In another attempt to stem the flow of criticism, and stop sponsors like Reebok from showing him the door, rapper Rick Ross has apologized again, this time in the form of a press release.
In the press release dated today, the 37-year-old rapper and founder of the Maybach Music Group said:
“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.”
Ross signed the press release with his real name William Roberts (a.k.a “Rick Ross”)
Ross has attempted to apologize several times in the past, but always came across as if he didn’t believe he rapped about rape. In his lyrics he rapped, “Put molly (slang for pure MDMA, better known as ecstasy) all in her champagne – She ain’t even know it – I took her home and I enjoyed that – She ain’t even know it.”
In one failed attempt to apologize the rapper said, “The term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape in my records. Hip-Hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that. I just want to reach out to all the queens on my timeline, the beautiful ladies that were reaching out to me… we don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.”
What most people got from his initial explanation was what he rapped about appeared to be okay with the rapper, since he never used the term rape.
Just yesterday Reebok dropped Ross amid protests by the women’s rights group UltraViolet.
His apology is too little. . . way too late.
Rick Ross is still working damage control after the release of rapper Rocko’s track “U.O.E.N.O.(You Ain’t Even Know It)” three weeks ago.
Today Reebok announced they were dropping Ross as a sponsor due to the lyrics in the song.
In the song Ross raps, “Put molly (slang for pure MDMA, better known as ecstasy) all in her champagne – She ain’t even know it – I took her home and I enjoyed that – She ain’t even know it,” bringing the full brunt of UltraViolet down on the rapper and his sponsors. Ultraviolet is a women’s rights group.
Soon after the song was released Ross said in an interview, “The term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape in my records. Hip-Hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that. I just want to reach out to all the queens on my timeline, the beautiful ladies that were reaching out to me… we don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.”
Obviously the rapper has a complete disconnect with the English language.
UltraViolet was instrumental in convincing Reebok to drop Ross after launching a campaign against Reebok resulting in over 100,000 people joining the cause.
On Thursday of last week, UltraViolet supporters flocked to Reeboks flagship store in New York in protest.
Moments before the group hit the store the clueless Ross Tweeted, “I dont condone rape.Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS,” still sounding like he doesn’t believe his lyrics depicted rape.
He followed up the tweet with, “Apologies to my many business partners,who would never promote violence against women. @ReebokClassics @ultraviolet”
The result was Reebok dropping Ross as a sponsor, sending Billboard a statement that said:
“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. While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse. At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross,”
In a statement Ultraviolet responded to Reebok’s decision:
“We are thrilled to hear that Reebok is joining the fight against rape culture and dropping Rick Ross. This is a huge victory for women, for the 526 survivors of rape who were brave enough to publicly confront rape culture, and for the nearly 100,000 UltraViolet members who have poured their hearts and time into this campaign. This sends a strong message that rapping about drugging and raping an unconscious woman is not only morally wrong, but has real consequences. After Steubenville, Americans expect and demand better. Thank you Reebok for taking a stand.”
The offending lyrics are, “Put molly (slang for pure MDMA, better known as ecstasy) all in her champagne – She ain’t even know it – I took her home and I enjoyed that – She ain’t even know it.” The lyrics continue to stir controversy even after Ross attempted to explain them away in an interview with Q93.
In his interview the 37-year-old rapper said, “There are certain things you can’t Tweet and certain things you want people to hear and I want to make sure this is clear… woman is the most precious gift known to man. You understand.”
Ross goes on to explain, “The term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape in my records. Hip-Hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that. I just want to reach out to all the queens on my timeline, the beautiful ladies that were reaching out to me… we don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.”
Many Twitter users echoed the sediment of #DirtyGames who tweeted, “Put Molly in her drink she ain’t even know it, took her home and enjoyed it, ain’t even know it” @rickrozay that’s rape bro”
Women’s rights activists are up in arms and one woman in particular, Lolia Etomi, has posted a petition on Change.org, urging anyone who takes issue with his lyrics to help force the 37-year-old rapper to make a public apology.
Etomi writes, “The dominant rape culture today has come from people ignoring and even glorifying statements like this because the song sounds good in the club. You don’t have to be a feminist to support this, but roofy-ing and rape are very serious and shockingly common problems.”
In another online petition at Ultra Violet it 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.”
While some may say music is art, others will argue that this song sends a clear message.
