A day after Reebok ended its relationship with Rick Ross, the rapper acknowledged that his lyrics on Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” were “offensive.”
In a statement Friday, Ross said being a musician is “a great responsibility” and that his choice of words in the song “does not reflect my true heart.”
In the song, Ross raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA, known as Molly, and having his way with her.
“Put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it,” he raps on the track released in January. It gained traction in recent weeks after women’s groups and rape victims issued petitions.
“Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets,” his statement said.
On Thursday, Reebok said it had terminated its contract with Ross because the rapper wasn’t living “up to the values of our brand.” Ross has appeared in a commercial for the Reebok Classic sneakers.
“We are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse,” the statement said.
The Miami-based rapper first addressed the song two weeks ago in a radio interview, saying “there was a misunderstanding with the lyric.” A week after that, he tweeted an apology. It was the same day the women’s group UltraViolet protested outside one of Reebok’s stores in Manhattan.
In his official apology, Ross also says men who listen to his music should “know that using a substance to rob a woman of her right to make a choice is not only a crime, it’s wrong.”
Hits by the Grammy-nominated Ross include “The Boss” and “Aston Martin Music.”