Reebok fires Rick Ross after many protest his lyrics

The topics of drugs and sex are popular in rap music, but at what point do these lyrics and content become unprofessional? The inappropriateness of these lyrics has finally been noticed, and some rappers are suffering the consequences.

Protests have occurred recently in front of Reebok stores, specifically in New York City.

Many activist groups, like the women’s rights group Ultraviolet, have gathered to protest the lyrics of Reebok spokesman Rick Ross, a rapper from Atlanta.

Ross recently appeared in Rocko’s new song “U.N.E.N.O.”, where he rapped a verse about drugging and raping women with the drug “Molly”, which is a street name for ecstasy.

“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.” These lyrics prompted heavy protests. Although nothing is clearly said in the song about rape, much can be interpreted from it.

CLU sophomore Mike Potter has never been a fan of rap.

“I don’t understand why people care for that style music,” said Potter. “And as far as the spokesman goes, he was completely unprofessional for agreeing to those kind of lyrics.”

Potter feels that if you are supposed to be representing a company as its spokesperson, you need to carry yourself well.

It’s important to realize how sponsors and endorsers are promoting their brand to the public.

People are more aware of what the company does, and are not afraid to voice their opinion.

Reebok was right to sever ties with the artist. Public opinion is crucial in keeping a company successful, especially one the size of Reebok.

What I don’t understand is how such unprofessional behavior still occurs in certain industries.

This is especially important in the music industry, because when people become famous they are out for the world to see.

That’s where Ross went wrong. He was still unaware of the power of public opinion. He left the company no choice but to drop the contract.

Freshman Neal Cadra believes Reebok did the right thing. Cadra is a fan of rap and hip-hop music. But that didn’t stop him from disapproving of Ross’s lyrics.

“I understand that some of the lyrics can be a bit much,” said Cadra. “But the music can still be good. But when you’re an artist that is representing a large company, it’s a different story.”

Sex and drugs don’t always sell. Some artists still don’t understand how offensive their lyrics can be. Singing about drugging and raping a woman won’t get you fans.

CLU sophomore Magen Sanders supports what the protesters have done so far.

“What he is singing is clearly offensive,” said Sanders. “Go ahead and sing about drugs and women, but going to the point of drugging and raping someone is a bit too far.”

Music artists are used as spokespeople more often than they used to be.

But this situation just proves that a company must choose wisely who they want to represent them.

Public image is everything in keeping a business successful.


Graham Jameson
Staff Writer
Published April 17, 2013