Some people just don’t get it. What I mean, is that some people just don’t seem to understand that rape is a crime. And not just a word to use – and misuse – in a song.
In another display of complete insensitivity – and stupidity – a rapper, who I will not advertise here, recently wrote a song that condones the crimes of sexual assault and rape. Here are the lyrics to his rape -- er, I mean, rap – song. "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 words in this song are about placing a drug into a woman’s drink without her knowing it, rendering her unconscious, and then raping her. What an offensive song to listen to.
As a Boston, Massachusetts rape lawyer, I can tell you that no woman in her right mind would ever pay the mere 99 cents it costs to download this "music" (and I use that term loosely.) And by the same token, no man worth his scruples would do the same either. Lyrics like this insult us all. When are these ignorant rappers going to realize that people do not want to hear crimes glorified in music lyrics? Furthermore, when are rappers going to understand that rape is a serious crime? Even worse, when are recording studios and record companies going to wake up and STOP the glorification of this and ANY kind of violence in "music"?
They just don’t seem to get it. Rape is a felony in Massachusetts (as in most every state.) A first conviction translates into up to 20 years in state prison in Massachusetts. Second or subsequent convictions can mean life in state prison. And if the rape happens to include a gun, the mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years in prison in this state.
Here’s where the story gets even more interesting. Ready? This moronic rapper had a (very lucrative) endorsement deal with Reebok. That’s correct. He wrote these words, while he had a signed contract to represent Reebok, the famous sneaker company based right here in Canton, Massachusetts, a couple of miles from my Westwood office. Recently, Reebok, to their credit, terminated their association with this rapper. A company spokesperson said that the rapper “did not live up to expectations they have from clients.”
But don't get the idea that a major corporation like this arrived at this decision through corporate moral introspection (so often a contradiction in terms.) The shoe company jettisoned this rapper very 'coincidentally,' in response to mass protests by Reebok fans as well as activist groups. One such group protested Reebok’s New York city store, where people asked that the rapper be dropped as a company spokesman. They reportedtly held signs saying “Take Rape Seriously.” Apparently, another activist group, called UltraViolet, secured more than 100,000 signatures from people requesting that Reebok dump this vulgarian. After Reebok made the move public, UltraViolet made a statement lauding the Canton shoe company for their quick, decisive actions. Among other things, the group said that they were “thrilled” with Reebok’s decision, adding that singing about raping and drugging a woman is not only wrong morally, but that it also has real consequences.
You had better believe that rape has real consequences. As a Boston, Massachusetts sex crimes lawyer, I see evidence of this all the time.
Furthermore, it's hard to believe that someone who had a lucrative endorsement deal with a prominent, prestigious American company would be so ignorant as to do anything to harm that relationship, but it happens all the time. This guy had a lucrative paying gig – for making rap music, of all things – and he should have thanked his lucky stars for that. He not only deserves to have been let go from Reebok – he deserves our scorn and our anger, for making a mockery of the serious crime of rape.
Surprised that a Boston sex crimes lawyer would take this attitude? Don't be. When I defend sex offense clients, I am doing on constitutional and legal principles, in a courtroom. I do so aggressively and zealously, but NO criminal defense lawyer "condones" rape - of a woman, of a man, of anyone.