By Gregory AdamsMaybach Music Group mogul Rick Ross has been in the hot seat over a recent feature on Rocko's "U.O.E.N.O." single, which features a lyric allegedly promoting date rape, and now activists in Ottawa are calling for the cancellation of an upcoming concert at Carleton University.
The Ottawa Citizen reports that former Carleton student Kira-Lynn Ferderber started a Facebook page earlier this week lambasting the decision by the Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA) to host Ross' upcoming April 9 performance at the Ernst & Young Centre. She hopes to have the show cancelled, or at least pull the CUSA's funding for the gig.
In particular, she pointed to the rapper's "shameless and unapologetic" approach to drugging a woman in "U.O.E.N.O." The bars in question run as such: "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."
"In the past couple of years, Carleton students have been trying to get the school to take sexual assault on campus seriously," Ferderber said in a statement. "The song itself is such a blatant celebration of rape."
Following Ferderber's post, Student Federation at the University of Ottawa president Ethan Plato noted that the organization had pulled their support of the concert. "Rick Ross has gained notoriety through misogynistic lyrics including those that explicitly depicts sexual assault through drugging women," Plato argued, adding that their "role as agents of social progress" meant they couldn't promote the gig in good faith.
A press release sent out by the CUSA earlier today (March 28) has since explained that the show had been booked in January in conjunction with Urban Jamz Entertainment, and that they had only only recently learned about the controversial song. While the show is still scheduled to go on as planned, it looks as if the association will sell the remainder of their tickets back to Urban Jamz.
The statement from CUSA reads:
The Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA) would like to clarify its involvement in the planning of the upcoming Rick Ross concert in the City of Ottawa.
CUSA entered into an agreement with an events and promotional group in late January that was already in the planning stages of hosting the aforementioned artist. This agreement entailed a bulk purchase of tickets by CUSA to sell to Carleton University students, at cost.
As such, this is not an exclusive CUSA event; this same practice was carried out in the summer when CUSA purchased tickets for the Ottawa Folk Festival and again in the fall when Wiz Khalifa came to Ottawa.
The controversial song featured in the media this week, by Rocko which featured Rick Ross, was released sometime in February well after our ticket sales had began and was not brought to our attention until the last week of March.
We would like to re-affirm our stance that we consider the lyrics in question to be repulsive and uncharacteristic of the views and beliefs of CUSA as an organization and its members. That being said, we are now in the process of looking into selling off the remainder of the tickets back to the organizers.
This incident is regrettable and unpredictable. CUSA remains conscious of the fact that it has reflected poorly on the organization and its members. In the upcoming weeks and months our team will be working hard to ensure that adequate strategies and campaigns are implemented to educate our students on the issues that actively contribute to rape culture on campus and furthermore in our community.
As for Ross, he recently spoke to New Orleans radio station about his lyrics, apologizing for what he believes to be a misconstrued situation.
"I want to make sure this is clear that woman is the most precious gift known to man. There was a misinterpretation with the lyric. The term rape wasn't used. I would never use the term rape," he said. "I just wanted to reach out to all of the queens…all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that had been reaching out to me with the misunderstanding. We don't condone rape. I'm not with that."