Rick Ross Explains His Trayvon Martin Line on Mastermind

Rapper issues statement amid controversy over his lyrics.

Posted: 02/27/2014 06:49 AM EST

Call it bad timing or another poor choice of words, but Rick Ross finds himself once again in the middle of a controversy over his lyrical content.

After a free stream of his upcoming album, Mastermind, was released Wednesday (Feb. 26), the MMG MC was blasted by critics over a line in his song "Blk & Wht." Ross ticked off some listeners when he rapped, "Trayvon Martin, I'm never missing my target." People offended by the lyric say its offensive to the memory of the slain teen, who was gunned down last year by overzealous neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Coincidentally, Wednesday was the two-year anniversary of Martin's death.

"Def Jam needs a few less 'yes' men, because that Trayvon line should've never made it past the studio," tweeted @BKuzan. "I don't think Rick Ross was mocking trayvon Martin he's just so wrapped up in his rap persona that he doesn't get it," wrote @TheCosby. "Rick Ross is THE absolute worst. He compared his success to Trayvon? I can't," added political analyst @ZerlinaMaxwell.

Ross issued a statement to Vibe defending the line.

"It's so important that today, on the two-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, we never forget that tragedy. 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." 

Ross continued, "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 [for] your family. Stay sharp. Stay alive. Trayvon, Rest in Peace." 

Maintaining that this was no lyrical misstep is a slightly different approach than Ross took last April, when he issued a full-on apology after he was protested against for a line he spit on Rocko's original "U.O.E.N.O." The outrage over what became known as his "date rape lyric" even caused him to lose an endorsement deal with Reebok.

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(Photo: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

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