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Rick Ross loses Reebok deal over ‘date rape’ verse
Rapper pays price for his dubious sentiment, and for failing to apologise adequately, with offending verse cut from Rocko track and loss of major sponsorship deal

Cut … Rick Ross performing at the OpenAir music festival in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. Photograph: Ennio Leanza/AP
The controversy over Rick Ross’s “date rape lyric” shows no sign of abating despite the rapper’s attempt to apologise: as a result of the furore, he has now lost both a major sponsorship deal and a verse on a hot underground single.

Yesterday, Reebok announced it is dropping Ross as a face of its Classics line. “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,” the sportswear firm said in a statement. “At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr Ross.”

This is a major victory for the women’s rights group UltraViolet,which led the protest over one of Ross’s recent song lyrics. More than 72,000 people signed a petition condemning Ross’s verse on the Rocko song U.O.E.N.O. “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it,” he rapped on the track. “I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” Molly is a nickname for MDMA, a common date rape drug.

While Ross apologised “for the lyric interpreted as rape”, he also argued that critics were misinterpreting him. “The term ‘rape’ wasn’t used,” he said. “You know I would never use the term rape in my records … [Besides,] in reality some people do these things, and shouldn’t it be brought to light so young women can protect themselves?!”

In addition to losing his lucrative Reebok deal, Ross has also had the verse droppedfrom a new version of U.O.E.N.O., in which Wiz Khalifa takes his place. “Because of the type of attraction the record has as far as like radio and all over the country … it puts me in a position to where I have to change it,” Rocko told Hot 97.


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