Another day, another time that advocates and allies in the movement to end sexual violence have to write the sentence: “This is what rape culture looks like.”
Multiple news sources are reporting that rapper Rick Ross released a mix tape last month featuring a song called “U.O.E.N.O (You Ain’t Even Know it)” that includes lyrics about date rape.
*Trigger warning for lyrics about sexual assault below.*
“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.”
According to this Huffington Post article, “Molly is the powder or crystal form of “pure” MDMA, a substance commonly found in Ecstasy, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). MDMA can be an energizer, distorter and/or enhancer. It is used to ‘reduce inhibitions and to promote: euphoria, feelings of closeness, empathy, and sexuality,’ the DEA has said of the substance.”
This song glorifies and brags about the sexual assault of a woman who was drugged and incapacitated. These lyrics are making waves in the media at a time when consent, rape, and victim-blaming are still topics of national conversation after the guilty verdict in the Steubenville case. That case demonstrated the pervasiveness of rape culture, from the way social media was used during and after the assault, to media coverage of the perpetrators, to the victim-blaming and threats the survivor received.
This afternoon, Rick Ross explained the lyric in an interview, saying, “It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misrepresentation where the term “rape” wasn’t used. I would never use the term “rape” in my records[…].”
His explanation completely misses the point. Sex without consent is rape. Sex with someone who is unable to give consent because they have been drugged and are incapacitated is rape. Sex where “I enjoyed that” and “she ain’t even know it” is rape. And that is what the lyrics in his song describe, regardless of whether he used the term “rape.”
As advocates, it is instances like these song lyrics that give us the opportunity to counter examples of rape culture with education about sexual assault and to talk about how violence can be prevented.
Tell me in the comments: What are you doing to counter rape culture?
Image from Rick Ross’ official website