Reebok, Rick Ross Split After Disgusting Lyrics About Date Rape

Rick Ross stirred up quite the controversy when he released a song with lyrics blatantly condoning date rape. After a strong reaction from many including some women’s groups, the rapper took to Twitter to apologize, but it wasn’t enough to save his partnership with Reebok.

It was announced on Thursday that the company has dropped Ross over these controversial and upsetting lyrics. Although Ross’ lyrics are especially disturbing, wrong and deserving of punishment, it isn’t that far from what everyone else seems to be rapping about.

In Ross’s song, “U.O.E.N.O.” he raps, “Put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain't even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it."

For those who don’t know, Rick Ross is referring to putting the drug, MDMA in this girls’ drink against her will. The song was released in January, though it has only recently been gaining a lot of radio play and popularity among those who seem to be unfazed by date rape.

Last week after a women’s group called Ultra Violet was planning to protest outside of a Reebok store in Manhattan, Ross tweeted an apology for the lyrics. He stated that they were “misinterpreted” and only construed to be about rape. Ross went on to mention in a radio interview the same thing, adding that in the song he never says the word “rape.” Ross even tweeted about his partnership deals saying, “Apologies to my many business partners, who would never promote violence against women.” He even followed this tweet by tagging Reebok and Ultra Violet. Despite, his apology, Reebok, who Ross has supported in commercials, issued a statement on Thursday severing ties with the rapper saying, “Reebok holds our partners to a high standard and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so." After hearing word that Reebok had dropped Ross, Ultra Violet released a statement thanking them for joining the fight against rape culture.

Let’s be honest, Reebok made the right move here. Those lyrics are super creepy. Giving someone drugs against their will is not something that should be glorified anywhere. But for me, it’s the line “… and I enjoyed that” that creeps me out the most. Lines like this continue the belief that is already all too strong in rap lyrics that women are simply there for men’s pleasure and nothing else, that their bodies are something to be “enjoyed,” as apposed to being something that belongs to a person. Lyrics with this general theme of women being treated as objects happen all the time in rap, though Rick Ross took it another step further, and it is good to see this grossness being greeted with push-back. 

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Julia Birnbaum

Julia Birnbaum is a student at Sarah Lawrence college with a passion for writing and a love for all things pop. Julia is currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy.

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