You will probably have heard about the Rick Ross controversy concerning his rape lyrics. We have tried to collect the facts and come up with an evaluation that is objective and fair. The lyrics that are debated are these:
Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it.
I took her home and enjoy that. She ain’t even know it.
Molly is the powder or crystal form of MDMA or ecstasy (XTC), an illegal drug. (This drug, by the way, changes mental states but does not knock out users, making them fall asleep or lose consciousness.)
There is no direct reference to sex and rape in the rape but the narrative of the text is like this: Someone – apparently the singer Rick Ross himself – treats a woman to alcohol in a public place and spikes it with a drug that makes her unconscious. He then transports her home and has sex with her in an unconscious state and against her will.
“It” in normal English refers to something that has been mentioned earlier on or to something we point at at the moment. In modern urban slang, however, “do it” means to “have sex”. That is what it means in Chris Brown’s song Do It as well. “I’m looking for a girl who gonna do it for me ,, , I’ll be turning it up all night.” In modern usage “it” refers to sex,Our reading of the lyrics is therefore correct,
Sex is relatively unproblematic if both partners really want it. In that case what happens to the woman is what the woman wants herself. Such sex is consensual.
In the rap lyrics we hear twice that she does not know it. She accepted the champagne but she did not know that drugs had been added to it. She had sex but did not know that because she was unconscious. Being out of her senses and being in the dark about the man’s motives she definitely was not consensual. Non-consensual sex is rape. Sex that only men enjoy – as stated in the lyrics – is rape.
Rick Ross states in a questionable apology that he did not sing about rape and therefore did not propagate rape either, that is not convincing because he repeatedly refers to he non-consensucal aspect of the affair.
That the woman Rick says he slept with was not a virgin and was not hurt in the process and, hopefully, not impregnated or infected with STDs does not improve things. He does not condemn the activity described by him. He even tells or orders the audience to follow suit: “Put Molly all in her champagne!”
The feminist group Ultra Violet has protested against the song and asked Reebok that uses Rick as an advertising celebrity to scrap his employment and his fat pay cheques.
The media ensure that Rick Ross in the distant USA is a next door neighbour in Namibia. Young Namibian men may very well idolize Rick Ross and what he stands for. If Molly is less available here, Namibian men have long considered alcohol as a self-control reducer that you use to make women less willing and able to resist male sexual advances. Some even think that such gifts of alcohol are a down payment on sex and an entitlement to demand surrender. In such a mindset the step to spiking drinks for date rape is not very far.
We find it impossible to like Rick Ross.
We are especially disgusted by Rick’s so-called apology:
“Woman is the most precious gift known to man. I would never use the term ‘rape’ in my records and as far as my camp, Hip-hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that, nobody condones that. So I just wanted 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.”
Women are not gifts and thus merely objects, Women are givers – givers of care, love and life when giving is the right thing to do. We are not gifts whether glossy luxury consumption articles or wares from the cheap Chinese corner shop.
Sister Namibia wants gender equality. We do not want a place on a pedestal as greatest gift to man, queens, sexy and beautiful ladies. We do not want a place under man’s foot. We want the place and respect that everybody is entitled to.
Rick’s pedestal and praise for women the wonderful is especially insincere because this is a pedestal that still fits under a man’s foot. The sexy lady is there for man’s arousal and satisfaction. The lady’s beauty makes her a trophy woman that man can brag about among his mates. Queens, not surprisingly, is often used as a synonym for prostitute or – in rap lingo – ho.
Thanks for the compliment, Rick, but we don’t want it.
In soccer, racist remarks and gestures by players and audiences are taken very seriously and are punished quite harshly, We think it is about time that the entertainment and advertising industry starts punishing sexist offenders. They can be excluded from advertising contracts, Grammy /Awards, airplay. Colleagues can boycott offenders. But that does not seem to be happening. At the moment, racism and sexism are not treated with equal contempt. Discrimination because of race is as bad as discrimination because of gender. It is unacceptable that bad-boy musicians get the boys-will-be-boys treatment. Otherwise we might as well live with a ‘racists will be racists’ attitude.