Will he apologize? Should he?
In honor of Black History Month here is a look back at the history of African-American music and how it has influenced musicians today, including some photos of today’s top musicians.
African-American music is a term covering a diverse range of music and musical genres largely developed by black Americans. Jazz, blues, gospel, soul, and more recently rap constitute the principal genres of African-American music.
Their origins arose out of slavery characterizing the lives of black Americans prior to the American Civil War. The earliest forms of African-American music originated from those experiences with field hollers, work songs, improvisation, and blues notes.
Following the Civil War, black musicians began playing European music in military bands, developing new musical styles such as ragtime, which later transformed into jazz. Jazz has been one of the most influential styles in music to date, with a wide-ranging and profound influence over the development of music around the world. The earliest jazz greats included Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.
The ‘50s saw a harder blues sound and the introduction of doo-wop. Berry Gordy founded Motown records in 1959 which catapulted black music to the forefront of the American music scene. In the ‘60s Motown introduced acts such as The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and The Supremes.
The ‘70s saw an explosion of black artists in the music world with The Jackson 5, Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, The O’Jays, and Gladys Knight & the Pip, all tearing up the music charts. As music evolved in the ‘70s hip-hop was born and made popular through artists like Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, while George Clinton and Sly and the Family Stone introduced the world to some funky music.
Throughout the ‘80s, ‘90s, and today the African-American community of musicians grew with big names such as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Lionel Richie. During the ‘80s there was a wave of black female artists with Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston leading the way for future artists like Beyonce.
African-American music has had a profound influence on all genres of music through the years and will continue to evolve and influence generations of musicians for years to come.
Smokey Robinson was instrumental in the founding of Motown with Berry Gordy in 1959 and one of the most influential artists of his time. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles was the first act to sign on with Motown Records.
Robinson has over 4,000 songs to his credit and has been performing for over 50 years. He’s responsible for such hits as “Second that Emotion,” “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” “Tears of a Clown” and “Tracks of My Tears.”
George Clinton is considered to be one of the most sampled musicians ever, and is one of the artists responsible for bringing the funky to funky music with his band the Parliament-Funkadelics. Dominating in the ‘70s with over 40 R&B hit singles, including three number ones and three platinum albums.
Clinton is also a notable music producer working on almost all of the albums he performs on, as well as producing albums for Bootsy Collins and Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.
The Sounds of Success band, better known as SOS is fronted by Mary Davis. They were initially famous for the hit “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” in 1980. They had a string of R&B hits including “Just Be Good to Me,” “Tell Me If You Still Care,” “Borrowed Love,” “No One’s Gonna Love You,” “Just the Way You Like It” and “The Finest.”
SOS still tours today with founding members Mary Davis and Abdul Ra’oof. They are scheduled to perform on the BET Honor’s show scheduled for February 11, 2013. You can get a sneak preview of their performance here.
Kool & the Gang
Kool & the Gang started out as a jazz band, but through the years transformed themselves into one of the leaders in R&B and funk. Arguably their greatest albums were “Light of Worlds” and “Spirit of the Boogie” released in 1974 and 1975 respectively.
Kool & the Gang is responsible for such hits as “Joanna,” “Get Down on It,” “Ladies Night” and probably their most memorable and often played hit “Celebration.”
Leading the way for the rappers of today Kurtis Blow was the first rapper to ever be signed by a major label and is responsible for a number of hits by The Fat Boys and Run DMC. A few of his hits include “If I Ruled the World,” “Christmas Rappin’” and “The Breaks.”
Kurtis is a fully ordained minister and was an active participant in the Artists Against Apartheid record “Sun City”. He’s worked with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push and the Rainbow Coalition in Chicago.
Morris Day started out in a band with classmate Prince, who, as everyone knows, left the band to pursue his own style of music. The Time, as the band was known didn’t do much in their early years. It wasn’t until the ‘80s when Day worked with Prince on the movie “Purple Rain.” Eventually The Time was billed as Morris Day and The Time.
Day played the antagonist to Prince in his feature films “Purple Rain” and “Graffiti Bridge,” helping establish Day’s playboy stage presence. He was typically escorted by his valet, “Jerome” (Jerome Benton), winning fans with his exaggerated vanity as he would yell “Jerome bring me my mirror!” This persona was exploited for comic effect on The Time’s records, on songs such as “Chili Sauce” and “If the Kid Can’t Make You Come” from the album Ice Cream Castle.
