't condone that, nobody condones that."

You don't have to use the word rape to imply rape. His intentions were clear. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said.

"I just want to reach out to all my queens that's on my timeline, all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that have been reaching out to me with the misunderstanding: We don't condone rape, and I'm not with that," he said.

But it could be too little, too late. 50,000 people have already signed the petition.
Reebok has not yet commented.
Perhaps the only one who is happy about this whole Rick Ross debacle is Lil' Wayne, because it ALMOST makes us forget about his idiotic Emmett Till reference.


Side Bar:
This is your body, & this is your body on bacon!............ Any questions?

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