After being dropped as sponsor for Reebok for a rap lyric that advocates rape, rapper Rick Ross has issued a formal apology to the public that takes more responsibility for his lyrics:
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.
The disputed lyrics come from Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O,” in which Ross 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.”
Ross’s apology follows a half-apology he issued on Twitter in which he said, “I dont condone rape. Apologies for the lyric interpreted as rape.”