April 25, 2013


Snoop Dogg Defends Rick Ross' Rape Lyric, Loses Millions of Cool Points

Getty Images, 2
Getty Images, 2

Oh, Snoop. Snoop Snoop Snoop. Let's talk. Writer to rapper. You've been entertaining me for more than 20 years now. During my awkward suburban adolescent phase, I bumped "Deep Cover" repeatedly, imagining myself a product of "the streets." I just used the word "bumped" unironically partly because of how you talked. I've obsessed over your 1994 VMA appearance. I've written articles about how you've gone from charismatic rapper to cultural icon.

But you've strained our relationship recently. See, Rick Ross wrote a lyric condoning date rape. It was probably not written maliciously, but it was ill-conceived and stupid and justifiably got widespread, borderline universal, condemnation.

Rocko, the rapper whose track "U.O.E.N.O." featured the lyrics, removed the verse from his song. Reebok likes money and hates controversy, so they dropped Ross as their spokesman because, hey, there are probably a lot of rappers who will shill for sneakers that don't write lyrics about rape.

So the controversy seemed to have blown over a bit and we went back to writing about less serious things. But then I see an interview you gave to MTV, where you're asked about Ross' scandal and how it compares to the condemnation you got in the early '90s over misogynistic lyrics. And you drop this:

"First of all, we as rappers have the freedom of speech."

Yeah, no, this isn't a First Amendment issue. No one was telling Ross he's not allowed to say what he said. They're just saying he should be ready to face the consequences of it. But go on:

"Our dialect shouldn't be taken so out of context."

Ross has yet to "contextualize" his lyrics in any subsequent interviews or on Twitter, but continue:

"Me personally, as a rapper, I don't have no regrets about what I say, so I wouldn't give a damn about endorsement deals or none of that. If y'all cut me loose than y'all weren't meant to be with me — that's what I say."

I commend this part and agree. Snoop probably has no regrets about what he said. But c'mon, Snoop. Even you have to see the difference between "bitches in the living room gettin it on" and what Ross said, no? Presumably, said bitches are not leaving at six in the morning because they just woke up after getting roofied.

"When you're buying Snoop Dogg, you're buying all that come with it," Snoop continued. "When you're buying Rozay, you're buying all that come with it. You know what his lifestyle is about."

NO NO NO NO NO, Snoop. Work with me, here. Throw me a Dogg bone. If we accept this quote as gospel—especially, "You know what his lifestyle is about"— we have to assume one of two things: That Ross' "lifestyle" involves dropping Molly in drinks, which I don't think anyone believes, or we have to accept that whatever a rapper says is somehow protected by some mythical hip hop lyric bubble shielded from all criticism and reproach.

I get it. You can empathize with Ross because you've been condemned by certain parties as well. But you also haven't said anything half as misplaced or asanine as Ross (and "izzle" doesn't count).

Work with me, Snoop. Walk back off the ledge. Rappers don't have to stick together. It's okay to say, "You know, he made a mistake and now he's trying to move on from it." If you can fight Congress on gun control, taking on this issue should be easy.