Danny and Russell Simmons held their 14th annual Art 4 Life Gala this past weekend in Bridgehampton, New York, raising over $1.5 million for arts education specifically for inner city youth.
“When you were young, were you encouraged to be creative?” was the question posed to celebrities on the red carpet, which included event host Soledad O’Brien, Rick Ross, Michael Strahan and Nicole Murphy, Skylar Diggins, Anthony Anderson, Maxwell and more.
“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.”
Sigh. What I’m about to share with you has thus far been the very private information of myself, two to three close girlfriends and someone I was formerly dating. It’s something I wanted to keep as quiet as possible, till today.
Thanks to media reaction regarding the above line from Rick Ross on Rocko‘s “U.O.E.N.O” track, especially strong articles from women like activist/journalist Rosa Clemente, EBONY‘s Jamilah Lemieux and Billboard‘s Erika Ramirez, I’m stepping to the plate with my story. As a journalist who’s worked in hip-hop my entire career, controversial lyrics are nothing new to me. With everything in life, words only hit home when you’ve had personal experience with them. Because my own “molly” incident was not too long ago that I can so vividly remember the prelude and aftermath (the episode itself remains a blur), I’m talking about it in hopes that if you don’t already see the gravity of what Ross said, you might now.
A very well-known DJ throws an annual Fourth of July house party in Brooklyn and I went with my best girlfriends last year. We were sippin’ on drinks from an early hour that day, enjoying the electric atmosphere with live sets by some hip-hop’s greatest turntablists. By the time the early hours of the morning rolled around and the party was in high gear, I was well and truly intoxicated. I was super emotional that night too, so I decided to let myself go and have fun. Even though I had recently broken things off with the guy I had been dating for nearly two years (a very unhealthy situation), when he walked into the party toward the end of the night I was fine. We said hello and kept it fairly civil. What I didn’t know was someone had slipped “molly” into one of my drinks at some point in the evening. This guy is someone I can’t name for certain to this day, but evidence against him is pretty powerful (he announced he had mollies in his bag and according to my ex telling me later when we went over everything, he’s actually been known to do it before). I’ve never tried ecstasy or any form of MDMA, which is molly in powder or crystalline form. I’m one of those people who grew up watching many friends lose their lives to illegal drugs, so liquor has always been enough for me. When the drug was slipped into my red plastic cup, my body reacted within hours. Unfortunately for my wannabe rapist, things didn’t go according to plan. He stayed stuck by my side as long as he could, but when my ex pulled me away to talk and say goodbye at the end of the night, I started losing it. Like I said, this portion is fuzzy but from what my people remember (not to mention a number of our industry peers looking on incredulously) I began screaming like a wild woman, punching and kicking my ex, saying the nastiest things ever. I’m a feisty woman at the best of times but I became a whole different person, frothing at the mouth with blank eyes. My girls had to drag me off the street and into the car and that was no mean feat, considering I was still verbally and physically abusing him as he tried in vain to help.
The next morning I woke up with more than the usual hangover. I was disoriented, confused, dehydrated, having hot flashes with no energy. When my closest girlfriend called to discuss the craziness of the night before, I told her how strange I was feeling. She came over immediately and we drove to the hospital. I took a urine test and a blood test and sure enough, MDMA was found in my system. My first question to the doctor was, “Aren’t you supposed to be happy on molly? Why the hell was I a raving lunatic?” I was told that while it’s rare to have such a bad reaction, it’s definitely possible and my body just didn’t like what it was given. I felt horrible for days. I had embarrassed myself in front of so many people and worse, someone I knew had slipped drugs into my drink to potentially have his way with me later that night. He had hung around me and my girls for hours like a bad smell, making his intentions very clear. If it wasn’t for the safety of my crew (and quite honestly, my built-up anger for my ex), I don’t even want to think about where I would have ended up. I was at a house party, surrounded by friends and people I knew. I thought I was safe. I wasn’t. And when I read or hear rap lyrics like the ones above, I’m reminded of just how easy it is for men with heinous motives to take advantage of any woman at any time.
Allow me to say this. Rick Ross is an artist I’ve interviewed numerous times and on each occasion he’s been gracious, professional and fun. He’s an entertaining character and while I’ve never been the biggest fan of his brand of magic, I’ve always been treated with respect by him (and vice versa). Watching him try and curry favor while backtracking from his lyrics is hugely disappointing, but not a surprise. It’s rare in hip-hop nowadays for anyone to be held accountable for their transgressions, especially someone whose entire career (from what we know) is built on fabrication. Next time I get him in the hot seat, I’m hoping it’s not too far down the line for us to have a real conversation about this issue.
With an hour till the release of his new album God Forgives, I Don’t, Rick Ross called into Invasion Radio with DJ Green Lantern and I for a quick chat last night.
The exhausted-sounding rapper spoke on whether or not Jay’s “Three Kings” verse was really a freestyle, working with Andre 3000 on “16” (as he filmed the Jimi Hendrix biopic in Ireland), how his son is taking over his extensive figurine collection and how he just bought the last available custom Maybach cars.