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Is Hip-Hop being watered down

Thursday 16th May 2013 | Moses

One of Hip-Hop's prominent figures has been the subject of much controversy recently regarding a lyric which many have referred to as an act of sexual violence but why was the lyric met with such negativity and what could it possibly mean for hip-hop in the future.

 

The Future of Hip-Hop Lyrics

‘Put molly all in her champagne, she aint even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she aint even know it’- Rick Ross (U.O.E.O.NO) ft Rocko, Future

What may come to many as your typical hip-hop lyric has caused a stir in the music community and raised issues such as rape, moral basis and responsibility. Anyone who is a more than an average listener of hip-hop can name some of the common themes amongst hip hop music such but not limited to money, cars, women, drugs etc. So why exactly was the lyric above met with such controversy and outcry from not only members of the general public but fellow music artists.

For those who don’t know what a ‘molly’ is, it’s the new party drug on the American club scene described as the purest form of ecstasy.  Ross raps about putting a molly in a female’s champagne and then taking her home and enjoying that which has led to many referring to this lyric as an instance of date rape,  which has resulted  in protests from female right’s groups, disapproval from fellow rappers and Rick Ross losing he’s endorsement deal with Reebok. Many have argued that not only is this an act of sexual violence it is also irresponsible and sets a bad example on young men and heightens the fear women go through. Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of Ultra-Violet a women's right group described Rebook dropping Ross as a 'victory for women and this sends a strong message that rapping about drugging and raping an unconscious women is not only morally wrong, but has real consequennces'.Fellow rapper Talib Kweli described Ross as a ‘misguided 40 year old individual’ somewhat of a surprising statement considering the Kweli’s longevity in the hip hop industry and the lyrics he’s probably heard in he’s career.

On the other hand many will point to the lyric as a form of expression and telling a story. One can be forgiven for not thinking much of Ross’ lyric considering what has been said in the past from artists such as the Wu-tang clan, Biggie Smalls and Eminem which have included rape, murder and incest. Ross has thus issued an apology regarding the lyric stating he meant no harm in the lyric and didn't intend for it to offend anybody especially women who he describes as 'God's most precious gift'. Many hip hop artists have also lept to Ross' defence such as Slim Thug who believed 'its just a rap song and he didn't say he bout to rape a b***h so he shouldn't have lost a deal over it. He also claimed 'Rebook aint care about all the dope he was rapping about when they signed him but now they trippin after all that promo'. Fellow rapper Lil Wayne has also recently lost an endorsement deal with Pepsi following a reference he made about Emmet Till, who was a teenage boy killed in a racist attack in 1992 on the song ‘Karate Chop’.

The negativity surrounding the lyrics won’t hurt Ross’ career and he will continue to be one of Rap’s prominent figures however it has raised issues of morality, responsibility, and freedom of speech and could lead to a new shift in the artistic expression of hip-hop artists in the future.

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