His greatest and most memorable hit was “Jungle Love.”
The multi-talented Brian McKnight is a singer-songwriter, arranger, producer, and R&B musician. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and can play eight instruments including piano, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn and trumpet.
McKnight signed on to Mercury Records and in 1992 released his self-titled debut album which peaked at 58 in the Billboard 200 chart. The album featured the ballad “One Last Cry”. He followed up with two more albums for Mercury with “I Remember You” and “Anytime”. “Anytime” sold over two million copies and was nominated for a Grammy.
When McKnight signed on to the Motown label he released his best-selling and most memorable album “Back at One.”
McKnight has the dubious distinction for a record 16 Grammy nominations without one win.
Gym Class Heroes
Gym Class Heroes formed in 1997 when Travie McCoy met drummer Matt McGinley during their high school gym class. The band’s style includes hip hop, rock, funk, and reggae infused with rap. Their debut album “The Papercut Chronicles” gained the band a strong fan base as they toured promoting the album at festivals such as The Bamboozle and Warped Tour.
Their album “As Cruel as School Children” spawned their hit singles “Cupid’s Chokehold,” reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Clothes Off!!” peaking at No. 5 in the United Kingdom.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. better known as Lil Wayne is a hip-hop artist and in 1991, at the age of nine, joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.’z, with fellow New Orleans-based rapper B.G.
Wayne’s debut studio album, “Tha Block Is Hot” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His next albums, “Lights Out” and “500 Degreez”, were certified Gold.
In 2004 Wayne released the album “Tha Carter” which included the single “Go D.J.” which saw a surge in Wayne’s popularity. Continuing the success of “Tha Carter,” he released “Tha Carter II” in 2005.
“Tha Carter III” which was released in 2008 saw over one million copies sold in the first week, becoming Wayne’s most successful album to date. It included the number-one single “Lollipop”, as well as “A Milli” and “Got Money”, and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
William Leonard Roberts II, better known as Rick Ross, and sometimes referred to as Ricky Rozay, is one of the more controversial rappers of our time. He founded the record label Maybach Music Group (MMG), on which he released his studio albums “Deeper Than Rap,” “Teflon Don” and “God Forgives, I Don’t.”
In recent news Ross canceled the last leg of his tour (Dec. 2012), citing several reasons as to the cause of the cancelation, including lack of organization on the part of the promoter, and death threats. Gangster Disciples, a street gang that originated from the Chicago area, has been battling with Ross for some time and they’ve posted YouTube videos threatening the rapper.
In January of 2013 Ross crashed his Rolls Royce into a store after several shots were fired at his vehicle. No arrests have been made and no one was hurt in the drive-by.
Several reasons have been cited over the last few days, including lack of organization on the part of the promoter, as well as rumors of death threats from Gangster Disciples, a street gang that originated from the Chicago area.
The MMG tour included Meek Mills, Wale, and more recently Machine Gun Kelly. The tour was originally scheduled for 23 days, but was extended to Dec. 16.
Representatives for the promoter, Live Nation, have not commented.
The cancelations started with two shows in North Carolina, where the death threats were rumored. Soon after that, the remainder of the shows were canceled.
The Gangster Disciples posted their threats on YouTube about a month ago, warning Ross and everyone who was signed with Mayback Music Group that they were coming after them. Since then a number of videos have surfaced on YouTube threatening the singer.
Their beef started back when Ross was better known as Teflon Don, when he released the single “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast), where he mentioned the gang’s imprisoned leader Larry Hoover.
It doesn’t stop there! Gangster Disciples are also upset, or should I say pissed off, that Ross is using a design similar to their gang symbol on his Black Bar Mitzvah mix-tape.
Oh . . . one more thing. There’s also something about the pressure being on until the gang receives “the check”. Apparently the check is for providing protection for Ross in the way of security/body guards.
Do any of these people have anything better to do?
What’s the worst part about the cancelations?
Machine Gun Kelly is not going to be able to build up his fan base! As the opening act for the MMG Tour, he has stolen the show. Look for him headlining his own show next year, minus all the death threats and other crap that seems to follow Ross around wherever he goes.
Before the tour was canceled, Ross brought the MMG tour to the Sacramento area. You can read the review here.
