All Articles Tagged "Reebok"
“Rozay Good”: Rick Ross Claims He’s Learned His Lesson From Date Rape Lyrics, Says All Is Copacetic Between Him And Reebok
Hit a man in his pockets and he’s sure to start seeing the light. Maybe…
That might just be the situation with Rick Ross, who after sparking major controversy with his lyrics from the Rocko track “U.O.E.N.O.” lost out on a multi-million dollar endorsement with Reebok. He was looking far from the “BAWSE” he likes to claim he is in his rhymes. But a few months after all of the debates and drama, Ross says it was something he’s learned from and hopes his “little homeys” will learn from as well. Including his Maybach Music Group artists, Meek Mill and Rockie Fresh, who have partnerships with Puma and other shoe companies. But no matter what, financially, he’s good. Here’s what he had to say to MTV News:
“It most definitely was a learning situation and just for the little homeys, just something for them to take away. That’s what’s important to me, what they take away from it. I’m in a position where if I never sold another shoe, Rozay good. So it’s really about what the little homeys who coming next gonna take away from it. Keep handling your business, because that’s what it’s about. Just stay tuned, we gon’ do it big.”
When the question came up about where he stands with Reebok , he made it seem like there is room to work together in the future and that despite him getting the boot from the shoe company, he still has a business relationship with those within the company, and doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings towards them for their decision:
“At the end of the day, once the dust settles we’ll just readdress the situation — once the time is right. As far as myself and Reebok, we got a healthy situation.”
Well, all right. Check out his interview with MTV on the next page and let us know what you think…
“DON’T DO THE DEW”: Family Of Emmett Till Wants Mountain Dew To Drop Lil Wayne For Comparing Till’s Death To Sex Act
I tell you, rappers and remixes are turning into an absolute fail these days. Before Rick Ross angered a great deal of people by casually rapping about date rape, way back in February, we told you about Lil Wayne pissing off the family of the late Emmett Till when he thought he was being clever, comparing the beating of Till to beating up a woman’s private parts. Here’s a reminder of what he said while doing a feature on the remix of the Future song, “Karate Chop.”
“Lil Wayne takes over the song around the third verse, and the line in question goes something like this: “Pop a lot of pain pills/Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels/Beat that p***y up like Emmett Till/Yeah….”
Airicka Gordon-Taylor, who is the cousin of Till and director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, spoke out against the lyrics and called them “dishonorable,” among many other things:
“We found it dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture. It was offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors and to women and to themselves as young, black men. I just couldn’t understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I feel as though they have no pride and no dignity as black men.”
Since, the rapper has not apologized, the Till family have told AllHipHop.com exclusively that they intend to pressure Lil Wayne’s sponsors, namely Mountain Dew.
Shortly, the Till Family are expected to make offensive moves forward to further address Wayne and Mountain Dew, a product of PepsiCo. A similar tactic by women’s group UltraViolet resulted in Reebok dropping Rick Ross from their campaign.
You Mad Huh? Rick Ross Reportedly Feels Betrayed By Reebok After Firing; And Rapper Eve Has Words For His Lyrics: “It’s Not OK”
Sources close to the rapper tell TMZ … Ross will lose between $3.5 million and $5 million … he was getting a check each time he wore the shoes.
And for that reason, Ross reportedly feels betrayed by the company. That’s right, folks. Despite coming off as understanding about having to part ways with the sneaker brand after an outcry over his lyrics on the song “U.O.E.N.O.” by Rocko (which he’s been replaced on), and even Tweeting, “I want to thank Reebok Classics for their hard work and dedication over this past year.Good partners,good shoe.continued success,” the rapper is actually said to be pretty enraged with the company. According to TMZ, he feels as though they should have given him a second chance as a form of “corporate forgiveness” since he helped make them more relevant in the hip-hop community. He was on the cover of XXL recently along with Allen Iverson and Tyga promoting the shoes and the company’s legacy, and feels that he did a lot to assure folks that Reeboks are on the same level with other brands. But with women’s rights groups calling for his firing, and word of the lyrics spreading like wildfire, reigniting the conversation about rape culture, they decided not to stand by someone who thought this type of wordplay and message being sent out to the masses was okay. Just face it Ross, you messed up, and it cost you…
And throwing her two cents in recently, rapper/actress Eve agreed that Reebok did what they needed to do. As a lyricist, she understands that some rappers think wordplay is wordplay and it doesn’t mean you’ll actually do something bad, but in an interview with Rap-Up TV, she said it’s not okay to put that message out there.
