Rick Ross says he doesn't condone rape, and now, with the continued fallout from his protested "U.O.E.N.O." lyric leading to the loss of his deal with Reebok, the Maybach Music CEO has released an official statement apologizing for his questionable rhymes.
"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," the star rapper said in a statement released to the Associated Press on Friday (April 12).
Ross acknowledged his responsibility as an artist and stated that the distasteful lyric does not reflect his "true heart."
"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," Rozay rapped on Rocko's underground single, name-dropping the popular party drug that is often said to enhance euphoria and sexuality.
About a month after the song's release, Ross began to face heavy criticism, with fans, journalists and women's rights advocates charging that the rhyme promoted rape. The rapper went on Q 93.3 in New Orleans to attempt an apology on March 28, but instead labeled the situation a "misunderstanding" and a "misinterpretation."
Dissatisfied with Ross' statement, the rapper's opposition continued to press on and urged that Reebok, the sneaker giant that had recently signed the MC to an endorsement deal, sever ties with him. On April 4, women's rights group UltraViolet staged a protest in front of Reebok's flagship store in New York City; on the same day, the rapper tweeted out an apology. "I dont condone rape. Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS," he wrote. "Apologies to my many business partners, who would never promote violence against women. @ReebokClassics @ultraviolet."
The tweet wasn't enough to persuade the sneaker giant to continue its working relationship with Ross; on Thursday, Reebok terminated its deal with Ross.
"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," read a statement that Reebok issued to MTV News. "At this time, it is in everyone's best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross."
As a result, the "Hold Me Back" MC issued the official apology Friday (April 12), along with another tweet. "I want to thank Reebok Classics for their hard work and dedication over this past year. Good partners, good shoe. continued success," he tweeted.
Do you think with this apology that Rick Ross can finally put his rape-lyric controversy behind him? Let us know in the comments!