Rick Ross brought his MMG Tour to Sleep Train Arena on Saturday.
This is Rozay’s (Ross’s nickname) first headlining tour as he brought a supporting cast of characters including, Meek Mill (Robert Williams), Wale (Oluboware Victor Akintimehen), Omarion (Omari Ishmael Grandberry), and Machine Gun Kelly (Richard Colson Baker).
Opening the show was MGK storming the stage and daring the fans to have fun as he dove into the crowd on several occasions. Pro-skateboarder Ryan Sheckler was in attendance for MGK’s show and was invited backstage after his performance.
While Rozay and crew put on a great show, MGK is the real story. Bringing his high energy and lightning fast rap, which earned him the nick name Machine Gun Kelly, this kid stole the show. If anyone in attendance didn’t know him before the show, they certainly knew who he was after the show.
Following MGK was Omarion. He was met with a lukewarm reception, which may have been because he was following a blistering performance by MGK. I don’t believe Omarion brought his A-game and luckily only played a brief set.
I thought it was strange as each performer was represented by a cardboard cutout with their name displayed on it, which was being held by a couple of stage-hands. As if the audience needed to be reminded who was onstage. Not sure what that was about.
Wale followed Omarion and was met with cheers and screams. Wale won the crowd over and had fans on their feet. Wale also performed a pretty brief set, saving some time for the big man Rozay.
Meek Mill followed Wale with “Racked Up Shawty” and “Young & Gettin’ It” as the crowd started getting more intense and loud. Was it Wale’s performance, or the wildly good California weed?
When Rozay took the stage it could have been independence day as fireworks were going off all around. The ruler and king of MMG ripped through his hit’s including “Hustlin’ ” and “I’m Not A Star.”
Following Rozay’s lengthy solo set, Wale and Mill joined Rozay onstage to perform a number of songs including “Bag Of Money” and “Tats On My Arm.”
Rozay has put together quite a line-up for his first headlining tour and made a brilliant decision to include Machine Gun Kelly. I’m looking forward to seeing bigger and better things from MGK, including his own headlining act. The kids got talent!
It was a wild night at the taping of BET’s 2012 Hip-Hop awards (scheduled to air on October 9th) in Atlanta on Saturday night as Rick Ross and Young Jeezy got into quite the scuffle backstage. But wait! That’s not all.
There was another “scuffle” between Gunplay and 50 cent!
I remember when awards shows were all about going out and having a good time as the fans were able to watch their favorite performers gather up their awards, or pout, as the case may be.
Seriously guys! You have some young fans out there that look up to you and emulate everything you do.
Get a clue!
Having said all that, we should put this in perspective and make it clear that these were scuffles and not full on brawls as was initially reported by website TMZ and others. However, Gunplay and 50 Cent’s was pretty damn close to being a full on brawl.
Initial reports were brawls breaking out with shots fired causing quite a stir. Because of this the “Brawls” are taking center stage and may undermine the awards show airing on October 9th.
So for all you testosterone laden artists out there – You’re not only hurting yourselves, you’re also hurting the genre, the culture, you’re sponsors, and more importantly your fans.
Next time you’re facing your enemy and you want to push, shove, and blow their house down. Stop! Think about everyone else around you and how many people that are relying on, and looking up to, you as an artist, not a gangsta.
Police are investigating a deadly shooting outside the Florida home of rapper Rick Ross.
According to authorities they received a call at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning reporting shots fired. Upon arrival police discovered the bloodied body of a deceased forty year old male.
Ross is not a suspect and was not home at the time of the shooting. Reportedly the house is not frequented by Ross, but he allows others to use the home for recording.
Police are eager to interview the rapper.
It’s tough to be a rapper these days. Last week Rick Ross suffered a seizure (not to be confused with search and seizure).
Ross lost consciousness onboard a Delta flight to Memphis from Ft. Lauderdale. The commercial flight was forced to make an emergency landing, the whole time a doctor onboard was providing CPR on the heavyweight rapper.
Later the same day, Ross appeared to be in good health tweeting a video of himself boarding a private jet. During this flight Ross suffered a second seizure, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Birmingham, Alabama.
Thankfully Ross is now back to his normal routine, traveling the world and blessing everyone with his greatness.
Not be outdone by the Maybach Music Group leader, Tone Loc, best known for his hits “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina,” decided to jump into the fray, or should I say slump into the fray.