“People still have to remember it is [Reebok] a business and there are shareholders that are bigger than just Reebok that are probably looking at this situation and being like, ‘You know what, this is not something that we want to represent.’”
As for what she thought of the song: “As a woman, I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ It just makes you think in a different way. I feel like it’s wordplay, but at the same time, it does make you think twice, like what do you mean? Are you that dude? It’s not OK.”
NEW YORK — 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.
Read more on BlackVoices.com.
“He Didn’t Say He About To Rape A B***h”: Slim Thug Goes On Rant In Support Of Rick Ross And Against Reebok
In another installment of “Get Your Life Please,” this week’s winner is Slim Thug, taking the coveted spot from last week’s winner, Ray J.
We told you just yesterday that Reebok decided to part ways with Rick Ross as a spokesperson for their company after the fallout from his pro-date rape lyrics in the remix to the Rocko song, “U.O.E.N.O.” They put out a pretty straight-to-the-point statement that was also stern at the same time:
“While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse.”
Well, we haven’t received a response yet from Rick Ross, but his MMG partner-in-crime, Meek Mill, basically tried to take a shot at the credibility of Reebok shoes to express his support for the Bawse. “Reeboks right next 2 FILA when it come 2 sneaks that s**t corny… I was only was feeling swizz & tyga projects…
Riiiight. I love how these type of comments come up after somebody gets dumped, but we know if Ross was still getting that check everybody in that MMG camp would be trying get a free pair of sneakers. But the most “interesting” response to the Ross backlash and firing from Reebok came from Houston rapper Slim Thug, who basically snapped on Reebok last night for using Ross for publicity (especially they didn’t care that he was rapping about drugs for so long), and snapped back at critics for taking the lyrics so seriously. A big problem with his argument, however, is that he couldn’t get his opinions out without calling women the B-word damn near immediately:
Damn haters won
…I never seen a b***h pass out on a Molly they stay up all night so how is that rape? U.O.E.N.O
[Reebok] ain’t care about all the dope he was rapping bout selling when they signed him but now they tripping after all that promo
All I’m saying is its 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
Before we know it rappers are not going to be able to curse no mo on their albums cause somebody whose not a rap fan was offended f**k that
It’s always somebody tryna take down someone who is successful stop hating and get u some money
He would continue to comment about the whole situation on his Twitter, going back and forth with folks who disagreed with him saying things like, “I respect your opinion respect mine I don’t condone rape either but why was losing a Reebox deal his punishment he apologized.” But interestingly enough, he deleted some of the more reckless tweets, which included a few more B-words. But I’m not surprised that Slim Thug wouldn’t understand why people are up in arms about Ross’s lyrics. I mean, just read his comments, he can barely get his opinion out without referring to women as b***hes. And just a few days ago he put up a tweet that said, “B***hes in #2013 are still stupid and evil as Eve.”
But what Slim Thug, Rick Ross, Meek Mill and all these rappers need to realize is that people are a lot more outspoken in 2013 than they were back when B.I.G. was running hip-hop. You can’t romanticize the idea of date raping women on Molly and then expect everybody to play deaf and dumb. Watch your mouth or watch your money go, because we don’t have to support it. Simple as that.
What did you think of his comments?
It may have taken them a hot minute — make that a month and a half — but Reebok has finally gotten the message and dropped Rick Ross as a spokesperson. According to TMZ, the shoe brand gave them an exclusive statement that read:
“Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so.
“While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse.”
By now, you’ve surely heard the upsetting lyric Rozay dropped in rapper Rocko’s song, “U.O.E.N.O,” in which he bragged: ”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.” Though the rapper may not have used the word rape — which was the defense he offered when ish hit the fan –it was clear to everyone who listened to the track that that was exactly what he was alluding to.
Though “U.O.E.N.O. dropped in Mid-February, it wasn’t until Michigan radio station 103.7 The Beat refused to play the track (and any other song by the rapper or Lil Wayne — which is a separate discussion altogether) that the song garnered national attention. Soon after, women’s rights group Ultraviolet began calling on Reebok to drop the suspect rapper, protesting in front of the company’s flagship store in NYC with posters reading, “Hey Reebok: Want My Business? Stop Promoting Rape. Drop Rick Ross.” They also amassed more than 70,000 signatures on a petition demanding the same.
