Rapper Rick Ross has been the target of criticism the last few weeks for a song he raps on, titled “U.O.E.N.O,” in which he seemingly describes drugging a woman’s champagne and having sex with her while “she ain’t even know it.”
That’s a problem for Reebok, which has an endorsement deal with Ross to promote its Classics line of sneakers.
Today, protest group UltraViolet will deliver a 71,000-plus signature to Reebok’s flagship New York store demanding that Reebok distance itself from Ross. Other rappers have criticized Ross, too.
This isn’t Reebok’s fault, of course. The company has no control over Ross’s artistic output. Marketers at the Boston HQ are probably feeling ambushed by the spat.
Business Insider emailed Reebok’s media relations people yesterday asking if they had any statement about Ross, but we received no reply. We called them twice, too. We’ll update this item if we hear back from the company.
Ross failed to make the controversy go away when he gave interviews that suggested the lyric did not depict a sexual assault because it did not use the word “rape.” He told a radio station:
“Woman is the most precious gift known to man … And there was a misunderstanding with a lyric…a misinterpretation where the term rape was — wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape, you know, in my lyrics. And as far as my camp, hip hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that, nobody condones that.”
The lyric in question is:
“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 a name for the drug ecstasy or MDMA.
Here’s the song:
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