politcal-ish / Social Commentary / Thoughts / Uncategorized / Women

Let’s Talk “U.O.E.N.O”

For a few days now, I’ve been saying I’m going to address the whole Rick Ross rape lyric issue, so here it is.

Ross recently released a new single ‘U.O.E.N.O’ and in it he says the following line:

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

This obviously outraged many. For those that don’t know Molly is a drug with similar side-effects of ecstasy. Ross is clearly saying he will have sex with a woman without her knowing it, and that, brothers & sisters, is rape. The fact that he thought it okay to say such a thing so explicitly in a song he released for mass consumption doesn’t only show the his problematic mentality, but more so the twisted society we live in. A friend and I had a discussion about this & he was sure that this would be the end of Ross’ career, the world would have had enough of his hyperbole and lying, condoning rape would be the last straw. I knew that this wouldn’t be the case, after all, artists (and other celebrities) have done worse and still managed to stay successful. The artists are really only a very small percentage of the problem. Whether we like it or not pop culture, which hip-hop is a part of, tends to reflect the psychology of the time. If a rap artist can rhyme about rape  then you need to ask how they adopted that way of thinking, where did they get that it was okay to do that? When you look around today, can you really say your surprised at what Ross said? I think most are more shocked that he said it not the fact that he thinks it, which is the problem.

Ross doesn’t think he’s in the wrong, the explanation he gave for the lyric was that he didn’t mean rape. That’s it. He didn’t mean rape, guys, we can all go home & sleep easy because even though he describes rape, he didn’t mean rape. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to condemn Ross or other artists who think the same because they can’t see why they’re wrong, and that’s what we need to show them, why they’re wrong.

Rape culture is something that I’m noticing more and more from the response to the victim of the Steubenville rape case to this lyric, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that many people find rape (under certain circumstances) okay. If the girl is dressed a certain way, goes to a certain place, allows you to do certain things then it’s okay to rape her because even though she didn’t consent, her outfit/choice of hang-out spot/actions/everything but her words, were consent. This form of thinking is wrong. And please, don’t get it twisted, this is NOT a hip-hop thing, this is a societal thing.

“But surely Ross, as an artist, is entitled to artistic liberty?” This is the real discussion, in my opinion, where does artistic liberty end & common sense begin? Should art now be censored and policed? I don’t think so, I do think that art can be challenged. I believe art to be self-expression and so if Ross choses to express himself in this way then he shouldn’t mind being challenged. It’s our responsibility to make Ross and others like him think, the chances are he probably didn’t really think about the lyric before he voiced it, so now we must ask him “what did you really mean, bro?” It’s not enough to say it you don’t mean rape, you need to tell us what you meant. Personally I’m glad that Ross has used this line because it has brought a very necessary discussion to people who may never have spoken about it before now.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk “U.O.E.N.O”

  1. Ross didn’t release this single, he’s a feature on the single belonging to Rocko. I’m unsure why anybody would be glad he said what he said, it didn’t bring about a necessary discussion, we’ve BEEN having this discussion in and outside of Hip Hop there’s a list of Hip Hop feminists/scholars who’s made their business to address such issues. Rape Culture is the most evident in outside of pop culture so the conversation hasn’t and will not start/end here, those people who had something to say only when backlash against Ross’ was at it’s highest (considering this song was released in Jan but is only being addressed now) are probably the same ones who love Eminem in his Slim Shady days (who also rapped about rape). The people who need attacking/blog posts are the men in suits using their government license to redefine rape and further marginalise women.

    • My bad on that front. I’m not denying this conversation hasn’t been going on for a mighty long time, I’m not saying this is the first hip-hop has heard or received criticism for the way certain artist depict women in their music. What I am saying that this Ross saga has brought the discussion to those who may have never heard the discussion before, and I know because I’ve spoken to people who didn’t even know such a discussion was happening. As I said in the post, this is not really about Ross but the mentality of many who share his views or don’t see what’s wrong in the lyric. Yes, rape culture isn’t confined to the walls of hiphop or pop culture, and my intention wasn’t to attack Ross or hiphop but rather shed light on a mentality that, unfortunately, isn’t uncommon. Ross so happens to be scapegoat in this situation, that doesn’t excuse the men (& women) in government who are making it their aim & mission to further marginalise women.

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