Arts

Controversial rapper dropped from Ottawa date, organizers offer reimbursement on tickets

Photo courtesy of Urban Jamz Entertainment

THE CONTROVERSIAL PERFORMANCE by Rick Ross set to take place this week at the Ernst & Young Centre was cancelled after protests from students and other concerned citizens.

The Miami-based rapper’s performance on April 9 became a source of controversy as many pointed to his lyrics as perpetuating misogyny and rape culture.

Urban Jamz Entertainment, the promotions group that organized the concert, wrote on its Facebook page on April 5 that the concert would be “officially cancelled because of security concerns” following the protests, according to Xtra Ottawa. The post has since been removed and was replaced by another on April 6 that did not specify a reason for the cancellation.

The concert was originally supported by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) and the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), though both severed ties to the event following the backlash.

In a statement issued April 5, CUSA announced that it had completely pulled its support from the concert after reaching a settlement with Urban Jamz.

“We would like to emphasize that this decision was made collaboratively in conversation with different parties involved,” the statement read. “The respectful dialogue included the organizers, the executive team and most importantly our students.”

The SFUO distanced itself from the concert in a statement issued March 26 and asked CUSA not to use the Pandamonium title attached to a series of events the SFUO and CUSA have co-hosted since 2007.

“Rick Ross has gained notoriety through misogynistic lyrics, including those that explicitly depict sexual assault through drugging women,” the statement read. “The SFUO stands strongly behind its decision not to participate in this event.”

Recently, Ross has come under fire for his lyrics in the song “U.O.E.N.O (You Ain’t Even Know It)” by Atlanta-based rapper Rocko, on which Ross was featured.

The song was released in February and has since been attacked by women’s groups. Ross has been accused of condoning date rape in the song when he raps, “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 term used to describe a pure form of MDMA, or ecstasy.

Ross defended his lyrics in an interview on New Orleans hip-hop radio station Q 93.3.

“I want to make sure this is clear, that woman is the most precious gift known to man. You understand? There was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation. The term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape in my records,” he said.

Ticket buyers will be fully reimbursed at point of purchase.