Though Ross, or the Boss, as he calls himself, thought a Twitter apology to UltraViolet and Reebok would be enough, it’s now become clear that it’s not. First Rocko dropped the rapper from his track, now Reebok is dropping him from their roster. I wonder who will be next.
Fools Run In Packs: Meek Mill Talks Charging Fans $100+ For Pics And Why He Doesn’t Care About Rick Ross’s Lyrics
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Rick Ross, and rightfully so. Many have been very vocal about their disgust over his lyrics in the remix to the Rocko song “U.O.E.N.O” (“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”). As a result of those lines and his clear confusion about why it’s wrong (saying you would never say the word rape in a song and implying it just because you think you sound witty makes no sense) has led to a lot of uproar and calls for Ross to lose his endorsements with Reebok.
Now people in his camp are having to answer for their boss’s lyrics, including Meek Mill, who had a radio interview in DC with 93.9 where he talked about that controversy, along with the heat he has been getting on his own for allegedly charging fans at his shows to be able take pictures with him. His answers were interesting to say the least, and can be kind of difficult to read…good luck.
Necole Bitchie got word from numerous people, fans of the rapper, who were pissed about him asking them to pay more than $100 for a chance to cheese it up with him in pictures. When asked about the rumors that he was doing this, he says it wasn’t him, but his people (“homies”) who were making folks pay to take a pic with him. But with R&B divas like Beyoncé and others charging hundreds of dollars for meet and greets, he doesn’t see the problem at all:
“Actually, I was not charging to take pictures ya know? My homies be in the crowd and if my homie trying to make some money and you trying to get backstage, he might charge you. That’s your fault. I don’t even see nothing actually wrong. Beyoncé and Rihanna, they charge $500 for a meet and greet. I’m bout to do a meet and greet right now free. I been doing this for years, you know what I’m saying? I take pictures everyday. I just took 20 pictures. I hang in the neighborhood, you know what I’m saying. I hang in the hood. So you know it’s average to me. I come outside everyday, pictures is average to me.”
“You know man, I don’t even care about nobody criticizing no lyrics man. People rap about killing stuff all day man. Biggie said ‘rape your kid, throw her over the bridge,’ back then and it was nothing, it was just hip-hop. Now you got all these weirdos on these social sites voicing their opinions about something anybody say. I don’t care; you know what I’m saying? I’m from the hood. I never really cared about what nobody said in no raps. Raps always been talking about killing, drugs, all types of stuff, you know what I’m saying? So you can’t just criticize no one thing nobody say man. It’s imaginary visuals. If a writer write about somebody getting raped in a movie, is he a rapist or he want girls to get raped? No, he just wrote about that in a movie.”
Misogynist rap lyrics are nothing new. But last week Rick Ross discovered the suggestion that he spike a woman’s champagne before having sex with her without her knowledge was a step too far. After radio stations banned his song, the rapper took to airwaves to plead his case.
The rapper’s apology wasn’t enough for some. (It was pretty terrible.) Protest group UltraViolet delivered 72,000-plus signatures to Reebok’s flagship store demanding they back away from their endorsement deal with Ross. The brand, who Ross name-dropped just a few beats before the lyrics in question, has remained silent on the issue. But, should brands be called in to play the role of morality police, making sure the artists who make their products cool stay on their best behavior?
Rewarding & Punishing Bad Behavior
Brands have distanced themselves from artists for bad behavior or questionable values before. T.I. lost his deal with Axe body spray after going to jail for violating probation in 2010. Chris Brown was dropped from Doublemint after his infamous Grammy night brawl with Rihanna. Pepsi cut ties with Madonna and later Ludacris when they didn’t agree with the images portrayed in their music.
When brands align themselves with artists like Rick Ross, they know what they’re getting themselves into. Ross made himself rich masquerading as a drug lord with murderous tendencies. Ross’ lyrics are horrible, but Reebok would come off a little hypocritical asking their “gangster” spokesperson to tone it down. (“We like you coke dangerous, but not date rape dangerous.”)
Companies, especially juggernauts like Reebok, don’t choose brand ambassadors haphazardly. They strategically choose public personas whose images are in line with their brand, and the lifestyle they want to sell.