Eleven days after Loc pleaded no contest to weapons and domestic violence charges, stemming from a June arrest, he was struck with a seizure while performing onstage in Atlanta on Saturday.
Loc was transported to a nearby hospital and released. His handlers say he’s doing just fine and was suffering from exhaustion.
Loc had a similar incident at a Pensacola, Florida concert back in 2009.
Let’s hope Loc is ok! He’s schedule to appear at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort with Bridget Marquardt from TV’s “The Girls Next Door,” where she will be joined by her Playboy Playmate friends for a Halloween house party on October 27th.
I don’t know about you, but count me in!!
What a night out at Sleep Train Amphitheater!
Singer, songwriter, producer, and ex-con, Lil Wayne played at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Marysville on Friday.
Lil Wayne has a new album that was just released after the MTV VMA awards Tha Carter IV.
Less than three weeks ago Jax-Z and Kayne West released their collaboration Watch the Throne. Their album broke iTunes single-week sales record. However, Tha Carter IV trounced the record selling over 300,000 downloads via iTunes in only its first four days, outpacing the 290,000 that Throne sold in an entire week.
So the timing for Sleep Train Amphitheater couldn’t have been better!
The evening started with R&B artist Loyd. His first album was released in 2004 and this budding giant hasn’t looked back. His wonderful ability to croon with the best of them and still hit the high notes has earned him the nickname Young Goldie.
Dressed in an NEFF T-shirt, camouflaged shorts, and knee high socks, Loyd hit the stage with the crowd cheering. Much of the audience members were still making their way to their seats or milling around waiting for the concert to begin. By the end of his set there were more people in their seats, but still pretty sparse.
Next up was Far East Movement also known as FM. This quartet blends elements of hip-hop, pop, electro and dance to create an original sound and lifestyle they call “‘Free Wired’.
Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman, jumped up on stage donning stylish shades, and skinny ties. They were nothing but high energy bouncing from one side of the stage to the other. They played a number of their hits including “Like a G6″
Keri Hilson entered center stage with her dance crew all dressed in pink overalls. By this time the amphitheater looked pretty full, but you could tell it wasn’t a sold out crowd.
Hilson gave a great high energy performance and the crowd loved it. It was great to see her bring on some younger members of the audience to sing along with her. You could tell these kids were thrilled at the chance to be onstage with one of their heroes.
What I really liked about Hilson was her guns! Seriously her microphone was shaped like a gun. Quite cool! What did you think I meant?
At this point in the evening everyone was fully engaged, so I thought ““ When Rick Ross popped out on stage everyone went nuts. There wasn’t a single person sitting and everyone was clapping and cheering him on.
His set started with pyrotechnics that could rival a fourth of July celebration. This guys performance was not for the faint of heart, with booming fireworks and F’ing this and F’ing that throughout.
It took Lil Wayne about twenty minutes to take the stage due to the major set change that had to occur. Weezy, as his fans refer to him, has quite the set with lots of lights, smoke, and pyrotechnics.
When Wayne came out on stage wearing a maroon hoody, sweat pants, and his signature shades, the audience erupted in thunderous applause. He came out twirling around a skateboard and eventually tossed it to the side. A couple of weeks ago Wayne ended up in the hospital getting 9 stitches over his left eye due to a skateboarding accident. If there was any residual damage it was hard to tell due to the large number of tattoos covering his face.
The audience was treated to a special guest appearance by Mack Maine singing along with Wayne to the tune “Got Money”. A little later in the show Birdman also made an appearance, singing along with Wayne to “Fire Flame”.
The hoody finally became too much in the heat. The ladies in the audience really made some noise when they saw him baring his chest for all to see. Completely covering his entire upper body are tattoos, front and back.
The crowd was happy to hear Wayne perform hits like “Lollipop”, “Prom Queen”, “Drop the World”, and “Mrs. Officer”, as well as his most recent hit, “6 Foot 7 Foot”. It was really nice to hear Wayne tone it down with “How to Love”.
All in all it was a good concert. I’m not a huge rapper fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed the opening acts, more so than Rick Ross or Lil Wayne. Their music is just a tad hardcore for me, but the two left the audience wanting more.
Let’s hope for his fans sake that Wayne can stay out of trouble long enough to produce another chart topping album.