Rick Ross doesn’t want to be misunderstood.
His sixth solo album Mastermind was made available for streaming on iTunes last night and already the larger-than-life rapper’s rhymes are being scrutinized. Namely a line on the album’s eleventh track “Black & White,” on which the Miami MC makes a questionable reference to slain teenager Trayvon Martin.
“Trayvon Martin, I’m never missing my target,” he raps, referencing the Florida boy who was killed two years ago today by George Zimmerman. Now, six days before the March 4 release of Mastermind, Ross clarifies the meaning behind his controversial words.
“It’s so important that today, on the two-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, we never forget that tragedy,” Ross says in a quote emailed exclusively to VIBE. “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.”
He continues: “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.”
Rick Ross spent much of 2013 two-stepping around accusations that he glorified date rape on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.,” when he rapped, “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.” After losing an endorsement deal with Reebok, Ross apologized.
Listen to “Black & White” below. Does Rick Ross’ statement clear up his touchy rhyme? —John Kennedy