“Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets. As an artist, one of the most liberating things is being able to paint pictures with my words. But with that comes a great responsibility. And most recently, my choice of words was not only offensive, it does not reflect my true heart. And for this, I apologize. To every woman that has felt the sting of abuse, I apologize. I recognize that as an artist I have a voice and with that, the power of influence. To the young men who listen to my music, please know that using a substance to rob a woman of her right to make a choice is not only a crime, it’s wrong and I do not encourage it. To my fans, I also apologize if I have disappointed you. I can only hope that this sparks a healthy dialogue and that I can contribute to it.”
These were the words of William Roberts, better known as MMG CEO Rick Ross a day after Reebok chose to sever ties with him following the controversy involving his lyrics (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) on Rocko’s latest single, “U.O.E.N.O.”. Ross spent the majority of his time in front of the press immediately following the release of the track denying that the lyrics alluded to any type of rape to begin with, and offered half-a** apologies at any party demanding one. Now, immediately following the rescinding of his most lucrative endorsement deal, Ross finally offers up a decent apology. The problem with this is, however, it will be seen as only a reaction to the flow of his endorsement dollars being halted, rather than honest and sincere regret at his lyrics causing such dissent. It also begs the question, how far will labels and companies go to sanction the artists they choose to endorse. On one hand, Ross’ spent most of his career talking about murder and drug dealing, which made him big enough of a figure for Reebok to endorse. Its a game of pick your poison for which rules haven’t yet been written.
-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)