Update: Maybach Music Group head Rick Ross has made a statement on Facebook about his comments on “The Breakfast Club,” in which he stated emphatically he wouldn’t hire female rappers because he couldn’t stop himself from f*cking them. (See interview below.)
The statement from Facebook reads as follows:
“I want to address an insensitive comment I made on a very sensitive issue, especially in a minority dominated industry like hip hop. My entire empire’s backbone is led by 2 of the strongest people I know and they happen to be women, my mother and sister. The operations wouldn’t run without them and I have the highest regard and respect for women in this industry. I have a daughter myself, my most cherished gift in the world.
“My comment is not reflection of my beliefs on the issue. A mistake I regret. I hope to use my mistake, my platform and the community to create positive discussion to implement change on a very important issue. respect for the ones who stand up to say hey that isn’t right. Now it’s time to accept responsibility and all do better.
“I look forward to continue working with & supporting female artists. my discovery process was documented by vh1 on #signed which premiered last night. Many of the most talented artists you’ll see in the running to be the next #MMG superstars are female artists. I look forward to clarifying my comments through my support.”
First, it’s great that Ross felt the need to walk back his statement. You have to think even five years ago no one would’ve blinked at his comment.
This is the thing though, just because your empire is lead by your mother and your sister doesn’t inoculate the organization from discriminatory behavior toward women. Ross, as he loves to states, is the boss and the buck stops with him.
Truth be told, Ross was probably just trying to score cool points with a joke that ended up biting him in the ass, but it says a lot that throwing women under the bus and conveying them as disposable entities that only exist to please him was something he could get away with.
There are some who are saying that Ross should be criticized for being honest, but as the CEO of a MMG, a company distributed through Atlantic, that’s ridiculous. If he were the CEO of a publicly-traded corporation, shareholders would be calling for him to step down, not just because his comment was incredibly discriminatory, but also because he’s not capable of maximizing profits if he’s not considering female talent, a potentially huge income stream.
Read the original story below.
Rapper and label head Rick Ross appeared on “The Breakfast Club” yesterday and opened the show by making jokes about seeing host Angela Yee‘s legs, an aggressive statement that foreshadowed comments on why he doesn’t have any female artists signed to his label, Maybach Music Group.
When asked by Yee (08:44) why his label hadn’t ever signed a female rapper, Ross said, “I never did it because I always thought I’d end up fucking the female rapper. Fucking the business up. I’m so focused on my business.”
When Yee pushed back on the response, Ross insisted, “I gotta be honest with you. She looking good and I’m spending so much money on her photo shoot. I gotta f*ck her. A couple times.”
All hearty chuckling by Charlamagne aside, what Ross is admitting for starters is that his record label is a hostile environment for any woman that works there. By saying he won’t sign a woman because he can’t control himself, he’s admitting he’s incapable of treating female employees in a professional manner if he finds them attractive.
Ross’s statement also reflects one of many reasons why female rappers are under-represented in the industry. Partially it’s because label heads like Ross openly admit they’re not interesting in signing them, but it’s also because the work environment is often unregulated and because it’s male-dominated is by default hostile for women.
Part of Yee’s ability to succeed is that she’s been able to push forward despite being blatantly harassed while on the job, treatment that her male co-workers are rarely if ever subject to. Yee’s ability to blaze a path along with her many successes should be celebrated, but not everyone has her fortitude nor should they have to.
Vice President Mike Pence was excoriated in March 2017, when it was revealed in a Washington Post article he never dines with women alone and doesn’t attend functions without his wife if alcohol is being served. Critics pointed out that such a practice is a form of gender discrimination that cuts into women’s ability to network and make career-furthering connections.
Ross’s policy on female rappers is worse than Pence’s. At least with Pence you can get in the door, he just won’t provide you the same opportunities as his male colleagues.
And it’s not like Ross doesn’t understand the power of the dollar to change lives. In the same interview, he expressed sympathy for income Meek Mill lost while in jail and went on to talk about the importance of investing. And yet somehow, he’s unconcerned about locking women out of money-making opportunities.
One could argue that Ross’s statements are just entertainment and are to be expected because, hey, it’s rap, but he’s an executive and is sending a message. Putting aside the potential income loss from ignoring talented female artists, if Ross is as big a boss as he claims, one would think he could figure out a way to score cool points that doesn’t consistently involve dehumanizing and throwing women under the bus.