I took her home and enjoy that, she aint even know it."
Those are the lyrics spouted by the former correctional officer, Rick Ross, on some guy name Rocko's song. I gave up on Hip Hop quite some time ago. I grew up on the sounds of Run D MC, Slick Rick, and Big Daddy Kane etc. After the death of Biggie the music slowly began to lose my attention. Every now and then I hear a song I like but, with the exception of Drake, I don't pay much attention to the lyrics. Rick Ross is that guy I wish would keep his shirt on when I am watching award shows. He is not on my musical radar.
Well Mr. Ross has come under fire for those damning lyrics. There are those challenging his sponsors and the radio airwaves. I heard on the Breakfast Club morning show in New York that he actually said I didn't say the word rape in his response. You do not have to say the word rape to convey the message. Rape is not just a woman screaming "NO" at the top of her lungs as an attacker violates her. Rape is when an individual does not or cannot give consent to a sexual act; that could be a fourteen year-old, a woman that is unconscious, or a man being physically restrained.
Hip Hop does not have a track record of being supportive or protective of women. Bitches Love Me, by Lil Wayne, which is all over the airwaves, is not a term of endearment to me. That song like so many other rap songs wouldn't be played at a NOW rally. Rape and bitch are two different topics. Women use the word bitch just as much as men do, probably more. Girlfriends play around and call each other bitch,without any insult being felt. The use of the B-word is just as muddied as the N-word. The word bitch is a staple in the Hip Hop world, whether you like it or not.
Rape is more than just a word or concept. We cannot allow rape to be taken lightly in any part of pop culture. Music is powerful and quite influential. Anyone that denies that is lying to themselves. Why else do we have the term baby-making music? When you want a romantic interlude you put on Marvin Gaye. The melodies and lyrics influence a mood. Popping a Molly in a young woman's drink is not a frivolous act. It is an egregious felony. Rick Ross' lyrics cannot be construed as an ambiguous message, it is quite clear: It is trivializing rape. The last thing a young man or woman (or anyone for that matter) need to hear is that a woman's consent is not necessary. It is never ever okay to downplay how ugly and depraved an act rape is.