There is a curious lyric on "BLK & WHT," one of the better tracks on Rick Ross' new album Mastermind. "Trayvon Martin," Ross spits, "I'm never missing my target." Critics and fans called the line everything from "tacky" to "inappropriate," saying it brings to mind the image of Ross shooting Martin, the Florida teenager killed by George Zimmerman.
Obviously, that's not Ross' intention. A Florida resident himself, he has been as outspoken as any rapper when it came to the Martin case. After Zimmerman was acquitted, Ross told an interviewer that he was "upset and really, really enraged" by the verdict, saying that "something has to happen, and it will." He also went after Zimmerman on record, rapping "Chanel hoodie on / Looking like Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman don't want it" on Usher's otherwise slinky club song "Lemme See."
In an email to Vibe, Ross explains his latest Trayvon Martin lyric. And although the line remains convoluted, he does seem to be coming from a good place.
"It's so important that today, on the two-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, we never forget that tragedy. I'm never going to let the world forget that name. In my song 'Black and White' off Mastermind I say, 'Trayvon Martin, I'm never missing my target'. There I'm reminding people that if you're a black person or a person of any color for that matter in this country, you have to be accurate, whatever moves you make, stay accurate. Even when you're walking down the street, playing music from your car, you have to stay on point. Black men are being killed and their killers [are] beating the trial. It hasn't been this much violence against black men since the '60s. I am Trayvon Martin, we're all Trayvon Martin. He was from South Florida. That could have been me or one of my homies. So, stay alert and never miss your target. Whatever that target may be. Getting out the hood, providing from your family. Stay sharp. Stay alive. Trayvon, Rest in Peace."