Rick Ross did everything possible to stir up controversy and pump up sales of his Black Market album, and now that the album's initial marketing push is over, he's predictably backpedaling faster than Richard Sherman on a slant route in regards to some of the album's lyrics. Most notably, the Trump assassination line that reportedly got the album pulled from Wal-Mart and other retailers.
"Assassinate Trump like I'm Zimmerman / Now accept these words as they came from Eminem." - "Free Enterprise"
It was a powerful line if a little forced, a brief foray into race, politics and social commentary for a rapper whose usual topics include his massive bank account and his proclivity for eating lobster bisque for breakfast. But when asked about the line in a recent Rolling Stone interview, Ross twisted himself into a logical pretzel trying to distance himself from his own words
"I would never advocate violence on Trump or anyone," the Miami rapper says. "It's lyrical assassination. That's me being a poet, putting words together in my art form, with no violence in my heart at all. Clarify that."
Ok, fine, let's do some clarifying. First, Ross obviously didn't mean "lyrical" assassination. So he's going to "lyrically" assassinate Trump like....Zimmerman would lyrically assassinate Trump? It's not "Assassinate Trump on the mic like I'm Zimmerman" because that wouldn't make any sense at all, and it's not "Assassinate Trump with these words like I'm Ted Cruz" or something that hints at verbal sparring or politics. No, the word "assassinate" means to kill, Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, Rick Ross is very clearly rapping about killing Donald Trump.
And then there's the second portion of the line when he invites us to imagine that those words came from Eminem. Eminem is an artist who's repeatedly rapped about killing people—not lyrically killing them, like murdering-killing them—and then used an artistic defense, rightfully arguing that those lyrics were no more "true" than an action movie with a body count in the 100s. Considering that Ross just also rapped about murdering-killing someone, would Rick Ross be viewed similarly not only as an artist but as a black artist? It's a legitimately complex question from a man not exactly known for asking complex questions, I applaud him for asking it, but then he went and ruined that too.
"That's why I said that line, so maybe this question would come up. But I'm not really into a White-Black race card. Some of my best friends are White."
Some...of...his...best...friends...are...white. I can't even. If he's not really into a "White-Black race card" that's fine, but then he probably shouldn't say lines that attempt to invoke questions about race. It's not easy to completely negate one the meaning and impact of one of the most notable lines on your album in one interview, but he did it. Congrats.
Oh, and lest I forget—hearing Ross say he would "never advocate violence" is like hearing Wiz Khalifa say that he would never advocate smoking weed. There was the time he said he had a backup shooter in case his gun jammed, the time he's killed without an ounce of sympathy, and of course, the time he essentially threatened to shoot Drake.
"We back to back and down to whack a nigga unborn / Miami niggas got them changing all the gun laws / So run Forrest got some shooters and they dying to" - "Color Money"
I understand that writing about a lack of integrity in Rick Ross' lyrics is like writing about peanut butter being made from peanuts, and most days I'm able to just relax and enjoy me some "MC Hammer," but for some reason not today, not when words make the leap from a record into a real world interview. It's not so much that Rick Ross is a different person in his raps than he is in real life, it's that his rap life and his real life seem to exist in two entirely different universes. He wants us to pay attention to his lyrics when it's time to sell an album, and then completely forget about them afterward. So Rick Ross is either dumber than he looks, or he thinks we're too dumb to notice the abyss between his words and anything resembling the truth.
I'm getting kind of tired of being treated like I'm that dumb.
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