Releasing a statement via Vibe earlier today, Rick Ross detailed his mention of Trayvon Martin on his Mastermind track “Black & White.” “Trayvon Martin, I’m never missing my target” the MMG founder raps in the song’s second verse.
Ross’ statement begins with his urging to “never forget.” “It’s so important that today, on the two-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, we never forget that tragedy,” he wrote. “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, who grew up in Florida himself, continues with an acknowledgement that Martin’s death struck close to home. “Black men are being killed and their killers [are] beating the trial,” he wrote. “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.”
“Black & White” can be streamed below.
The release of the rapper’s statement coincides with the second anniversary of Martin’s killing by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman in 2012. Zimmerman, who was reportedly scheduled to face off against DMX in a celebrity boxing match earlier this year, was acquitted of the murder and manslaughter charges in 2013.
In July of last year, Ross compared himself to Trayvon Martin in a lyric on the song “I Wonder Why.” “Now I’m being followed by some creepy-ass cracker,” he raps, “Stand your ground, you gotta stand your ground.”
The Mastermind quote in question is the latest in a string of controversial lyrics the rapper has released in recent years. In 2013, Ross drew considerable criticism for a lyric on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and enjoy that, she ain’t even know it.,” he rapped. That instance led to protests against Reebok given the rapper’s celebrity endorsement of the brand. Despite continued apologies from the rapper, at least one show was cancelled in protest and, after more than 70,000 signatures appeared on a petition to release the rapper, Reebok let him go in April of 2013. “Reebok holds our partners to a high standard,” they wrote in a statement, “and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so.”