The creepy reason that ‘UENO’ by Rick Ross was banned from the radio
(Credit: Wikimedia)

Old School Archives

The creepy reason that ‘UENO’ by Rick Ross was banned from the radio

There is always the risk of upsetting people when it comes to artistic expression. Art is effectively a statement; when one unveils part of themselves, it will inevitably be unique. Furthermore, it will be informed by that individual’s perception of the world. Some people’s perceptions and experiences are different, so there is bound to be confusion, misinterpretations and disagreements along the way. Moreover, with technology and social media, consumers can share their opinion of you and your art quicker than ever, so backlash is always a risk if you’re sending a potentially dangerous message and this is what happened in the case of Rick Ross.

Years ago, the consumption of art and music, in particular, was very different; only a privileged few had the platform to express their views. Now, everybody is a critic and rappers’ music is plastered across the internet for all to judge. This means more eyes and ears on songs. With a literal worldwide web of people ready to find fault within what musicians are making, controversial art is heavily moderated to prevent offence en masse.

Hip-hop has always been controversial, and over the years, many songs and music videos have been heavily edited and or even banned in some way due to their content. Many adorned rappers have had their music criticised and prohibited from radio play due to what was perceived as offensive lyrical content. New Orleans musician Lil Wayne got his music banned from the airwaves for his lyric, ‘Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till,’ in 2013. However, the same year US radio stations also prohibited Rocko’s ‘U.O.E.N.O’ due to its disturbing Rick Ross verse in which he stated while on a date with a woman, he put “Molly [ecstasy] all in her champagne.”

Initially released by Atlanta rapper Rocko in 2013, the track featured both Future and Rick Ross but was enshrouded in controversy shortly after its release. Fans did not have a problem with the overall song. In fact, they didn’t even take issue with Rocko or Future. However, Miami rapper Rick Ross came under heavy scrutiny for his verse. With the release set to be Rocko’s biggest track ever, some ill-judged lyrics from Ross changed that rosy trajectory.

The Miami act’s verse was labelled as misogynistic and predatory as Ross 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!” The rhyme sequence from Ross alluded to a date rape scenario in which he put ecstasy in a female’s drink and proceeded to have sex with her.

Fans were disgusted and shocked at how the label was so comfortable releasing the track with the verse unedited. Although Ross apologised profusely, the damage had been done and most viewed the insincere apology as too little too late. The song did not perform as well as it could have due to the backlash and uproar it created. You can hear a news debate about Ross’ lyrics in the video below and hear his apology.