Why Do Good Brands Like Bad Boys?
Cortez Bryant, co-founder of management firm handling Lil Wayne, a rapper who has also come under scrutiny for his lyrics, says that companies are willing to take a risk on artists who capture the attention of their target demographics, even when their track record is questionable. “You know, in the previous years we’ve had hard times, but people ‘get it’ for [his] brand,” he said of Wayne’s partnership with Mountain Dew. “It just seemed like where they were going with their brand, which is all about diversity and crossing barriers, is the same place we want to go.”
Would companies like Reebok dropping artists like Rick Ross make other artists rethink their lyrical content? Maybe. Hitting a person in their wallet is usually an effective way to get them to change their ways. But, at the end of the day, it isn’t Reebok’s job to change Ross.
Supplying The Demand
If Ross is selling a lifestyle the Reebok consumer wants to attain, the brand has a successful partnership. Unless their alliance with the rapper impacts their relationships with their other customers, say active women, the brand has no reason to walk away from him. Let’s be real. Ross’ controversy, like countless other rap lyric scandals will most likely fade from the news cycle, his fan base unbothered. If Reebok did drop his contract, he’d just find another brand to align with.
Brands can’t be relied on to influence artists. The more effective approach for those looking to curtail offensive messages against women may be to look at why personas like Ross and the lifestyle of drug-fueled chauvinistic fantasies he promotes are so attractive to some consumers. After all, brands and enterprising artists like Ross will always and only align themselves with what sells.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Alicia Keys Talks Finding Her “Soulmate” In Swizz Beatz, Her Son, And Playing Lena Horne In A Biopic
With a new album on the way in November, a partnership with Reebok and a new snazzy haircut, Alicia Keys is back and in full effect. As she zips around the world campaigning for President Obama, showcasing the Reebok shoe line she helped to design, performing and taking baby Egypt Dean around with her, she found just enough time to sit down and chat with the good folks at Ebony in New York. She talked about politics, being a mother, and the love of her life, Swizz Beatz. Here are a few highlights:
When talking about finding an extra kick in her step and just being happy, Keys had to give props to her husband for helping her walk taller, a man she calls her soul mate:
“Finding my soul-mate, finding the love of my life has been a freeing experience because of the way we identify [with] each other and understand each other. It’s so rare that you feel like you can be your whole self [with someone]. I can be my whole self, he can be his whole self. I don’t have to be half of myself, he doesn’t have to be half of himself. We can just be ourselves and so that alone [is a different feeling]. He’s actually taught me so much… He has that kind of a carefree easy-going spirit that has definitely taught me to be a little bit a little more [easy-going], which is great.
Props also go to her son, Egypt. She says that watching him grow and learn has made her see things in a new light and be more appreciative of the small stuff:
“And then having a baby, it’s like ‘Oh my gosh!’ It makes every — the smallest thing amazing. Like the first time he’s discovering how to say the word ‘light.’ Like ‘light’ is the most exciting thing. (She imitates Egypt) And it’s kind of true! The light is amazing. Like, ‘Look! You turn it off and then you turn it on and it’s beautiful!’ But for (adults) things become so routine, so mundane and for him he’s discovering things for the first time so it makes me see things in a new place. So, I think all of those things together has brought me to a place that’s like just a fresh, new start. And I really like this new start.”
On top of that, Keys also touched on the longstanding rumors that she would play Lena Horne in a biopic. As biopics are all the rage to talk about in Hollywood but not come to fruition, you can’t get too excited about the idea because it might not happen. However, Alicia says to do so would be a huge honor:
“To be Lena Horne would be a great honor for me — like huge — so I really do hope that pans out.” But, she admits, “Movies are tricky. They’re tough and they take a long time to sort out and put together.”
Be sure to click over to Ebony.com to see the rest of the interview, where Alicia Keys discusses her thoughts on President Obama and why he’s the candidate best for womens’ interests.
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A few weeks back we saw some behind-the-scenes shots of Eve rocking Reebok’s new 54-11s for a new documentary on the classic sneaker brand and herself, and now the full flick is here.
The Philly-born rapper returned to her roots to show where her fame first began at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, and took us through her time as a rapper, dabbling in fashion, and now her current focus on film making, and acting. From 1999 to 2012, people are still asking, “who’s that girl…”
Check out the mini-documentary here. Are you still checking for Eve?
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