Rick Ross was invited onto the Breakfast Club to promote his new VH1 reality show, Signed. The pear connoisseur is under fire for sexualized comments he made during the interview towards radio DJ Angela Yee, and for his perspective on having sex with the aspiring artists he would be potentially helping.
Before the interview even started, Ross can be seen exerting his dominance and puffing his chest after a woman finishes pickcombing his impeccable beard. After being praised by Charlemagne Tha God he proceeds to suggest to Yee that she is wearing too much clothing and that she should take some off. As if that wasn’t awkward enough, he tells her he needs to see her legs and she wraps a jacket around herself instead. Just when you thought the exchange was over, the conversation switches to a pool party Ross recently had and he tells Yee he needs her twerking at the next one.
Moving on. The reality show the rapper is promoting seems like a rebirth of Diddy’s Making the Band except it features several big names including Ross and The-Dream. The self-proclaimed “Black Berry Gordy” runs Maybach Music Group under Atlantic Records. He’s given us artists like Wale and Meek Mill, but his roster has been noticeably light on female influences.
Ross explains what the reason for that might be.
“I never did it because I always thought I would end up f-cking the female rapper, f-cking the business up. I’m so focused on my business. I got to be honest with you,” Ross joked. “She’s looking good. I’m spending so much money on her photo shoots. I gotta f-ck her a couple of times.”
But the most insidious part about his statements is the assumption of entitlement to his “female” protege’s body in exchange for her success. We recently witnessed this last week when R. Kelly was accused of holding women captive after luring them with promises that they would top the charts under his tutelage.
This idea that a woman needs to sleep with a man to achieve success is archaic and damaging, but most of all it’s untrue. This is not only gross but unfair to all of the artists who do have an endorsement from male counterparts because it can be assumed that everyone in “the industry” thinks this way. Lil Kim started the trend of dropping hard lyrics beside established male rappers, but was often linked romantically to Biggie Smalls. For years, Nicki Minaj has been accused of sleeping with Lil Wayne and Drake. Accusations got so out of hand she even talked about it on her record, “Only.” Minaj rapped, “Yo, I never fucked Wayne, I never fucked Drake. On my life, man, fuck’s sake.” And everyone remembers the false rumors that have haunted Jay-Z and Rihanna.
This idea that a woman needs to sleep with a man to achieve success is archaic and damaging, but most of all it’s untrue. Female rappers have their own agency and talent. With the exception of Iggy Azalea (who was endorsed by rapper T.I., #neverforget) many of them have enough skills to stand on their own two feet. With or without rappers like Rick Ross, these women need nothing other than to rock the mic on and off stage to get what they want out of their entertainment careers.
The best example of this is singer and rapper Cardi B. She recently signed to Atlantic Records, the same label MMG is under, off the steam of free mixtapes she released on her own. Cardi is topping the hip hop charts with her summer smash hit, “Bodak Yellow” and there hasn’t been any sort of male presence in her promotion. Men like Ross are hopefully becoming an endangered species as women like Cardi B are the next wave of women in hip hop.
The bright side is that Signed appears to feature artists of all backgrounds, including some women. We will have to tune in to see if there is any more misconduct, and with any luck the winner will get more than an ultimatum from Rick Ross.