In an interview with the Breakfast Club, rapper and entrepreneur, Rick Ross explained why he hasn’t signed a female to his record label, Maybach Music Group.
“You know, I never did it because I always thought that, like, I would end up f**king the female rapper [and then] f**king the business up. I’m so focused on my business. I gotta be honest with you. You know, she looking good and I’m spending so much money on the photoshoots...I gotta f**k a couple times.”
The Breakfast Club hosts were able to laugh off the entitled and unprofessional response and continue on with the interview, but that lack of confrontation, combined with Ross’s ease to admit that mentality with no embarrassment, are common factors of the flawed culture that is hip-hop.
This wasn’t Ross’s first time causing controversy on the airwaves. In 2013, he was forced to issue an apology after he released a song with a verse that insinuated date rape with the lyrics: “Put Molly all in the champagne/ She ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain’t even know it.” Rick Ross is just the tip of the iceberg.
Since the 1980s, hip-hop artists have been accused of objectifying, demeaning, and promoting violence against women, but have faced little to no repercussions for it. Eminem’s dark records about beating and even murdering his own mother and ex-wife has garnered him multiplatinum success.
And Dr. Dre was able to maintain his career for over 20 years despite the widely known abuse towards the mother of his child and his infamous assault on Dee Barnes in 1991.
Fast forward to today where rappers like Kodak Black, XXXTentacion, and Famous Dex, who have been recorded and even jailed for beating and sexually assaulting women, can keep their cult-following and can still sell hit records that depict women as nothing more than arm candy looking for a check.
Meanwhile, female rappers of the same and of a higher caliber of skill have to jump through flame-engulfed hoops just to get their foot in the door. Women in the rap game are basically required to be as physically attractive as they are lyrically proficient to enjoy success in an industry that doesn’t even respect them.
Of course it’s not just hip-hop that seemingly endorses this type of behavior; the music industry as a whole is guilty. Other genres like punk, metal, and indie rock are no strangers to sexism, and the concept of scantily clad models as music video props has existed for decades. But the misogyny in hiphop tends to be the most explicit.
The issue goes further than the misconduct towards women. It’s the normalization of it due to the lack of consequences the aggressors have faced that is harmful.
Yes, Rick Ross’s date rape lyrics received a significant amount of backlash and cost him a sponsorship deal from Reebok, but the buzz died down and he was able to get another chance just to mess up in the same fashion a few years later.
When Chris Brown deformed Rihanna’s face in 2009, all it took was a teary-eyed apology to get him back on the charts and back on the scene where he could later assault and harass others. It’s almost as if consumers have accepted that hip-hop and misogyny go hand in hand.
As if hip-hop isn’t real hiphop without the accepted gender roles, the double standards, and the entitlement. But that doesn’t have to be the case. A conversation needs to be had with not just the people who create sexist content, but with those who allow it to persist.
It’s beyond past the time to start holding these entertainers accountable for their actions, because apologies are not enough.