Op-Ed

The Miami rapper should take his misogynist lyrics and leave

Emily Manns | Fulcrum Staff

The rap single by Rocko called “U.O.E.N.O” has undergone heavy scrutiny and for good reason. It’s hard to ignore a song when part of its lyrics condone date rape and sexual assault. Rick Ross, a Miami-based rapper, had a line in the song that caused an uproar among audiences.

“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.”

If Ross had come out and said, “put LSD all in her champagne,” I doubt the song would have even made it onto the shelf. The term “molly,” another word for ecstasy, explains why some people not well-versed in slang might miss the date rape reference.

The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) decided to sell tickets to Ross’ concert. This was all supposed to take place part of Pandamonium, an event which typically involves both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) pulled out of the event and released an official statement clarifying their reasons for doing so.

“Rick Ross has gained notoriety through misogynistic lyrics including those that explicitly depict sexual assault through drugging women,” said the statement that was released on March 25.

“The SFUO stands strongly behind its decision not to participate in this event and maintains that it should not continue to include a performance by Rick Ross.”

The SFUO was the first group to raise a red flag when Ross’ name came up on the roster, and they made it very clear they no longer wish to attend the event, or be associated with it in any way—and I can’t blame them. It would be more than the reputation of the SFUO at stake if people began associating the student government with the promotion of date rape.

A recently created Facebook event called “Cancel the Rick Ross Concert Funded by Carleton Students & CUSA,” was littered with protests and angry comments, mostly from Carleton students. The page has almost 900 people listed as “attending” and who share my sentiments to bar the rapper from performing at a student-funded concert.

In response to Hot 89.9 advertising tickets for the Pandamonium concert, one commentator quickly responded, “They would not allow anyone promoting antisemitism to purchase advertising airtime, so why is promoting an artist who glorifies date rape okay?”

It’s a fair question, and one that deserves an answer.

I listened to this song from beginning to end. I felt so emotionally disturbed my skin wouldn’t stop crawl. With the vulgar language, racial slurs, and the flaunting of self indulgence, I wouldn’t deem this song appropriate for anyone, let alone a university concert.

“U.O.E.N.O” offends me on two levels: as a woman and as a music lover. As a woman, I can’t help but notice the increasing number of rapes being reported on the news, making it even more disturbing to hear about a rapper who makes light of this grave crime. As a music lover, I am all for artistic expression, but the moment it starts filling people’s heads with the notion that having non-consensual sex is okay, it goes from being music to being dangerous propaganda—and we’ve all seen what that can do.